US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung has deemed the upcoming Local Government (LG) election ‘critical’ for the island nation.
Speaking at the 2023 National Law Conference hosted by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) in Colombo this morning (12 March), Ambassador Chung spoke on matters of varying concern, including Sri Lanka’s longstanding relationship with America, the rule of law and judicial independence.
Speaking on the shared interest of an independent judiciary being amongst several others on which the two countries built their bilateral relations, Chung emphasized the importance of the LG polls, explaining that it gave citizens ‘the ability to advocate directly to the government in partnership with civil society organisations and through qualified legal representation in an independent judiciary’.
“That is why local government elections, we have been discussing, are so critical”, she said in this regard.
The Ambassador further assured America’s unwavering support for the rights of Sri Lankan citizens to voice their needs peacefully and to participate in their government.
Commenting in this regard, she also noted that Sri Lanka’s ‘proud history of free elections underpins those rights’.
Meanwhile, speaking on the rule of law in the country, the Ambassador highlighted that no democracy stands in the absence of the rule of law, and emphasised that those present at the event were the ‘guardians of that precious rule’.