You are on page 1of 63

SURVEY ON DEMOCRACY IN POST-WAR SRI LANKA

Top Line Report
November 2013

! !

Social Indicator - Centre for Policy Alternatives

! ! ! ! ! !

!

! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is an independent, non-partisan organisation that focuses primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution. Formed in 1996 in the firm belief that the vital contribution of civil society to the public policy debate is in need of strengthening, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.

!

Address:! Telephone: ! Fax: ! Web! Email! ! ! !

24/2 28th Lane, off Flower Road Colombo 7, Sri Lanka +94 (11four) 2565304/5/6 +94 (11) 4714460 www.cpalanka.org! info@cpalanka.org

!

! ! ! ! ! !
Social Indicator (SI) is the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and was established in September 1999, filling a longstanding vacuum for a permanent, professional and independent polling facility in Sri Lanka on social and political issues. Driven by the strong belief that polling is an instrument that empowers democracy, SI has been conducting polls on a large range of socio"economic and political issues since its inception. Address: 105, Fifth Lane, Colombo 03 Telephone: +94(11)2370472/4/6 Fax: +94(11) 2370475 Web: http://cpalanka.org/survey-research/ Email: info@cpasocialindicator.org

! ! EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ………………………………………………………1 ! INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………3 ! METHODOLOGY ……………………………………………………………..5 ! 1. ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT ………………………………….……7 ! 2. POST WAR SRI LANKA ……………………………………………….…16 ! 3. THE GOVERNMENT ………………………………………………..……25 ! 4. MEDIA ………………………………………………………………….….33 ! 5. TOLERANCE ………………………………………………………….…..39 ! 6. IDENTITY ………………………………………………………………….44 ! 7. ROLE OF RELIGION AND ETHNICITY IN POLITICS …………………..51 ! ! ! !

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
! !
The findings of this survey has been categorised into seven key sections - Economy and Development, Post War Sri Lanka, The Government, Media, Tolerance, Identity, and Role of Religion and Ethnicity in Politics. On the economy, the, the cost of living is what is mainly on people’s minds. A reduction in the cost of living is what most Sri Lankans would like to see as a result of the current development process. They also think that it is crucial area the Government must pay attention to. Almost half of those polled claimed that the financial situation in their household has got worse in the last two years and around 30.6% say that they have cut back on the quality of food they purchase. Twenty percent (20%) say that they have not taken medicine or undergone medical treatment at a time it was needed due to financial strain.

!

The opinion of around 82% of those polled is that the security situation in the country has improved in the last two years. On the topic of reconciliation however, the difference in opinion between the Sinhala and Tamil communities remains- 35.5% of the Sinhalese believe that the Government has done a lot to address the root causes of the conflict while 26.5% of the Tamil community say that the Government has done nothing. At the same time, 61.1% of Sri Lankans also state that the Government should give priority to allocating resources to rebuilding the conflict affected areas, even if it means that less money is spent on the rest of the country.

!

Public trust in key institutions and organisations reveals that 40.3% place a great deal of trust in the Army while political parties are the least trusted. Around 20% also stated that they have no trust in the Police or the Parliament. These two institutions are believed to be the most corrupt. The assessment of corruption amongst Members of Parliament has risen since 2011.

! !

Of the many foreign actors that have played and continue to play a significant role in post war Sri Lanka, China is thought to have Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart (57%) while around 20% say that India and USA do not have Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart. Whilst most Sri Lankans get their political news and information from television channels, privately owned television channels are trusted most with 28% stating that they trust them to a great extent and 55.6% to some extent. On media reporting, 73% believe that the news media should constantly investigate and report on issues like corruption while 41.5% say that media should have a right to publish content without Government control.

! !

The majority of Sri Lankans (91.4%) say that their religion can be practiced without any restrictions - however, 21% of the Muslim community says that they can practice their religion but with some restriction while almost 10% say that they have no freedom.

!1

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Tolerance is a topic debated frequently in 2013, in the light of the attacks and hate speech directed at the Muslim community. There are varying degrees of tolerance evident in the findings - almost 60% are agreeable to schools that are multi ethnic while 41% are not agreeable to a close family member marrying someone from a different ethnicity. Thirty- six percent (36%) also are not agreeable to living in a residential neighbourhood where more than half the neighbours are from a different ethnic group.

!

90% of those polled are proud to be Sri Lankan and on the question of who is a true Sri Lankan, the top three descriptions given were someone who was born in Sri Lanka, someone who loves Sri Lanka and someone who lives in Sri Lanka. The differences in opinion across the four main ethnic communities was interesting - while the top description from the Sinhalese community is someone who was born in Sri Lanka, for the Tamil community it is someone who speaks both Sinhalese and Tamil. Furthermore, while 85.2% of Sinhalese say that it is very important for someone to be able to speak Sinhalese to be considered a true Sri Lanka, only 32.2% say the same of someone who is able to speak Tamil.

!

The majority of Sri Lankans (70%) believe that the ethnicity or religion of public officials should have no relevance to their powers and duties while 42.3% admit that it is important that public officials represent their ethnicity or religion. Forty-two percent (42%) of those polled say that it is problematic for a country like Sri Lanka to have ethnicity or religion based political parties while the same percentage also admit that it is unavoidable.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

The role of Buddhism in Sri Lankan politics is a topic that elicits clear divisions of opinion across the four communities - 44.5% of Sinhalese say that it is in the right amount while majority of the Tamil (78.5%), Up Country Tamil (74.7%) and Muslim (70.4%) respondents say that Buddhism plays too much of a role in Sri Lankan politics.

!2

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

INTRODUCTION
!
‘Democracy in post war Sri Lanka’ was first conducted in 2011 and the 2013 survey is the second wave in what we hope will be an annual survey capturing how Sri Lankans perceive and engage in democracy after the war. Much has taken place since the survey was first conducted and in 2013 alone some key events include the impeachment of the Chief Justice, increase in attacks on places of worship, increase in intolerance and hate speech directed at the Muslim community and the continuing militarisation in the country.

!

The objective of this survey is to record public perspectives on democracy in post war Sri Lanka - what it means to people, how they participate in it, their perceptions of the Government and key public institutions. In the 2013 survey, new sections were added to the questionnaire to capture public opinion on national identity, tolerance, role of religion and ethnicity in politics.

! ! !

As in 2011, a rigorous methodology was utilised to design and conduct this survey in the 25 districts of the country. Quality control at different stages of fieldwork as well as post fieldwork ensured that data collection was accurate and collected without bias. The previous survey results were used by Members of Parliament, academics, policy makers and civil society in discussions related to governance, reconciliation, development and accountability. The findings from this report and further analysis of the data we hope will continue to contribute to the discourse on democracy in post war Sri Lanka. This study was conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, with the generous assistance of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Human Security Division. The Principal Researcher was Iromi Perera while fieldwork for the study was managed by M. Krishnamoorthy and Data Processing by Shashik Dhanushka.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

We would like to thank Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Sanjana Hattotuwa and Asanga Welikala for their valuable input during the questionnaire design stage as well as in finalising this report. We would also like to thank vikalpa.org for the cover photo.

!3

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

KEY EVENTS BEFORE AND DURING FIELDWORK

!

Weliweriya drinking water issue - In July 2013, residents of Rathupaswala in the Gampaha district claimed that their supply of drinking water had been contaminated by chemicals being released by a factory in the area. The factory was a subsidiary of the Hayleys Group, one of Sri Lanka’s largest multinational business conglomerates. On July 27th, a group of villagers and a monk from the area began a hunger strike protesting the water crisis and following assurances by officials, the fast was called off on the 29th of July. The factory was closed temporarily, however the company issued a statement that it was not responsible for the contaminated ground water1. Talks were held on July 29th between Government officials, the monk and public officials to resolve the issue but according to the monk the talks had failed and therefore on August 1st, a protest was launched in Weliweriya in the Gampaha district2. Nearly 4000 people from Rathupaswala, Weliweriya and surrounding villagers reportedly gathered for this protest by blocking the Kandy - Colombo road. Police used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets to try and disperse the crowd but according to the Superintendent of Police for Gampaha, as the number of police personnel were not sufficient to control the situation, the Army was called upon3. A 400 strong squad of Army personnel arrived in complete anti-riot gear. When the crowd refused to disperse, and petrol bombs and stones were thrown towards the Army, the Army began assaulting protesters and using live ammunition4. Three people were killed and nearly fifty injured at this protest – two of those killed were young students reportedly not directly involved in the protest.
" " " "

!

Navi Pillay visit - UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay visited Sri Lanka from August 25 - 31 for a fact finding mission5. Her visit was not welcome by some pro Government groups who called on Pillay to leave the country and stop criticising Sri Lanka’s human rights record6. In her end of mission statement, Pillay thanked the Government for sticking to their commitment of allowing her to go anywhere in the country and then delivered a statement where she commented on harassment and intimidation by security forces, militarisation in the North, attacks on religious minorities and other significant issues7.
" "

!

"

Elections - Elections were held on September 21st in three Provinces - Northern, North Western and Central. The election in the Northern Province was a significant one as it was held after 25 years and saw the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) winning 30 out of 38 seats in the Council8. The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) retained control of the North Western and Central Provincial Councils.
"

! !
! 2

1 ! http://www.ft.lk/2013/08/05/dipped-products-md-denies-responsibility-for-water-contamination-expresses-grave-concerns-over-

weliweriya-unrest/ http://colombogazette.com/2013/08/01/black-flag-protest-over-water/

3 ! http://www.ceylontoday.lk/59-39888-news-detail-the-story-of-the-rathupaswala-incident.html ! 4

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/130804/news/woes-of-weliweriya-water-war-55854.html www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23899082 www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2013/08/201382613292148452.html un.lk/news/opening-remarks-by-un-high-commissioner-for-human-rights-navi-pillay/ http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/22/us-srilanka-election-idUSBRE98K01U20130922

5 !

! 6

! 7

! 8

!4

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

!

METHODOLOGY
This island wide opinion poll was conducted in all 25 districts of Sri Lanka. Using a structured questionnaire, face to face interviews were conducted with a sample of 2200 respondents, out of which 2045 interviews were considered as complete interviews.

! !

Questionnaire The questionnaire used in the 2011 Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka survey was revised after examining current discussions and debates on democracy and governance along with existing survey instruments on surveys done on the similar topics. The questionnaire was finalised together with Senior Researchers of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA). The questionnaire was translated into Sinhala and Tamil and a pilot survey was done to test the instrument and the translations before fieldwork commenced. The pilot survey was conducted by senior field researchers.

! Sampling and fieldwork !

In this survey, Social Indicator (SI) used a multi stage stratified random sampling technique. The sample size was determined in order to produce results within a 2% error margin at 95% confidence level and to make necessary disaggregation for the analysis intended. A sample of 2200 respondents spread across all districts using the Population Proportionate Sampling (PPS) method was polled. Ethnic proportions were accounted for. Electorates were chosen as the strata to distribute the sample and polling booths within each electorate were chosen randomly. Within each polling booth, a maximum of 15 respondents were selected for interviews using the 2008 Voter Registry of the Department of Elections. Field Researchers were allocated their research locations and given a list of respondents to locate in that area. In the event they were unable to interview the selected respondent after three attempts, they replaced that respondent with another individual from that household.

!

When allocating samples in the Northern Province, SI adhered to a slightly different method due to the difficulties in terms accessibility and obtaining current data for a sound sample frame. As with the rest of the country, the sample was stratified across electorates and within each electorate polling booths were selected randomly. The respondents in the Northern Province from each polling booth were selected using the snowball method. Fieldwork for the entire study was conducted from 14 August to mid-September 2013.

! Training of Field Researchers !

A total of 55 Field Researchers participated in this study. The Field Researchers consisted of both male and female enumerators from three ethnic communities – Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim. Prior to starting fieldwork, they were given comprehensive training on the study, the survey instrument and field techniques. In order to guarantee the quality of field research, SI deployed a group of Supervisors to conduct quality control processes during and after
!5

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

fieldwork - such as back-checks, spot-checks and accompanied visits to ensure the quality of the data collected. Debrief sessions were conducted in the middle of fieldwork in order to further improve fieldwork.

! Data Processing and analysis !

All the completed questionnaires were sent to a team who have been trained to scrutinise and check questionnaires before being keyed into the computers. After scrutiny they were keyed into a computer database using a data entry interface. The dataset was further cleaned by the Data Processing team before it was sent for data analysis. Before starting the analysis process, the dataset was weighted in order to reflect actual geographical and ethnic proportions in the survey data set. The data set was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) 17.0, a specialised statistical tool widely used by social researchers the world over.

! ! ! ! ! How to read this report: !

• This report presents the top line results of the survey and the findings have been presented descriptively and graphically based on national data and disaggregation by ethnicity. The findings have been presented in seven chapters - Economy and Development, Post War Sri Lanka, The Government, Media, Tolerance, Identity, and Role of Religion and Ethnicity in Politics. • Wherever available, the findings have been compared to the 2011 survey data. While the comparison is useful to see change (or lack thereof) in opinion over the two years, it cannot predict future trends or allow for strong conclusions about shift in opinion until more data is available from future surveys. • For questions that required more than one answer (multiple response questions) from respondents, the figures do not add up to a 100%.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

!6

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

1 ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT
Summary

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

• 36.4% of Sri Lankans believe that the current economic situation is somewhat good while
30.6% believes it is somewhat bad.

• From amongst those who believe the current economic situation is somewhat bad or very
bad, majority (70.5%) state that the Government is to blame for it.

• 37.6% believe that the general economic situation in the country has got a little better in
the last two years, with mainly those in the Sinhalese and Tamil communities holding this view.

• 26.8% remain fairly optimistic that the general economic situation in the country will get

better while 26.3% say that they don’t know how the situation will change over the next two years.

• The Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities are not optimistic about any positive
change in the economic situation with 41.1% of Up Country Tamil and 33.7% of Muslim respondents stating that they believe the economic situation will get a lot worse

• For more than 50% of Sri Lankans, the financial situation in their household has worsened

in the last two years, with 31.8% stating that it has got a little worse while 20.9% state that it has got a lot worse.

• Given the opportunity to allocate money from the National Budget to sectors of their
choice, people would choose Education, Health and Agriculture.

• Majority of respondents believe that the three areas the Government should pay urgent
attention to are cost of living, reducing poverty and education.

• The three main results people would like to see from the current development process are
reduction in cost of living, creation of more jobs and better education facilities

• 61.1% believe that the Government should give priority to allocating resources to
rebuilding the conflict affected areas, even if it means that less money is spent in the rest of the country.

!7

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

The Economy

!

The current economic situation is somewhat good says 36.4% of Sri Lankans while 30.6% believes it is somewhat bad. It is worth highlighting that almost 20% believe that the current economic situation is very bad. From an ethnic perspective, the Sinhala community remains the most positive with 40.1% saying that it is somewhat good. In contrast 35% of both Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities say it is very bad (Refer Graph 1.1) From among those who believe the current economic situation is somewhat bad or very bad, majority (70.5%) state that the Government is to blame for it (Refer Graph 1.2).

!

Graph 1.1: Thinking about the current economic situation in the country, how would you describe it?
50
40.1 36.4 36.5 30.6 32.4 33.5 29.3 25.4 19.9 26 18.9 16.1 9.4 5 5 4.6 4.2 5.2 1 5.6 31.3 35.7 32.1

33

17
8.2

7.7

0

National
Very good

Sinhala
Somewhat good

Tamil
Somewhat bad

Up Country Tamil
Very bad

Muslim
Don’t know

!

Graph 1.2: If you think the current economic situation in the country is somewhat bad or very bad, who do you think is most to blame for it?
% 85.7 78.8 70.5 66.6 70.7

90

60

30
19.2 4.8 1.9 0.6 3.1 4.3 2.1 0.3 3.1

23.6 16.8 3 1.2 1.2 7.2 0 1.5 6.1 7.6 6.1 0 0.8 4.5 2.3 6.8

0

National
The Government Other

Sinhala
The previous Government Don't know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
The international community

Muslim
The citizens

!8

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Almost 40% of Sri Lankans believe that the general economic situation in the country has got a little better in the last two years, with mainly those in the Sinhalese and Tamil communities holding this view. Majority of the Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities believe contrary, citing that the economic situation has in fact for worse. 40.1% of the Muslim community and 32.3% of the Up Country Tamil community believe it has got a lot worse in the last years (Refer Graph 1.3).

!

Graph 1.3: How do you think the general economic situation in this country has changed in the last two years?
50
41.7 37.6 37 32.332.3 24.7 19.6 24.2 20.1 15 6.7 7.9 3.6 7.3 8.2 3.6 5.3 7.7 4.9 3.1 13.2 5.2 1 6.1 7.1 3 25 26 30.5 40.1

33

17

0

National
Got a lot better Don’t know

Sinhala
Got a little better

Tamil
Stayed the same

Up Country Tamil
Got a little worse

Muslim
Got a lot worse

!

Graph 1.4: How do you think the general economic situation in this country will change over the next two years?
%

50
41.1 33.7 29.9 26.8 26.3 28.2 26.4 22.2 18 8.6 9.2 11.3 10.911.3 5.3 20 16.8 12.6 9.2 8.7 4.2 4.6 16.8 27

33

17
8.4

14.1 9.5

14.8 8.6

15.6

0

National
Will get a lot better Will get a lot worse

Sinhala
Will get a little better Don’t know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Stay the same

Will get a little worse

!
!9

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

26.8% remain fairly optimistic that the general economic situation in the country will get better while 26.3% say that they don’t know how the situation will change over the next two years. The Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities are not optimistic about any positive change in the economic situation with 41.1% of Up Country Tamil and 33.7% of Muslim respondents stating that they believe the economic situation will get a lot worse (Refer Graph 1.4).

!

Comparing the 2013 data to the data collected in 2011, it seems that Sri Lankans overall are less optimistic today about the future of the economy. In 2011 around 60% had a positive outlook (21.6% said will get a lot better and 41.5% said will get a little better).

! ! The Household !

For more than 50% of Sri Lankans, the financial situation in their household worsened in the last two years, with 31.8% stating that it has got a little worse while 20.9% state that it has got a lot worse. The most affected appear to be Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities as around 45% of Up Country Tamil and 41% of Muslim respondents state that the financial situation in their household has got a lot worse when compared to what it was two years ago.

!

Graph 1.5: How does the financial situation of your household now compare with what it was two years ago?
50
% 44.8 40.8 33.4 27.9 20.9 24.9 22.8 18.8 15.9 13.7 5.2 0.4 1 0 19.8 11.2 8.2 3.2 0.9 3 4.2 0.9 4.6 1.5 34 29.2 33.7

33
26.8

31.8

17

16.4

0

National Got a lot better Got a lot worse

Sinhala Got a little better Don’t know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Stayed the same

Got a little worse

! !

When feeling a financial strain it is natural to assume that households will have to make certain choices with regard to basic needs. Respondents were asked whether in the last year either they or a member of their household had to make certain cutbacks with regard to food, medicine or housing. While the number of meals per day is the least affected, the quality of food appears to be the most affected with 30.6% saying that they have cut back on the quality of food purchased in the last year while around 20% stated that they had either not taken medicine or undergone medical treatment at a time it was needed (Refer Graph 1.6).
!10

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Graph 1.6: These days many people have been feeling a financial strain. Over the last 12 months, have you or anyone in your household had to do any of the following due to shortage of finances?

!

a) Not taken medicine or undergone medical treatment at a time it was needed (%)
19.3 16.7 25 32.6 25 71.1 67.4 71.9

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0

79.4 82.8

Yes No

30

60

90

b) Delayed paying house rent or mortgage (%)
10.3 7.4 20.5 28.1 9.2 75.3 71.9 89.3

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0

88.2 91.5

Yes No

33

67

100

c) Cut back on the number of meals per day (%)
9.8 6.3 21.6 26 10.7 76 74 87.2

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0

89.3 93.2

Yes No

33

67

100

d) Cut back on the quality of food purchased (%)

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0 27
24.1

30.6

67.8 74.2 45.8 37.5 52.8 62.5 65.8

Yes No

31.6

53

80 !11

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Development

!

Respondents were asked about what sectors they would allocate money to if they were given the opportunity and the top three sectors selected were Education, Health and Agriculture. Choices are similar across the board from an ethnic perspective as well except with the Muslim community which chose the Finance Ministry, with an emphasis on managing the economy, as their second most preferred sector to allocate money from the National Budget. (Refer Graph 1.7). The Appropriations Bill 2014 which was presented to Parliament in October 2013 showed that the biggest allocation of Rs 253.9 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. Ministry of Health was allocated Rs 117.68 billion, Ministry of Education 38.84 billion and Higher Education 29.5 billion.

! !

Graph 1.7: If you were able to decide on the top three sectors the national budget should make allocations to, what would these three sectors be?

! ! National ! ! ! Sinhala ! ! ! !

Education 47.7%

Health 41.5%

Agriculture 31%

Health 40.4%

Education 39.7%

Agriculture 35.4%

Tamil

Education 73.7%

Health 43.4%

Agriculture 23.7%

Up Country Tamil

Education 63.7%

Health 59.6%

Agriculture 23.9%

! ! ! Muslim ! ! ! !

Education 63.7%

Finance 34.1%

Health 39.3%

!12

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Respondents were given a list and were asked to select the three most important areas that they felt the Government should pay urgent attention to. The list included infrastructure/ roads, agriculture, health, cost of living, crime, corruption, reducing poverty, unemployment, management of economy, education and flood relief. Overall, the three main areas that were selected were cost of living, reducing poverty and education. From an ethnic perspective, the selected areas differ with the Sinhala community selecting health as the second most important area while the Tamil and Up Country Tamil respondents selected education as the most important priority followed by unemployment (Refer Graph 1.8).

! !

Compared to data from 2011, cost of living was the top most priority for all communities. For the Sinhala community in addition to cost of living, infrastructure/roads and agriculture were their areas of choice while reducing poverty and unemployment were the important areas for the other three communities.
Graph 1.8: Out of the following list, what are the three most important areas the Government should pay urgent attention to?

! ! National ! ! ! Sinhala ! ! ! ! Tamil ! ! ! ! Up
Country Tamil

Cost of living 58.5%

Reducing poverty 35.2%

Education 33.2%

Cost of living 58.5%

Health 33.1%

Reducing poverty 33%

Education 52.3%

Unemployment 46.5%

Reducing poverty 44.1%

Education 50.9%

Unemployment 43.4%

Cost of living 40.1%

! ! ! Muslim ! ! !

Cost of living 72.4%

Education 39.9%

Reducing poverty 37.9%
!13

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Since the end of war the accelerated development drive of the Government has been largely concentrated on infrastructure and beautification. Respondents were asked about the three main results they would like to see from the current development process and were asked to select their top three from the following list - reduction in cost of living, improved infrastructure, addressing unemployment/ creating more jobs, developing agriculture, improved healthcare service and better education facilities. Cost of living once again was selected as the most important for majority Sri Lankans, followed by creation of more jobs and better education facilities (Refer Graph 1.9). The 2011 data showed the same selections as well, with slight differences with improved infrastructure being the second main result selected by the Sinhala community and improved healthcare being the third main resulted selected by the Tamil community.

! !

Graph 1.9: What are the three main results you would like to see from the current development process?

! ! National ! ! ! ! Sinhala ! ! ! ! Tamil ! ! ! ! Up !
Country Tamil

Reduction in cost of living 78.3%

Addressing unemployment/ Creating more jobs 56.5%

Better education facilities 38.4%

Reduction in cost of living 78.5%

Addressing unemployment/ Creating more jobs 52.7% Addressing unemployment/ Creating more jobs 67.8% Addressing unemployment/ Creating more jobs

Developing agriculture 40.7%

Reduction in cost of living 73.2%

Better education facilities 54.2% Better education facilities 50.5%

Reduction in cost of living 70%

! Muslim ! ! ! ! !

Reduction in cost of living 88.3%

Addressing unemployment/ Creating more jobs 67.5%

Better education facilities 51.8%

!14

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

61.1% of those polled believe that the Government should give priority to allocating resources to rebuilding the conflict affected areas, even if it means that less money is spent in the rest of the country. This opinion is held by almost 80% of the Tamil community while only 50% the Muslim community believes the same. Around 18 - 20% of Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities think that rebuilding the conflict areas should not be given priority as there are many other problems facing the rest of the country as well (Refer Graph 1.10). 20% of respondents from both the Sinhala and Muslim communities say they have no opinion regarding this issues. This is similar to the data from the 2011 survey.

! ! Graph 1.10: Which statement is most agreeable to you? ! !

Option A - “The Government should give priority to allocating resources to rebuilding the conflict affected areas, even if this means that less money is spent in the rest of the country” Option B - “There are many other problems facing this country that the Government should focus on; rebuilding the conflict affected areas should not be given priority over the needs of the rest of the country”.

National

61.1

10.3

7.8

3.1

17.7

Sinhala

59.1

7.9

9.8

2.8

20.3

Tamil

79.5

14.1

0.7 1.1 4.6

Up Country Tamil

63.5

21.9

4.2

10.3

Muslim 0 Option A

49

17.3

4.6

9.2

19.9 %

25 Option B Neither

50

75 Could not understand

100

No Opinion

! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

!
!15

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

2 POST WAR SRI LANKA
Summary

! ! !

• Around 82% of Sri Lankans say that the general security situation in the country has

changed for the better over the last two years, with 42.8% stating that it has got a lot better.

• 60% are hopeful that the general security situation will get better in the next two years, with

the Up Country Tamil community being the most optimistic with 51% stating that it will get a lot better.

• 24.6% believe that Sri Lanka is much more democratic since the end of war while 32% say

! • Only 32.3% of Sri Lankans have heard of the LLRC. ! • 70% say that Sinhala is the only official language of Sri Lanka. ! ! !

it is somewhat more democratic.

• 33.4% believe that in the last two years the Government has done a little but not enough

to address the root causes of the conflict while 27.9% believe the Government has done a lot.

• Around 52% approve of the role of the forces expanding to include civilian tasks with

17.2% stating that they strongly approve. 52.2% of Sinhala, 55.1% of Tamil, 50% of Up Country Tamil and 44% of Muslim respondents stated approval with 40.6% of Up Country Tamil respondents saying that they strongly approve.

• 35.4% believe that they are completely free to express their feelings about politics,

! • 63% believe that their vote has an impact on the outcome of election. ! !
they can do about it while another 30% disagree with that.

irrespective of where they are and who they are with while 75% say that they are completely free to choose who to vote for without feeling pressured.

• If an unjust law was passed in Sri Lanka, 30% of Sri Lankans think that there is nothing • Positive changes since the end of war include being able to travel within the country
without fear (43.4%), roads, highways and bridges being developed (20.1%) and the development of the country (17.4%). When it comes to negative changes, 52.8% of the respondents chose not to answer the question. 10.6% said increase in crime (murder, robbery etc), 9.7% said increase in the cost of goods and 8.8% said increase in corruption.
!16

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Security

!

Around 82% of Sri Lankans say that the general security situation in the country has changed for the better over the last two years with 42.8% stating that it has got a lot better. Around half of the Sinhala community believe it has got a lot better while 46.8% of Tamil, 54.7% of Up Country Tamil and 38.3% of Muslim community say it has got a little better. It is noteworthy that around 11% of respondents from both the Tamil and Muslim communities say that it has got a little worse (Refer Graph 2.1).

! !

Around 60% are hopeful that the general security situation will get better in the next two years, with the Up Country Tamil community being the most optimistic with 51% stating that it will get a lot better. Around 20% of Sri Lankans are not sure about whether it will get better or worse (Refer Graph 2.2).
Graph 2.1: How do you think the general security situation in this country has changed over the last 2 years?
60
47.9 46.8 36.8 25.7 38.3 31.6 42.8 40.8 54.7

40

39.1

20
7.2 4.7 6.7 1.7 2.7 2.7 1 2.6 7.7 11.6 4.6 3.5 4.2 2.1 1.1 1.1 11.711.2 3.1 4.1

0

National Got a lot better Got a lot worse

Sinhala Got a little better Don’t know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Stayed the same

Got a little worse

!

Graph 2.2: How do you think the general security situation in this country will change over the next 2 years?
60
51

40
30.8 27.8 29.630.1 19 18.6 17.8 11 3.3 2.1 2.1 1.8 5.7 3.9 31.1 24 24.4 14.6 9.4 3.1 1 20.8 30.3 22.6 16.9 8.7 2.6 19

20

16.9

0

National Will get a lot better Will get a lot worse

Sinhala Will get a little better Don’t know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Stay the same

Muslim

Will get a little worse !17

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

! Reconciliation !

24.6% of Sri Lankans believe that Sri Lanka is much more democratic since the end of war while 32% say it is somewhat more democratic. However, 22.4% say that they do not know whether the level of democracy has increased or decreased since the end of war. From the four communities, the Up Country Tamil community believe that Sri Lanka is more democratic the most - with around 40% stating that it is much more democratic (Refer Graph 2.3).

!

When compared with 2011 data, the views are fairly similar across the communities except in the Muslim community. In 2011, 71.5% from the Muslim community believed that the level of democracy had increased since the end of war with 34% saying that it is much more democratic. However in 2013, those from the same community who thought the same had dropped to 18.4%.

! ! !

Graph 2.3: Some people say that after the end of war, the level of democracy in Sri Lanka has increased. Please tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with this statement?

50

46.6 41.7 37.5 33.2 28.4 24.9 26.5 22.6 18.4 14 5.8 1.8 5.6 0.6 19.9 12.2 8.2 8.2 2.1 3.1 4.2

33
24.6

32

22.4 13.4

17

11.7 6.4 3.5

9.2

11.5

0

National

Sinhala

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Yes, much more democratic It has remained the same No, much less democratic

Yes, somewhat more democratic No, somewhat less democratic Don’t know

!

The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was appointed in May 2010 to “focus on the causes of conflict, it’s effect on the people, and promote national unity and reconciliation, so that all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of ethnicity or religion could live in dignity and a sense of freedom” and in July 2012 the Government of Sri Lanka released a ‘National Plan of Action to Implement the Recommendations of the LLRC’ in response to the final LLRC report. The Action Plan is categorised under five themes – International Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Land Return and Resettlement, Restitution/Compensatory Relief and Reconciliation.

!

While the LLRC was meant to be the Government’s key driver of reconciliation, only 32.3% of Sri Lankans have heard of it. The highest awareness is amongst the Tamil community
!18

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

(45.2%), which is an increase from 2011 where only 32.5% knew of the LLRC (Refer Graph 2.4). Awareness in the Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities have increased from 11.8% and 10.4% in 2011 to 31.6% and 30.1% respectively in 2013.

!

Graph 2.4: Have you heard of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliations Commission (LLRC)?
70
67.7 69.9 68.4 69.9

54.8

47
32.3 30.1

45.2

31.6

30.1

23

0

National

Sinhala Yes

Tamil

Up Country Tamil No

Muslim

! !

When asked about what the official language in Sri Lanka is, a majority of Sri Lankans said that it is Sinhala only while only 15% gave the correct answer of Sinhala and Tamil. The belief that the official language of Sri Lanka being Sinhala only is primarily held by the Sinhalese community. 82.2% of those from the community stated the official language was Sinhala only while 7.8% said Sinhala and Tamil. Around 40% of Tamil, Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities also believe that the official language is Sinhala only (Refer Graph 2.5).

!

Graph 2.5: Can you tell me the official language of Sri Lanka?

90
70

82.2

60
37.5 32.2 39.6 41.7 41.3 32.1

30
15 8.9 6.1 7.8 7.2 2.9 14.1 14.1 6.3 12.9

15.3

11.2

0

National Sinhala only

Sinhala Sinhala and Tamil

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim Other !19

Sinhala, Tamil and English

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

While Sri Lanka is a post war country, it is not post conflict. 33.4% believe that in the last two years the Government has done a little but not enough to address the root causes of the conflict while 27.9% believe the Government has done a lot. 26.5% of the Tamil community state that the Government has done nothing and almost 50% say that the Government has done a little but not enough. 35.5% in the Sinhala community however state that the Government has done a lot. Majority of the Up Country Tamil community (58.8%) state that the Government has a little but not enough while almost 40% of the Muslim community say that they do not know whether the Government had a lot or a little (Refer Graph 2.6).

!

In 2011, 32.3% of Tamil community said that in the previous two years (since the end of war) the Government had done nothing to address the root causes of the conflict while 30.8% said it had done a little but not enough. In 2013 this changes to 26.5% saying the Government has nothing and increases to 48.4% saying the Government has a little but not enough.

!

Graph 2.6: In your opinion, in the past two years, do you think the government has done enough to address the root causes of the conflict, which resulted in thirty years of war?

60
48.4

58.8

40
33.4 27.9 30.8 28

39.3 35.5 33.2 26.5 17 13.4 7.9 3.2 8.1 10.3 17.5 13.3 7.7

39.8

20

0

National Has done nothing

Sinhala

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Has done a lot

Muslim Don’t know

Has done a little, but not enough

! !

When asked if the Constitution should be changed based on recommendations by an all party committee to produce a political solution to the country’s ethnic problem, a majority of the Tamil community (71%) agreed that it should be changed. This view is shared by 62.1% and 52.8% from the Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities respectively. However 14.9% of Sinhalese and 17.9% of Up Country Tamil respondents believe that there is no need for a political solution as the LTTE was completely defeated militarily. 32% of the Sri Lankans said that they have no opinion on this issue (Refer Graph 2.7).

! !

Opinion on this issue has not changed significantly since 2011 except in the Up Country Tamil community - in 2011, 30.8% said that the Constitution should be changed based on recommendations by an all party committee while in 2013 this has increased to 62.1%.
!20

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

! Graph 2.7: Which statement is most agreeable to you? !

Option A - “The Constitution should be changed based on recommendations made by an all party committee to produce a political solution to country’s ethnic problem” Option B - “There is no need for a political solution as the LTTE was completely defeated militarily”.

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0 Option A
30.8

39.9

13.1

4.8

9.9

32.3

14.9

5.1

11

38.2

71

6.7

4.2 4.6

13.5

62.1

17.9

3.2 2.1

14.7

52.8

6.6

4.1

12.2

24.3

25 Option B Neither

50

75 Could not understand

100 No Opinion

!

Around 52% of Sri Lankans approve of the role of the forces expanding to include civilian tasks with 17.2% stating that they strongly approve. 24.1% say that they strongly disapprove. The Up Country Tamil community is divided on this issue with 33.3% stating strong disapproval while 40.6% expressed strong approval (Refer Graph 2.8). Approval amongst the Sinhala and Tamil are almost the same with around 53% - 55% saying that they approve.

! !

Interestingly, when comparing to the 2011 data, there is an increase in approval in the Tamil and Up Country Tamil communities while there is a slight decrease in the Sinhala community. In 2011, 25.3% of Sinhalese respondents said that they strongly approve. Only 7.1% of Tamil respondents said then that they strongly approved while 23.2% said that they somewhat approved - in 2013 this increased to 18.7% and 36.4% respectively.
Graph 2.8: The role of the forces is expanding to include civilian tasks – such as selling vegetables and other economic and recreation roles. Do you approve or disapprove of this?
50
40.6 36.3 36.4

33

34.7

33.3

32.5 26.4 22.8

24.1

24.8 16.2 12.2 10.5 18.7 9.2 17.7 18 9.4 10.4 6.3 11.7 6.6

17

17.2 10.9 13

0

National Strongly approve Don’t know

Sinhala Somewhat approve

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Somewhat disapprove

Strongly disapprove !21

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Freedom of expression

!

35.4% of Sri Lankans believe that they are completely free to express their feelings about politics, irrespective of where they are and who they are with while 31.9% say that they are somewhat free (Refer Graph 2.9). However 30% of Tamil and 20% of Up Country Tamil respondents said they are not at all free while 42.4% of Sinhalese respondents said they feel they have the complete freedom. The sense of freedom expressed by the Tamil and Muslim communities has declined when looking at 2011 data. In 2011, 18.9% of Tamil and 9.1% of Muslim respondents said that they are not at all free and in 2013 this increased to 29.2% and 15.8% respectively. 50% of Muslim respondents said they are somewhat free in 2011 while in 2013, the figure has decreased to 16.8%.

!

When it comes to joining any political organisation they want, 50% of respondents say that they feel completely free to do so. Almost 75% say that they are completely free to choose who to vote for without feeling pressured. Since 2011, there is significant increase in the feeling of freedom when it comes to choosing who to vote for - in 2011 only 29.1% of Tamil, 51% of Up Country Tamil and 26.6% of Muslim respondents said that they are completely free while in 2013 this increased to 65%, 88.4% and 61.7% respectively.

! Graph 2.9: In Sri Lanka - how free do you think you are to? !

A: Express your feelings about politics, irrespective of where you are and who you’re with B: To join any political organisation you want C: To choose who to vote for without feeling pressured D: Protest/attend a demonstration against social injustice (rising cost of living, increase in bus fares etc) E: Protest/ attend a demonstration against political injustice

A

8.2

12.6

31.9

35.4

11.9

B

5.8

9

22.7

49.2

13.3

C

1.7 4.3

15.5

74.4

4.1

D

7

17.7

30.8

25.2

19.3

E 0

9.2

19

29

22.6

20.1

25 Not at all free Not very free

50 Somewhat free

75 Completely free Don’t know

100

!22

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

This feeling of freedom decreases slightly when it comes to protesting or attending a demonstration - people believe they have a little more freedom to attend a demonstration against social injustice as opposed to a demonstration against political injustice. Almost 10% of Sri Lankans believe that they are not at all free to attend a protest/demonstration against political injustice while 19% said they are not very free. 32.9% from the Tamil community said they are are not at all free to attend a protest/demonstration against political injustice while only 3.1% from the Sinhala community and 12.2% from the Muslim community stated the same. 27% from the Sinhala community said they are completely free to attend.

!

The freedom to attend a protest or demonstration has decreased in 2013 when comparing to data from 2011 - for both protests against social injustice and protests against political injustice. However, the decrease is higher for protests against political injustice and this decrease is across all four communities, most notably in the Tamil and Muslim communities.

! ! ! Political efficacy !

Amongst those polled, 60% believe that if a person is dissatisfied with the policies of the Government, he or she has a duty to do something about it. This view is held by 62.8% of Sinhalese, 70.8% of Up Country Tamil and almost 50% of Tamil and Muslim respondents. However, 21.8% of Tamil respondents disagree with this. Opinion on this statement has not changed significantly since 2011 - except in an increase in agreement in the Up Country Tamil from 46.1% in 2011 to 70.8% in 2013.

! ! Graph 2.10: Please tell me to what extent you agree or disagree with the following !

A: If a person is dissatisfied with the policies of the Government, he/she has a duty to do something about it B: People like me have no say in what the Government does C: My vote has no impact on the outcome of an election D: If an unjust law passed by the Government I could do nothing about it

A

59.6

10.5

7.4

22.5

B

30.1

15.3

32.6

22

C

14.7

8.8

63

13.5

D 0

29.9

17.3

29.9

22.9

25 Agree

50 Neither agree or disagree Disagree

75 Don’t know

100

!23

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

30.1% of Sri Lankans believe that they have no say in what the Government does while 32.6% disagree with this statement. The belief that they have no say in what the Government does is mainly held by the Up Country Tamil (62.5%) and Tamil (46.5%) communities while 36.6% of the Sinhala and 28.2% of the Muslim communities disagree.

!

There is a notable shift in opinion from 2011 in the Tamil, Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities while the opinion in the Sinhala community has not changed much since 2011. In 2011, 21% of Tamil, 41.2% of Up Country Tamil and 16% of Muslim respondents agreed that they have no say in what the Government does and this increased in 2013 to 46.5%, 62.5% and 29.2% respectively.

!

63% think that their vote has an impact on the outcome of elections. This is view is held by around 63% of those from the Sinhala and Tamil community and 58% from the Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities. Opinion has not changed significantly since 2011 except in the Muslim community and Up Country Tamil community - 47.3% in the Muslim community that believed their vote has an impact in 2011 increased to 58.2% in 2013, while 19.5% in the Up Country Tamil community who think that their vote has no impact in 2011, increased to 31.6% in 2013.

!

If an unjust law was passed in Sri Lanka, 30% of Sri Lankans believe that there is nothing they can do about it while another 30% disagree with that. From an ethnic perspective, the Up Country Tamil (67.4%) and Tamil (52.3%) communities believe that there is nothing they can do if an unjust law was passed in Sri Lanka while 34.4% of Sinhalese respondents disagree.

! ! Changes since the end of war !

Respondents were asked to name three good or positive changes or developments and three negative changes that have taken place in Sri Lankan since the end of war. With regard to positive changes, 43.4% say that it is being able to travel within the country without fear, 20.1% say development of roads, highways and bridges and 17.4% say the development of the country. Most from the Sinhalese community (52%) say being able to travel within the country while most from the Tamil community (38.3%) development of roads, highways and bridges and 30% from the same community say the ease in travel.

!

When it comes to the negative changes, 52.8% of the respondents chose not to answer the question - almost 60% of the Sinhalese community did not answer as well as 50% of the Up Country Tamil community. 10.6% said increase in crime (murder, robbery etc), 9.7% said increase in the cost of goods and 8.8% said increase in corruption. Increase in crime was a negative change mentioned by all four key communities - Sinhala (9.6%), Tamil (16.6%), Up Country Tamil (9.8%) and Muslim (10%).

! ! ! ! ! !

!24

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

3 THE GOVERNMENT
! Summary ! !
• 40.3% of Sri Lankans stated that they have a great deal of trust in the Army while 46.1%
said that they have some trust.

• People trust political parties the least with 40.5% stating that they have no trust and only

! • 20% also have no trust in the Police and the Parliament. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

4.9% said that they have a great deal of trust.

• 45.3% of Sri Lankans strongly approve the idea of allocating a fixed quota for women
candidates for each district at the elections while 33.3% said that they somewhat approve of this idea.

• 40% think that the number of terms a President can serve should be restricted to two
while 36.8% say that there should be no limit.

• Among Members of Parliament, elected Local Government officials, Government officials,

Police and NGOs, Sri Lankans believe that the most amount of corruption is prevalent among the Police and Members of Parliament.

• 57% believe that China has Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart while around 20% do not
think that India and USA have Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart.

• 61.8% of Sri Lankans say that they do not know whether the process of impeachment of
Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was fair or not while 12% said that they were not aware of the impeachment. Almost 20% believe that the process of impeachment was not fair.

!25

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Trust in Institutions

!

From a list of key institutions that affect how the country is run, citizens place the most amount of trust in the Army, the Courts and the Central National Government (Refer Graph 3.1). 40.3% of respondents stated that they have a great deal of trust in the Army while 46.1% said that they have some trust. People trust political parties the least with 40.5% stating that they have no trust and only 4.9% said that they have a great deal of trust. 20% of Sri Lankans also have no trust in the Police and the Parliament. Many are unsure about the Election Commission and NGOs as around 42% stated that they do not know how much they trust or not trust these institutions.

! !

Graph 3.1: Level of trust in institutions

Central/National Government

24.3

59.9

9.7

6.1

Provincial Government

14.7

58

17.9

9.4

Local Government

13

60

16.9

10.1

Police

16.8

56.7

20.9

5.6

Army

40.3

46.1

8.4

5.1

Courts

35.7

47.1

4.6

12.5

Parliament

13.5

54.8

19.3

12.4

Political Parties

4.9

39.1

40.5

15.5

Election Commission

8.7

33

16

42.3

NGOs 0

9

28.8

19.5

42.7

25 Great deal of trust

50 Some trust

75 No trust Don’t know

100

! !
!26

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

While there are some differences among the different ethnic communities the most notable differences are with regard to trust in the Army and trust in NGOs. The Sinhalese community has the most amount of trust in the Army in comparison to the other communities - 50.3% said a great deal of trust, 45.2% said some trust and 1.4% said no trust. In contrast, only 10.6% from the Tamil community said that they have a great deal of trust and 33.5% said no trust while 47.9% said that they have some trust. Around 20% of Up Country Tamil and Muslim respondents also stated that they have no trust in the Army.

!

When it comes to NGOs, it is the Tamil community that has the most of trust - 31.7% said great deal of trust, 48.2% said some trust while only 4.6% said no trust. The Sinhala community has the least amount of trust in NGOs with only 1.6% stating that they have a great of trust and 25% stating that they have no trust. 45.6% said that they were did not know.

!

Comparing to 2011 data, the most notable shifts are an increase in trust in the Tamil and Up Country Tamil communities towards the Central Government and the decrease in trust towards political parties across all communities.

! ! Women in Parliament !

On the idea of allocating a fixed quota for women candidates for each district at the elections, 45.3% said that they strongly approve while 33.3% said that they somewhat approve. The most amount of approval comes from the Tamil (71.1%) and Up Country Tamil (77.3%) communities while disapproval is highest among Muslim respondents with 30.5% stating that they strongly disapprove while 12.2% state that they somewhat disapprove - however almost 30% do they their strong approval (Refer Graph 3.2).

!

Since 2011, there are shifts in opinion in all four communities. In 2011, 53.5% of Sinhalese and 51.2% of Muslim respondents said that they strongly approve and this opinion has declined in 2013 to 40.3% and 28.9% respectively. On the other hand, approval has increased in the Tamil and Up Country Tamil community as in 2011 around 60% from both communities expressed strong approval which has increased in 2013.

!

Graph 3.2: What do you think of the idea of allocating a fixed quota for women candidates for each district at the elections?
80
77.3 71.1

53

45.3 33.3

40.3 39.6 28.9 14.8 6.4 6.5 8.5 6.8 9.4 3.9 2.1 5.3 6.7 17.5 2.1 2.1 1 20.3 12.2 8.1 30.5

27

0

National
Strongly approve

Sinhala
Somewhat approve

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Strongly disapprove

Muslim
Don’t know

Somewhat disapprove

!27

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

18th Amendment

!

The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which was passed on the 8th of September 2010, introduced several key changes to Sri Lanka’s governance system, one of which included the removal of the term limit that restricted any Sri Lankan President from serving more than two terms. On the issue of whether the Constitution should limit the President to serving a maximum of two terms in office, Sri Lankans appear to be divided on the issue with almost 40% stating that it should be limited to two terms while 36.8% say that there should be no limit. From the four communities, it is mainly the Tamil community (52%) who believe that there should be limit of two terms while 53.7% from the Up Country Tamil community say that there should be no limit (Refer Graph 3.3). !

!

Since 2011, the opinion that there should be a limit on the number of terms has declined in the Tamil, Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities while there is a slight increase in the Sinhala community. In 2011, 64% of Tamil, 48.7% of Up Country Tamil and 50% of Muslim respondents stated that the Presidential term should be limited to two terms and in 2013 this declines to 51.9%, 32.6% and 41.8% respectively.

! ! Graph 3.3: Which statement is most agreeable to you? !

Option A - “The constitution should limit the president to serving a maximum of two terms in office irrespective of how popular he is” Option B - “There should be no constitutional limit on how many terms the president can serve in order to allow strong presidents to serve the country”.

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0 Option A

39.3

36.8

3.1 3.2

17.6

37

38.2

2.1 2.8

19.9

51.9

31.4

6.7

1.8 8.2

32.6

53.7

1.1 1.1 11.5

41.8

25.5

6.6

8.7

17.3

25 Option B Neither

50

75 Could not understand

100 No Opinion

! ! ! ! ! !
!28

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Corruption

!

Among Members of Parliament, elected Local Government officials, Government officials, Police and NGOs, people believe that the most amount of corruption is prevalent among the Police and Members of Parliament (Refer Graph 3.4a and Graph 3.4d). 77% believe that corruption is prevalent in the Police and among Members of Parliament with 32% stating that it is prevalent to a great extent. From this list, respondents from Sinhala and Up Country Tamil communities believe that Members of Parliament are the most corrupt while respondents from the Tamil and Muslim communities state it is the Police.

!

Since 2011, opinion has changed slightly across the four communities however what is noteworthy is that assessment of level of corruption among Members of Parliament has changed in all communities with more respondents believing that the prevalence of corruption is to a great extent. 21.6% of Sinhala, 13.7% of Tamil, 31.9% of Up Country Tamil and 17.2% of Muslim respondents said that corruption is prevalent to a great extent amongst Members of Parliament in 2011 - this increases to 31.3%, 29.2%, 41.7% and 31% in 2013 respectively.

! !

Graph 3.4: Some people are accused of being engaged in various types of corruption. In your opinion, to what degree is corruption prevalent among individuals in the following institutions? a) Members of Parliament
50
46.3 46.7 46.8 41.7 47.9 42.1

33

31.5

31.3

29.2 18.9 18.7 8.3 2.1

31 22.8

18.8

17
3.4 3.1 5.3 4.1

0

National To a great extent

Sinhala Some extent

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not at all

Muslim

Don’t know

b) Elected Local Government officials
60
47.9 46.5 41.8 55.5 58.3

40
27 30.8 19.5 18.6 20.5 15.2 8.8 4.1 8.3 9.4 24 18.4 10.2 29.6

20
5.6

0

National To a great extent

Sinhala Some extent

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not at all

Muslim !29

Don’t know

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

c) Government Officials

70
58.4 60.4 56 53.6 49

47

23
13.6 8.1

19.9 11.2 7.2

21.1

18 9.9

21.6 16.2

17.5 7.2

21.4 6.6

23

0

National To a great extent

Sinhala Some extent

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not at all

Muslim

Don’t know

!

d) Police

50

45.3

46.8 38.5 41.7 39.6

43.8 39.6 36

33

32

29.7 20 13.4 4.7 3.6 6.4 12.5 4.2 6.6

17

18.1

17.8

0

National To a great extent

Sinhala Some extent

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not at all

Muslim

Don’t know

!

e) NGOs
60
50.3 46.1 44.2 34 37 27.8 27.8 29.5 18.9 9.9 10.4 9.9 5.7 13.8 7.4 7.4 11.2 33.2 41.8

40

33.6

20

0

National To a great extent

Sinhala Some extent

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not at all

Muslim

Don’t know !30

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

International relations

!

Sri Lanka has for decades had different foreign actors playing many roles in various aspects of governance, development and aid. Respondents were given of list of countries and organisations that have played a significant role in post war Sri Lanka and were asked to state who they thought had Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart. From a list that included India, China, USA, Iran, World Bank, IMF and the UN, majority (57%) believe that China has Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart. It must be highlighted that a significant amount of respondents have stated that they do not know - especially when assessing Iran, World Bank, IMF and the UN. Around 20% do not think that India and USA have Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart (Refer Graph 3.5).

! ! !

Most Sinhalese (59.5%) believe that China has Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart, while it is the United Nations for the Tamil community (75.3%) and India for the Up Country Tamil community (74%) and Muslim community (59.2%).
Graph 3.5: The following list of countries and organisations have Sri Lanka’s best interest at heart. What is your level of agreement?

India

44.9

10.3

19.1

25.6

China

57

6.9

7.8

28.3

USA

26.6

14.7

22.1

36.4

Iran

21.7

13.5

15.5

49.1

World Bank

42.3

9.1

8.1

40.4

IMF

32.2

10.4

8.4

48.8

The UN 0 Agree

38.5

11.5

8.7

41.3

25

50 Disagree

75 Don’t know

100

Neither agree or disagree

! ! ! ! ! !
!31

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Impeachment of Chief Justice

! !

The impeachment of Justice Shirani Bandaranayake on the grounds of corruption took place at the beginning of 2013. The process of impeachment was declared both unconstitutional and illegal by the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, however Mohan Peiris took oaths as the 44th Chief Justice of Sri Lanka on January 16th 2013. Majority (61.8%) say that they do not know whether the process of impeachment was fair or not while 12% said that they were not aware of the impeachment. Almost 20% believe that the process of impeachment was not fair. Across the four main communities, most say that they do not know if the process was fair not with the Sinhala community being the highest at 68.7%. 36.2% from the Muslim community and 26% from the Tamil community believe that the process of impeachment was not fair (Refer Graph 3.6).

! !

Graph 3.6: Do you think the process of impeachment of Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was fair?

70
61.8

68.7

47

46.5 35.4 25.7 26 18 9.9 4.7 10.4 9.2 28.1 36.2

44.9

23
11.2

18.9 12 11.7 14.9

9.7

0

National Yes No

Sinhala

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Don't know/Not sure

I am not aware of the impeachment

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
!32

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

!

4 MEDIA
! Summary ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
• Sri Lankans trust news and information from privately owned television channels the most
with 28% stating that they they trust them to a great extent and 55.6% to some extent.

• 42.5% believe that the media in Sri Lanka is completely free to criticise the Government
while 25% disagree.

• 40% think that the state media in Sri Lanka does not give fair coverage to the views of
opposition political parties. Almost 50% believe that the private media does give fair coverage to the views of opposition political parties.

• 41.4% state that the media should have a right to publish without Government control
while 33.7% state that the Government has a right to control media content.

• When asked if the news media should constantly investigate and report on corruption and
the mistakes made by the Government, 73% of Sri Lankans said yes.

• Most Sri Lankans get the political news and information from television and less so from
newspaper and radio.

!33

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

! Trust in media !

Between state and privately owned television, radio and newspapers, Sri Lankans trust news and information from privately owned television channels the most with 28% stating that they they trust them to a great extent and 55.6% to some extent. However, around 10% say newspapers and radio are inapplicable to them as they do not consume news and information from these media (Refer Graph 4.1).

!

Across the four key communities, the most amount of trust is placed on news and information from privately owned television channels. There is no significant shift in opinion since 2011. However there is a decline in trust in news and information from state owned television and newspapers, and an increase in trust in privately owned television and newspapers.

! !

Graph 4.1: To what extent do you trust the news and information from the following?

TV - State

19.3

57.5

10.5

8

4.3

TV - Private

28

55.6

2.7 8.9

4.3

Newspapers - State

14

46.8

8.2

20.4

10.4

Newspapers - Private

21.4

44.8

2.7

20.9

10.2

Radio - State

13.6

47.7

8.5

19.1

11

Radio - Private 0

22.3

45.7

2.4

18.9

10.6

33
To a great extent Not applicable To some extent

67
Do not trust them Don’t know/Not sure

100

! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

!34

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

! Media reporting !

42.5% of Sri Lankans believe that the media in Sri Lanka is completely free to criticise the Government, with 12% amongst them stating that they strongly agree with this statement. However, 25% say that they disagree and that they do not think that the media in Sri Lanka is completely free to criticise the Government (Refer Graph 4.2). Opinion has not significantly shifted since 2011 on this statement.

! ! !

Around 60% of the Up Country Tamil community believe that the media is free to criticise the Government with 43% stating that they somewhat agree. 21.8% of Tamil respondents strongly disagree with the statement while 7.9% from the Sinhala community also strongly disagree.
Graph 4.2: Some people say that the media in Sri Lanka is completely free to criticise the Government as they wish. Please tell me how strongly you agree or disagree with this statement?
50
43.8

33

29.5 25.5

28.9

29.1

28.9 21.8 16.7 10.2 9.2 10.6 10.4 12.5 8.3 8.3

27.9

27.9

19.4

17

12

13.7 10.2 9.1

15.4 9.9 8.8 7.9

15.2 8.6 10.2 10.2

0

National
Strongly agree Strongly disagree

Sinhala
Somewhat agree Don’t know/Not sure

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim
Somewhat disagree

Neither agree nor disagree

! !

40% of Sri Lankans believe that the state media in Sri Lanka does not give fair coverage to the views of opposition political parties (Refer Graph 4.3), however almost 50% state that the private media gives fair coverage to the views of opposition political parties (Refer Graph 4.4). Opinion has not changed significantly since 2011, however the percentage of people who believe private media gives fair coverage has increased from 40.7% in 2011 to 48.6% in 2013.

! ! ! ! ! !

!35

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Graph 4.3: Do you think the state media in Sri Lanka gives fair coverage to the views of the opposition political parties?
50
39.2 35.3 37.9 46.2 43.2 37.9 29.3 25.5 26 25.1 18.9 40

45.6

36.1

33

17

13.8

0

National
Yes No

Sinhala

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Don't know/ Not sure

!

Graph 4.4: Do you think the private media in Sri Lanka gives fair coverage to the views of the opposition political parties?
70
58.7 48.6 48.3 35.7 28.6 31 18.8 12.7 20.8 20.3 60.4 48.7

47
35.3

23

16.1

16

0

National
Yes

Sinhala
No

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Don't know/ Not sure

Muslim

!

Should media have a right to publish any views and ideas without Government control or should the Government have a right to prevent the media from publishing things it considers harmful to society? 41.4% think that the media should have a right to publish without Government control while 33.7% believe that Government has a right to control media content (Refer Graph 4.5).

!

From the four key communities, it is the Tamil community (64%) that mainly thinks that the media should have complete control of content. The Sinhalese community appear divided on the issue with 34.3% saying that the media should have complete control while 33.7% saying the Government should have a right to prevent the media from publishing things it considers harmful to society.

!

!36

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

When asked if the news media should constantly investigate and report on corruption and the mistakes made by the Government, 73% of Sri Lankans said yes while only 7% believe that too much reporting on negative issues such as corruption harms the country (Refer Graph 4.6). More than 80% of Tamil and Up Country Tamil respondents believe that the news media should constantly investigate corruption while agreement from Muslim (60%) and Sinhalese (72.4%) was lower in comparison. On this issue, opinion remains the same since 2011.

! ! Graph 4.5: Please tell me which statement is most agreeable to you !

Option A: The media should have a right to publish any views and ideas without government control Option B: The Government should have the right to prevent the media from publishing things it considers harmful to society

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0
Option A

41.4

33.7

2.1 3.8

19

34.3

38.3

1.9 3.5

21.9

64

25.1

2.1 2.1 6.7

54.2

34.3

2.1 2.1 7.2

56.3

11.7

4.1

8.6

19.2

33
Option B Neither

67
Could not understand No opinion

100

! Graph 4.6: Please tell me which statement is most agreeable to you !

Option A: The news media should constantly investigate and report on corruption and the mistakes made by the Government Option B: Too much reporting on negative events, like corruption, only harms the country

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0
Option A Option B
59.7

72.9

7

1.6 4.2

13.8

72.4

6.7

0.9 3.6

16.3

81.3

6.7

3.2 2.5 6.3

83.3

11.5

11 3

7.1

4.6

12.2

16.2

33
Neither

67
Could not understand No opinion

100

!
!37

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Media consumption

!

Most Sri Lankans get political news and information from television and less so from newspaper and radio, with 54% stating that they watch television every day for political news and 21% watching a few times a week. From the three options, newspapers seem to be the least consumed with 42% stating that they never read a newspaper for political news and only 14% reading every day.

! ! ! !

Around 60% of Sinhalese and Up Country Tamil respondents watch television every day for political news while 36.3% of Tamil respondents and 43.4% of Muslim respondents concur. Around 30% of Tamil and Muslim respondents stated that they never watch television for political news. When comparing to data from 2011, there is no change around newspaper and radio consumption but there is a decrease in the percentage of Sri Lankans who say that they watch television everyday for political news - in 2011, 61.7% said that they tune in every day.
Graph 4.7: How often do you -

14%

26% 14% 43% 6%

18%

Everyday Few times a week Once a week Never

42%

54% 19% 30% 12% 21%

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Read a newspaper for political news

Listen to radio for political news

Watch television for political news

!38

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

5 TOLERANCE
! ! Summary ! • 96.3% of Sri Lankans believe that they are free to practice their religion in their community. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

• 91.4% say that their religion can be practiced without any restrictions, however the Muslim

community expresses the most amount of lack of freedom with 21% stating that they can practice but with some restriction and almost 10% stating that there is no freedom.

• Compared to the 2011 data, there is a decline in the assessment of freedom from the
Muslim community.

• Sri Lankans are mostly agreeable to multi ethnic schools (59.5%) and least agreeable to a

close family member marrying someone from a different ethnic group (40.8% stated that they did not agree to this).

• Almost 40% of Sri Lankans are not agreeable to living in a neighbourhood where more
than half their neighbours were from a different ethnic group.

• The Muslim community is very much against the idea of a close family member marrying
someone from a different ethnicity with 78% of respondents stating that they are not agreeable.

• The Up Country Tamil community appears to be the most tolerant with regard to other
ethnic groups when comparing the four communities.

!39

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Religious tolerance

!

Majority of Sri Lankans (96.3%) believe that they are free to practice their religion in their community. Agreement is high across all ethnic communities, with the Muslim community being the lowest comparatively with 86.8% saying that they can practice without any restriction and 10.2% stating that they can practice but with some amount of restriction (Refer Graph 5.1).

!

However the assessment of the level of freedom their religion has in Sri Lanka to practice traditional customs or rituals changes notably when compared to assessment of individual freedom. While overall 91.4% say their religion can be practiced without any restrictions, the Muslim community expresses the most amount of lack of freedom with 21% stating that they can practice but with some restriction and almost 10% stating that there is no freedom (Refer Graph 5.2).

! !

Graph 5.1: How free do you think you are to practice your religion in your community?
100
96.3 98.8 90.8

92.7

86.8

67

33
2.5 0.4 0.9 0.5 0 0.3 6 1.1 1.8 7.3 10.2 0 0 2.5 0.5

0

National

Sinhala

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

I can practice without any restriction I can practice, but with some amount of restriction I don’t have the freedom to practice my religion in my community Don’t know/ Not sure

Graph 5.2: How do you assess the level of freedom your religion has in Sri Lanka to practice its traditional customs/rituals?
100
95.9 86.2

91.4

92.7

67

65.3

33
4.9 10.6 1 2.6 1.6 0 2 1.4 1.8 6.3 1

20.9 8.2 0 5.6

0

National

Sinhala

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Can be practiced without any restriction Can be practiced, but with some amount of restriction There is no freedom to practice the traditional customs/rituals of my religion Don’t know/ Not sure

!40

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

!

Compared to the 2011 data, there is a marked decrease in the assessment of freedom from the Muslim community. In 2011, 92.2% from the Muslim community said that traditional customs and rituals of their religion can be practiced without any restriction while in 2013 only 65.3% say the same.

! ! Ethnic tolerance !

Respondents were given four circumstances of inter ethnic interactions and were asked to state how agreeable they were to those circumstances. From the four circumstances - living in a residential neighbourhood where more than half of the neighbours are from a different ethnic group, working for and taking instructions from a person who is of a different ethnic group, schools that are multi ethnic, close family member marrying someone from a different ethnicity, Sri Lankans are mostly agreeable to multi ethnic schools (59.5%) and least agreeable to a close family member marrying someone from a different ethnic group (40.8% stated that they did not agree to this). Almost 40% also stated that they were not agreeable to living in a neighbourhood where more than half their neighbours were from a different ethnic group (Refer Graph 5.3).

! Graph 5.3: Please state your level of agreement to the following (National) !

A: Living in a residential neighbourhood where more than half of your neighbours are from a different ethnic group B: Working for and taking instructions from a person who is of a different ethnic group C: Schools that are multi ethnic D: A close family member marrying someone from a different ethnicity

A

44.9

14.1

36.3

4.7

B

56

16

20.1

7.9

C

59.5

13.5

17.3

9.7

D

32.9

17.2

40.8

9.1

0 Agreeable

25

50 Not agreeable

75

100 Don’t know/ Not sure !41

Neither agree or disagree

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

From an ethnic perspective, the Sinhalese community is the least agreeable to living in a residential neighbourhood where more than half the neighbours are of a different ethnicity only 38% said that they are agreeable and 41% said that they are not agreeable. The Up Country Tamil community is the most agreeable (87.5%) from among the four communities (Refer Graph 5.4a).

! ! !

The trend is similar with regard to working for and taking orders from a person of a different ethnicity where the Sinhala community is the least agreeable (50% agreeable) and the Up Country Tamil community with 90.5% is the most agreeable when comparing across the four communities. (Refer Graph 5.4b) Both the Sinhala and Muslim communities are the least agreeable about schools that are multi ethnic. 19% of Sinhala and 24% of Muslim respondents say that they are not agreeable to multi ethnic schools. (Refer Graph 5.4c) When it comes to a close family member marrying someone from a difference ethnicity, only the Up Country Tamil community appear mainly agreeable (73.7%). The Sinhala and Tamil communities are divided on the issue with around 38% from both communities stating that they are not agreeable while 43.8% from the Tamil community say that they are agreeable. The Muslim community is very much against the idea of a close family member marrying someone from a different ethnicity with 78% of respondents stating that they are not agreeable. (Refer Graph 5.4d)

! ! Graph 5.4: Please state your level of agreement to the following (Ethnic breakdown) ! !
90
87.5

a) Living in a residential neighbourhood where more than half of your neighbours are from a different ethnic group

60
44.9 36.3 38.1 41.1

55.8

59.2

30
14.1 4.7 16 4.8 8.4

28.1 13.8 0

25 9.4 3.1

7.7

0

2

National Agreeable

Sinhala Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not agreeable

Muslim

Don’t know/ Not sure

! !
!42

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

b) Working for and taking instructions from a person who is of a different ethnic group
100

90.5

67

66.8 56 50.3

66.5

33
16 20.1 7.9 19.2 21.8 8.7 8.1 15.9 9.2 3.2 5.3 8.6 1.1 20.8 4.1

0

National Agreeable

Sinhala Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not agreeable

Muslim

Don’t know/ Not sure

!

c) Schools that are multi ethnic
100
92.7

71.8

67

59.5

54.7

60.7

33
13.5 17.3 9.7 15.3 18.9 11.2 9.5 9.2 9.5 3.1 3.1 1 11.7

24

3.6

0

National Agreeable

Sinhala Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not agreeable

Muslim

Don’t know/ Not sure

d) A close family member marrying someone from a different ethnicity
80
73.7 78.1

53
40.8 32.9 31.3 17.2 9.1 20.6 9.7 8.1 11.3 7.4 43.8 38.3 36.7

27

15.8 8.7 3.2 9.7 3.6

0

National Agreeable

Sinhala Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil Not agreeable

Muslim !43

Don’t know/ Not sure

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

6 IDENTITY
! Summary ! ! ! ! !
• Someone who was in born in Sri Lanka or has a Sri Lankan birth certificate, someone who

loves Sri Lanka and someone who lives in Sri Lanka are key descriptions people use to describe someone who is a true Sri Lankan.

• According to the Sinhalese community a true Sri Lankan is someone who was born in Sri

Lanka while the feature most mentioned by the Tamil community is someone who speaks both Sinhala and Tamil.

• Majority of Sri Lankans (87.8%) believe that having a Sri Lankan citizenship is very

important for someone to be truly Sri Lankan, while to have been born in Sri Lanka follows closely behind. The least importance was assigned to to be able to speak Tamil with only 38.6% saying that it is very important.

• When asked how they would describe their own identity, 74.1% identified with personal
details such as their gender, their occupation, marital status and education.

• The three most important groups that Sri Lankans think describe them best are their

! • 90.4% strongly agree with the statement ‘I am proud to be Sri Lankan’. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

religion, the part of Sri Lanka they live in and their family or marital status.

!44

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

National Identity

!

Sri Lankans have a lot ways to describe a person they think can be called a “true Sri Lankan” and the top three descriptions are - someone who was in born in Sri Lanka or has a Sri Lankan birth certificate, someone who loves Sri Lanka and someone who lives in Sri Lanka (Refer Graph 6.1). What is interesting about these descriptions is that they differ with each ethnic community and no two communities have the same top three descriptions.

!

For the Sinhala community the description that most mentioned was someone who was born in Sri Lanka or has a Sri Lankan birth certificate, for the Tamil community it is someone who speaks both Sinhalese and Tamil, for the Up Country Tamil community it is someone who lives in Sri Lanka and for the Muslim community a true Sri Lankan is someone lives a good life.

!

Graph 6.1: If someone from another country asked you to describe a true Sri Lankan, what would be the first three things you tell them?

! ! ! National ! ! ! ! Sinhala ! ! ! Tamil ! ! ! !
Up Country Tamil

Born in Sri Lanka/Have SL birth certificate 23.5%

Someone who loves Sri Lanka 19.9%

Someone who lives in Sri Lanka 15.8%

Born in Sri Lanka/Have SL birth certificate 27.3%

Someone who loves Sri Lanka 24.4%

A Sinhalese/ Someone whose family has been Sinhalese for generations 14.8%

Someone who speaks both Sinhalese and Tamil 20.4%

Someone who lives in Sri Lanka 18.3%

Someone who lives a good life 14.8%

Someone who lives in Sri Lanka 40.2%

Born in Sri Lanka/Have SL birth certificate 30.7%

Someone who lives a good life 27.5%

! ! ! Muslim !

Someone who lives a good life 40.1%

Someone who lives in Sri Lanka 17.5%

Someone who has Sri Lankan citizenship 18.3%

!45

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Respondents were given a list of factors that people believe are important to be a true Sri Lankan and were asked to rate how important they thought those factors were. The list included - to have been born in Sri Lanka, to have Sri Lankan citizenship, to have lived in Sri Lanka for most of one’s life, to be able to speak Sinhalese, to be able to speak Tamil, to respect Sri Lanka’s political institutions and laws and to have Sri Lankan ancestry.

!

From the list, majority (87.8%) think that having a Sri Lankan citizenship is very important while to have been born in Sri Lanka follows closely behind with 86.9% also saying it is very important (Refer Graph 6.2a and 6.2b). The least importance was assigned to to be able to speak Tamil with only 38.6% saying that it is very important and 32.2% saying it is somewhat important (Refer Graph 6.2e). In comparison, 75.3% believe that it is very important to be able to speak Sinhalese in order to be truly Sri Lankan (Refer Graph 6.2d).

! ! !

Majority of respondents from the four key communities believe it is very important to have been born in Sri Lanka, to have Sri Lankan citizenship and to respect Sri Lanka’s political institutions to be considered truly Sri Lankan. However, there is some variance across communities for the other factors. Around 56% of Tamil and Muslim respondents believe that it is very important to have lived in Sri Lanka for most of one’s life while a far higher percentage of Up Country Tamil respondents (85.4%) agree with the same (Refer Graph 6.2c). Majority of Sinhala (85.2%) and Up Country Tamil respondents (81.3%) believe that it is very important to be able to speak Sinhala for someone to be truly Sri Lankan while agreement on this score is much lower in the Tamil and Muslim communities with only 44.2% and 42.9% saying that it very important. Almost 20% from both these communities also said that it is very unimportant (Refer Graph 6.2d).

!

From the four communities, it is the Sinhala and Muslim communities that consider speaking Tamil as the least important factor to someone being truly Sri Lankan. 55.9% of Muslim respondents said that it is important with only 50.3% saying that it is very important while 71.9% of Sinhala respondents said it is important with only 32.2% saying that it is very important (Refer Graph 6.2e).

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

When it comes to having Sri Lankan ancestry, majority of Up Country Tamil respondents (81.4%) believe it is very important while only around 55% of Tamil and Muslim respondents think it is very important (Refer Graph 6.2g).

!46

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Graph 6.2: How important do you think the following are for being truly Sri Lankan? a) To have been born in Sri Lanka
100
94.7 86.9 87.2 87 80.6

67

33
8.5 9 0.9 1.1 0.9 1.6 0.9 1.3 0.6 0.9 6.7 1.4 0 2.5 2.5 5.3 9.7 0 0 0 0 0 2 1.5 6.1

0

National
Very Important Very Unimportant

Sinhala
Somewhat Important Don't Know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Neither important or unimportant

Somewhat Unimportant

!

b) To have Sri Lankan citizenship
100
90.8 97.9 80.6

87.8

87.5

67

33
7 1.6 0.3 0.8 2.6 7.4 2 0.2 0.9 2 6.3 0.4 0 1.1 1.4 2.1 0 7.1 9.7 1 1.5 0

0

0

0

0

National
Very Important Very Unimportant

Sinhala
Somewhat Important Don't Know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Neither important or unimportant

Somewhat Unimportant

!

c) To have lived in Sri Lanka for most of one’s life
90
70.8 74.6 56.9 85.4

60

55.1

30
15.9 5.4 2.7 2.3 2.8 12.7 5.8 2.8 2.1 2

29.3 23 11.5 3.9 3.5 3.5 2.8 0 1 1 1 7.7 10.2 1.5 2.6

0

National
Very Important Very Unimportant

Sinhala
Somewhat Important Don't Know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim
Somewhat Unimportant

Neither important or unimportant

!47

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

d) To be able to speak Sinhalese
90
75.3 85.2 81.3

60
44.2 42.9

30
12.2 3.6 2.3 4.9 1.7 10.8 1.6 1.5 0.3 0.7

21.1 8.4 5.6

17.9 2.8 8.3 1 1 8.3 0

12.213.3 3.6

19.4 8.7

0

National
Very Important Very Unimportant

Sinhala
Somewhat Important Don't Know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Neither important or unimportant

Somewhat Unimportant

e) To be able to speak Tamil
80
76

53
38.6 32.2 39.7 32.2

51.2

50.3

27
12.7 4.6 6.8 5.2 14.1 4.9 3.5 5.7

19.1 7.8

15.2 4.9 1.8

11.5 2.1 1

14.2 9.4 0 5.6 3.6

17.8 8.6

0

National
Very Important Very Unimportant

Sinhala
Somewhat Important Don't Know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Neither important or unimportant

Somewhat Unimportant

!

f) To respect Sri Lanka’s political institutions and laws
100
81.4 82.8 74.6 90.5 77.6

67

33
10.9 10.9 2.4 0.6 1 3.7 2.1 0.4 0.2 3.6 13.1 3.5 1.1 5.7 2.1 5.3 1.1 1.1 0 2.1 10.7 2.6 1 0.5 7.7

0

National
Very Important Very Unimportant

Sinhala
Somewhat Important Don't Know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Neither important or unimportant

Somewhat Unimportant

!48

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

g) To have Sri Lankan ancestry
90
71 75.3

81.4

60

56.3

54.8

30
12.8 4.7 3.5 3.1 5 10.6 3.9 3.5 2.1 4.5

23.2 13.4 6.3 3.5 5.6 4.9 2.1 1 1 1 13.2 9.1 7.6 11.2

4.1

0

National
Very Important Very Unimportant

Sinhala
Somewhat Important Don't Know

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Neither important or unimportant

Somewhat Unimportant

! ! Individual identity !

When asked how they would describe their own identity, majority of Sri Lankans (74.1%) identified with personal details such as their gender, their occupation, marital status and education. 14.1% mentioned their religion, 11.4% mentioned their ethnicity and around 5% said “being Sri Lankan”. These descriptions are similar when looking at it from an ethnic perspective as well - however 16.7% of Muslim respondents had also added being born in Sri Lanka or living in Sri Lanka.

! !

Respondents were then given a list of groups that people identify with and were asked to select the three most important groups they think describe them. The groups presented to respondents were a) Current or previous occupation (or being a home maker) b) Race/ ethnic background c) Gender d) Age group e) Religion f) Preferred political party/group/movement g) Nationality h) Family or marital status (son/daughter/father/mother, widower etc) i) Social class (Upper class/middle class etc) g) The part of Sri Lanka you live in

! ! ! ! !

The three most selected groups by those polled were religion, the part of Sri Lanka they live in and their family or marital status (Refer Graph 6.3).

!49

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Graph 6.3:Which of the following groups are most important to you in describing who you are?

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

National

Religion 54.9%

The part of Sri Lanka you live in 54.1%

Family or marital status 54.1%

Sinhala

Religion 59.7%

The part of Sri Lanka you live in 48.7%

Race/ ethnic background 46.5%

Tamil

The part of Sri Lanka you live in 67.7%

Family or marital status 58%

Current/ previous occupation 51.1%

Up Country Tamil

The part of Sri Lanka you live in 78.9%

Family or marital status 61.3%

Current/ previous occupation 50.9%

! ! Muslim ! ! ! ! ! !

The part of Sri Lanka you live in 61.9%

Religion 61%

Family or marital status 56.9%

90.4% strongly agree with the statement ‘I am proud to be Sri Lankan’. Majority of respondents across all four communities also say that they strongly agree with 93.4% from the Sinhala community being the highest (Refer Graph 6.4).
Graph 6.4: I am proud to be Sri Lankan
100
90.4 93.4 75.3 90.4

87.4

67

33
18.5 8.3 0.5 0.8 6.2 11.6 0.1 0.3 2.2 4.1 1.1 0 8.3 0.5 0.8

0

National
Strongly agree

Sinhala
Somewhat agree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim !50

Somewhat disagree

Strongly disagree

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

7 ROLE OF RELIGION & ETHNICITY IN POLITICS
! ! Summary ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
religion.

• For 42.3% of Sri Lankans, it is important that public officials represent their ethnicity or • 70% believe that the ethnicity or religion of public officials should have no relevance to their
power and duties.

• 42% believe that it is problematic for a country like Sri Lanka to have political parties based
on ethnicity or religion.

• 34% state that religious leaders or priests should influence opinion by expressing their
views on moral/social/policy/political matters while 23.5% do not think they should.

• 40% think that religious leaders/ priests should have an official role in making Government
policy.

• 40% say that religious leaders/ priests should not be represented in Parliament and other
legislative bodies.

• 35% believe that Buddhism has too much of a role in Sri Lankan politics while 34% believe
that it is the right amount.

• 45.5% think that the Constitution of Sri Lanka should protect the freedom of religion as a
fundamental right.

• 65% believe that Sri Lanka’s Constitution should recognise ethnicity while 12.1% say that it
should not recognise ethnicity.

• 24.3% say that there is too much expression of religious faith by Buddhist leaders while
22.1% say there is too little and 26.6% say it is the right amount.

• 29.5% of Sri Lankans say that there is too much expression of religious faith by Muslim
political leaders while 26.2% say that it is the right amount.

!51

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Sri Lankan politics and governance

! !

For 42.3% of Sri Lankans, it is important that public officials represent their ethnicity or religion. This is most important to the Up Country Tamil community (63.2%) and least important to the Tamil community where around 30% said that it is not important to them (Refer Graph 7.1a). The ethnicity or religion of public officials should have no relevance to their power and duties is what 70% of Sri Lankans believe with the Sinhala (73%) and Up Country Tamil (74.2%) communities being the highest percentage that expresses this while only 43.7% of Muslim respondents express the same while almost 30% say that there should be a relevance to their powers and duties (Refer Graph 7.1b).

! Graph 1: Please state your level of agreement for the following !
70

a) It is important to me that public officials represent my ethnicity/religion (Public officials include all elected officials (UC/MC/PS/Parliament), politicians and unelected officials)

63.2 52.6

47

47.3

45.9

45.8

31.3

29.5 16.3 8.5 6.3 1.1 18.9 12.2

23

23.4 17.4 11.9 18.8

22.1 13.2 14.4

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim

Don't know

!

b) The ethnicity or religion of public officials should have no relevance to their powers and duties
80
68.2 74.2

73 57.7

53
43.7

27
9.4 8.9 13.5 8.4 4 14.6 14.1

27.4 19 9.2 6.2 16.5 3.1 12.2 16.8

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim !52

Don't know

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

On the topic of ethnicity or religion based political parties Sri Lankans are divided - around 42% believe that it is problematic for a country like Sri Lanka to have political parties based on ethnicity or religion and this opinion is similar across the communities except the Muslim community where only 28.6% think it is problematic. 17.9% say it is not problematic while 31% say that they do not know (Refer Graph 7.1c).

! !

However the percentages of those who say that it is unavoidable for a country like Sri Lanka to have political parties based on ethnicity or religion are almost the same as those who say that it is problematic. 41.5% say it is unavoidable and agreement is lowest in the Muslim community (32.7%) (Refer Graph 7.1d).
c) I think it is problematic for a country like Sri Lanka to have ethnicity/religion based political parties
50
42 43

45.8

42.7

33
19.7

27.8 18.3 10.5

30.7 23.6 24 16.5 8 16.7 16.7

28.6 22.4 17.9

31.1

17

14.1

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim

Don't know

!

d) I think it is unavoidable for a country like Sri Lanka to have ethnicity/religion based political parties

50
41.5 41.7 32.4 28.8

45.9 42.7

33

32.7 23 24 17.3

31.1

21.9

18.9 11.5

17

15.3 14.5

17.3

12.8 13.1

13.8

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim

Don't know

! !
!53

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

The role of religious priests and leaders in Sri Lankan politics has in the recent years been an issue that has led to many debates. 34% believe that religious leaders or priests should influence opinion by expressing their views on moral/social/policy/political matters while 23.5% do not think they should. Most respondents from the Sinhala community (35.5%) say that religious priests/leaders should influence opinion while 33.1% of Tamil and 42.7% of Up Country Tamil respondents believe they should not influence (Refer Graph 7.1e).

! ! !

40% think that religious leaders/ priests should have an official role in making Government policy and this opinion is held by 46% of Sinhalese as well. However, 41.3% of Tamil and 60% of Up Country Tamil communities do not think that they should have an official role (Refer Graph 7.1f).
e) Religious leaders/priests should influence opinion by expressing their views on moral/social/ policy/political matters
50
42.7 33.8 25.1 20.5 17.2 14.1 9.4 9.4 12.7 35.5 26.8 27.5 38.5 33.1 25.4 27.9 23.4 36

33

23.5

17

17.6

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim

Don't know

! !

f) Religious leaders/priests should have an official role in making government policy
60
46 59.8

40

38.9 29.3 23.7 22.8 23.9 17.7 12.4 17

41.3 36.2 28.6 25

20

14.7

12.4

16.5 15.5 8.2 10.2

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim

Don't know

!
!54

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

It is interesting that while a fair percentage of Sri Lankans are agreeable to religious leaders/ priests expressing their views of various matters to influence policy or even having an official role in making Government policy, on the topic of religious leaders/priests in Parliament and other legislative bodies, almost 40% say that they should not be represented in such fora. Almost 70% of Up Country Tamil and 47.2% of Tamil respondents also share this view (Refer Graph 7.1g).

! ! !

On whether religious leaders/priests should have a role in politics or governance, Sri Lankans are once again divided - 28.3% say that should have no role while 30% say that they should have a role. 45.8% from the Up Country Tamil community say that they should have no role while 35% from the Tamil community say that they should have a role (Refer Graph 1h).
g) Religious leaders/priests should be represented in parliament and other legislative bodies

70

68.8

47

47.2 39.6 38.5 28.4 38.1

23

21.7

17.7

21

22.1

18.7

20.6

17.3

20.4 15.1 13.5 9.4 8.3 10.7

22.8

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim

Don't know

! !

h) Religious leaders/priests have no role in politics or governance
50

45.8 40.3

33

34.6 28.3 30.1 23.9 28.6 30.6 23.4 17.3 22.6 24.4 18.4 14.6 13.5 12.8 26 25 21.9

17

17.7

0

National
Agree

Sinhala
Neither agree or disagree

Tamil

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

Muslim

Don't know

!
!55

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Buddhism and the Constitution

! ! !

35% of Sri Lankans believe that Buddhism has too much of a role in Sri Lankan politics while 34% believe that it is the right amount. Majority of people from the Tamil (78.5%), Up Country Tamil (74.7%) and Muslim (70.4%) communities say that Buddhism’s role in Sri Lankan politics is too much while 44.5% of Sinhalese say it is the right amount (Refer Graph 7.2).
Graph 7.2: What is your opinion about the role of Buddhism in Sri Lankan politics?

80

78.5

74.7

70.4

53
35.5 33.9 20 14.4

44.5

27
10.8 2

17.8

18.9 6 10.9 2.1 1.1 10.5 0 13.7 1 4.6 1.5

22.4

2.2

2.5

0

National
Too much

Sinhala
Too little

Tamil
Right amount

Up Country Tamil
Not important to me

Muslim
Don’t know

! !

45.5% think that the Constitution of Sri Lanka should protect the freedom of religion as a fundamental right and this opinion is held by 50.8% of Sinhala and 43.5% of Muslim respondents. Almost 50% of Up Country Tamil respondents believe that Sri Lanka’s Constitution should have reference to all major religions in the country while 37.9% of Tamil respondents believe that Sri Lanka’s Constitution should have no mention of religion, except to guarantee the freedom of religion to all (Refer Graph 7.3).

!

On the question of ethnicity and the Constitution, 65% think that Sri Lanka’s Constitution should recognise ethnicity while 12.1% say that it should not recognise ethnicity. Majority of those from the Sinhala (67.3%), Tamil (66.2%) and Up Country Tamil (60.4%) communities say that the Constitution should recognise ethnicity while agreement is lesser from the Muslim community with 44% saying it should recognise and 36% saying it should not recognise (Refer Graph 7.4).

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

!56

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Graph 7.3: Please tell me which statement you agree with the most -

!

A: Sri Lanka’s Constitution should have no mention of religion, except to guarantee the freedom of religion to all B: Sri Lanka’s Constitution should have reference to all major religions in the country C: Only Buddhism should be given a special place in Sri Lanka’s Constitution D: Only Buddhism should be given a special place in Sri Lanka’s Constitution, while assuring the freedom of religion to all others E: The Constitution of Sri Lanka should protect the freedom of religion as a fundamental right
A B C D E

National

14.3

22.7

4.8

12.6

45.5

Sinhala

7.8

18.8

6.6

15.9

50.8

Tamil

37.9

28.9

0.4 2.9

29.9

Up Country Tamil

19.8

49

14.6

16.6

Muslim
0

25.1

29.1

0.6 1.7

43.5

25

50

75

100

! !

Graph 7.4: Do you think Sri Lanka’s constitution should recognise ethnicity or should our constitution have no reference to ethnicity?

National Sinhala Tamil Up Country Tamil Muslim 0

64.6

12.1

23.3

67.3

6.9

25.8

66.2

17.6

16.1

60.4

28.1

11.4

43.9

35.7

20.4

25

50

75

100

Yes, our constitution should recognise ethnicity No, our constitution should have no reference to ethnicity Don't know

!57

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

Expression of religious faith

!

According to 24.3% of Sri Lankans, there is too much expression of religious faith by Buddhist leaders while 22.1% say there is too little and 26.6% say it is the right amount. From an ethnic perspective however there is a clearly divide between the Sinhala community and the Tamil, Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities. 33.5% of Sinhalese say that the expression of religious faith by Buddhist political leaders is the right amount while 28.4% say that it is too little. However a majority of respondents from the other three communities 64.4% of Tamil, 53.1% of Up Country Tamil and 63.5% of Muslim respondents believe that it is too much (Refer Graph 7.5a).

!

When it comes to Muslim political leaders, 29.5% of Sri Lankans say that there is too much expression of religious faith while 26.2% say that it is the right amount while another 26.5% say that they do not know. 42% of Muslim respondents say that expression of religious faith by Muslim political leaders is too little while 35% of Tamil and 40% of Up Country Tamil respondents say it is too much (Refer Graph 7.5b).

! !

33.1% of Sri Lankans do not know what their opinion is regarding the expression of faith by Christian political leaders while 30.1% say it is the right amount. Around 35% from the Tamil, Up Country Tamil and Muslim communities say that it is too little (Refer Graph 7.5c). Opinion is similar for Hindu political leaders as well - 35% say that they do not know what their opinion is and 26.5% say that it is the right amount. 40% of Tamil respondents and 43.8% of Up Country Tamil respondents say that it is too little while around 40% of Sinhala and Muslim respondents say that they do not know (Refer Graph 7.5d).

! ! Graph 7.5: What is your opinion about the expression of religious faith by political leaders? !
a) Buddhist political leaders
70
64.4 53.1 63.5

47
33.5 24.3 26.6 22.1 28.4 23.2 25.3 19.8 9.5 3.9 3.2 13.4 7.7 7.7 6.7 6.3 10.4 10.4 3 5.1 1.5 26.9

23

0

National
Too much

Sinhala
Too little

Tamil
Right amount

Up Country Tamil
Not important to me

Muslim
Don’t know

!
!58

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

!

b) Muslim political leaders
50
39.6 35 41.8 32.1 24 17.3 12.1 5.7 5.6 4.7 14.1 9.5 16.7 19.8 10.4 13.5 8.2 11.7 6.1

33

29.5 26.2

30.6 26.5

30.2

28.9

17

0

National
Too much

Sinhala
Too little

Tamil
Right amount

Up Country Tamil
Not important to me

Muslim
Don’t know

!

c) Christian political leaders
50
42.9 34.5 35.3 35.3 32 25.8 21.9 16.4 18.1 17.7 19.1 12.4 5.5 7 5.1 6 20.6 36.7

33

30.1

33.1

17

15

9.3 4.1

10.2 6.1

0

National
Too much

Sinhala
Too little

Tamil
Right amount

Up Country Tamil
Not important to me

Muslim
Don’t know

d) Hindu political leaders
50
43.8 38.2 34.6 39.9 35.2 40.3

33
26.5

29.7 21.2 21.9 18.4 16.7 14.6 5.6 12.8 6.1

17

16.2 15.6 7.1

17.7 8

15.5 6.4

4.9

3.1

0

National
Too much

Sinhala
Too little

Tamil
Right amount

Up Country Tamil
Not important to me

Muslim
Don’t know

!59

Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka - 2013 | Top Line Report

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

!60