Is Sri Lanka heading for a referendum?

September 12, 2022

President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said the government will call for a referendum to seek the opinion of the Sri Lankan people if all parties fail to come to a political agreement to bring in a new Prevention of Terrorism Act and reform the Electoral process within six months’ time.

Wickremesinghe made this assurance during his meeting with USAID administrator Samantha Power yesterday morning. During her visit Power pledged a total of USD 60 million to support the most vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka and provide much-needed assistance during the economic crisis.

Power said Wickremesinghe also reaffirmed many of the political commitments he has made including repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act and assuring that civil society would have the space to operate in Sri Lanka. Power noted transparency of the government’s process, prioritisation and the timeline of implementation is imperative to gain public support.