Avatar Centre for Policy Alternatives on 30 May, 2019

Public Opinion Poll on Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Reform

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Throughout the past three decades, successive governments have stressed the importance of constitutional reform. This has been either as a means of addressing minority grievances which in turn would form part of a solution to the ethnic conflict or as a means of restructuring various contentious aspects within the 1978 Constitution (i.e. the executive presidential system and the electoral system.)

Although there had been many glitches and gaps in proceeding with the constitutional reform process since its initiation – the constitutional crisis that transpired in October 2018 further confirmed the lack of political will within the government to bring about proposed reforms and thereby brought the entire process to a complete halt. Ironically though, the many debates that followed the crisis inadvertently created a heightened level of awareness and interest about the constitution amongst the general public.

It is in this context Social Indicator, the survey research arm of the Centre for Policy Alternatives ventured into this study in order to capture public perception on the manner in which people perceive the contents of the constitution and their perception of the constitutional crisis that occurred in October 2018. Opinion surveys are a powerful medium through which the general public can voice their opinion on issues that matter to them. Furthermore it is also one of the best scientific methods that could help policy makers, academics and those in power understand the pulse of the citizenry. Therefore, we strongly believe that this survey will make an invaluable contribution towards understanding the citizens’ knowledge, perception and attitudes towards the constitution and constitutional reform process.

 

Download the report here.