President assures peaceful and democratic election

President Maithripala Sirisena has assured a peaceful and democratic election as he will be taking a neutral stand at the polls next month.

The President had expressed these views when he met the visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Stef Block, the President’s office said.

The President and the Foreign Minister discussed bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands as well as regional affairs.

The President briefed the Foreign Minister about his stand on the Presidential election next month and assure that the polls would be conducted in a peaceful and democratic manner without malpractices.

Since the Police and the Armed Forces come under his purview the President said that instructions have been issued to these entities to protect and preserve law and order in the country during the election period.

Block said that Sri Lanka’s ability to uphold free and fair elections amidst various challenges has been commended by a number of democratic countries in the world.

The Netherlands Foreign Minister also expressed his condolences over the terrorists attacks that took place on Easter Sunday and highlighted the importance of strengthening the international cooperation in combating terrorism.

The Head of the South Asia Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Ambassador in Sri Lanka Tanja Gonggrijp, the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ravinatha Ariyasinghe and Additional Secretary to the President Esala Weerakoon were also present on the occasion.