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DEMOCRACY IN POST WAR

SRI LANKA
TOP LINE REPORT
SOCIAL INDICATOR
CENTRE FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES

APRIL 2016

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:

6/5, Layards Road,

Telephone:

Colombo 5, Sri Lanka


+94 (11) 2081384-6

Fax:
Web

+94 (11) 2081388


www.cpalanka.org

Email

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 socioeconomic 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

TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

INTRODUCTION

METHODOLOGY

KEY EVENTS PRIOR TO & DURING FIELDWORK

ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT

TRUST IN INSTITUTIONS

15

PERCEPTIONS ON POLITICS

24

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE

45

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Almost 30% of Sri Lankans believe that the current economic situation in the country
is good, whilst nearly 45% are of the opinion that it is bad. 21.7% of Sri Lankans
believe that it has remained the same.

The three main results the respondents would like to see from the countrys current
development process are the issues of unemployment being addressed, an increase
in improved infrastructure and better education facilities.

Almost 30% of Sri Lankans indicate that they are satisfied with the Governments
performance in addressing the cost of living in the country, while 51.2% indicate that
they are dissatisfied.

44.2% of Sri Lankans believe that it is more appropriate for the Local Government
Authorities to carry out small and medium scale development activities within a given
constituency/ district.

While 72.6% of Sri Lankans agree that female representation in Parliament, Provincial
Councils, and Local Government Authorities is insufficient, 10.1% disagree with the
same.

On the allocation of a fixed quota for female representation, 70.5% of Sri Lankans
believe that there should be quotas for female representation in Parliament, Provincial
Councils, and Local Government Authorities, while 9.6% of Sri Lankans do not think
that there should be a quota.

52% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that men are both qualified and capable of
winning an election in comparison to women, while 23.7% disagree with the same.

While 51.4% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that once elected, women have less
decision making power than their male counterparts, 21.8% disagree with the same.

Nearly 50% of Sri Lankans state that the Constitution should determine the number
of Ministers and that there should be no room to increase the number of Ministers in
Parliament.

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A majority (74.4%) of Sri Lankans agree that the Clergy (religious priests/ monks) if
found guilty of unethical/ illegal behaviour or misconduct, must be taken into custody
and dealt with under the rule of law.

While 48.8% of Sri Lankans agree that the National Anthem should be sung in both
Sinhala and Tamil languages, 41.3% of Sri Lankans disagree with the same.

42.2% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that there should be a mechanism to look
into what happened during the final stages of the war, while 44.2% are of the opinion
that there shouldnt be such a mechanism.

Among those who indicate that there should be a credible mechanism to look into
accountability of what happened during the final stages of the war, 47.3% of Sri
Lankans are of the opinion that it should be an exclusively domestic one, whilst 9.2%
of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that it should be an exclusively international one.

From an ethnic perspective, it is mostly the Sinhala community who favour an


exclusively domestic mechanism with 69.3% indicating the same.

From those who favour an exclusively international mechanism, it is the Tamil


community with 26.2% indicating the same.

From those who believe that there should be an international mechanism to


investigate into what happened during the final stages of the war, it is evident that
respondents from the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities mostly prefer the
judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to be from the USA while the Up
Country Tamil community prefer the judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to
be from India.

On the question of the transitional justice process in Sri Lanka, 28.8% of Sri Lankans
are of the opinion that issues in relation to reparations, which includes the victims
entitlement for redress and a proper policy framework need to be addressed.

The top three institutions that citizens trust are the Army (46.7%), Courts (40.1%) and
the Civil Service (22.9%)

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INTRODUCTION
This is the Sixth Wave of the survey Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka conducted by Social
Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives. This survey seeks to
record public perceptions with regard to the general economic situation in the country, the
level of trust the public has on various institutions, the level of confidence in the new
framework of governance, and various reconciliation measures initiated by the Government of
Sri Lanka towards ensuring durable peace, protection of human rights, administration of
justice and strengthening of the rule of law.
This wave was conducted at a time when the Sirisena Government pledges to bring about
various changes and reforms to bridge the governance deficit that had arisen in the recent
past. Various measures towards meaningful reconciliation with accountability for alleged
human rights violations that occurred during the final stages of the war, along with electoral
and Constitutional reforms are a few among the many propositions made and in the process
of being implemented in post war Sri Lanka.
Data was collected from all 25 districts across the four main ethnicities, thereby making the
survey comprehensive and insightful. The research team comprised of Iromi Perera, Sakina
Moinudeen and M. Krishnamoorthy. Data processing was done by Shashik Dhanushka.
We would like to thank Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu for his valuable input in the survey
design process.

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METHODOLOGY
The Sixth Wave of the survey on Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka was carried out using a
semi structured questionnaire administered through face to face interviews with 2102
respondents in both Sinhala and Tamil languages across all 25 districts. The sample
respondents were selected with the use of a multi-stage stratified random sampling
technique that represents the four main ethnic communities in the country (Sinhala, Tamil, Up
Country Tamil and Muslim communities).
Questionnaire
Discussions, debates and various initiatives that have been proposed/ taken by the
Government in relation to the strengthening of democracy, establishing good governance,
ensuring the protection of human rights and promoting reconciliation in post war Sri Lanka,
were taken into consideration when designing the questionnaire for the Sixth Wave of the
survey on Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka.
The questionnaire was finalised with a group that comprised of Researchers and the
Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA).
The questionnaire was translated into Sinhala and Tamil and a pilot survey was conducted by
selected senior field staff. Findings from the pilot survey were taken into account in the
finalisation of the questionnaire.
Sampling and fieldwork
In this survey, Social Indicator (SI) used a multi-stage stratified random sampling technique
and a sample of 2102 respondents spread across all districts were polled. The Population
Proportionate Sampling (PPS) method was used and ethnic proportions were accounted for.
The sample size was determined in order to produce results within a 2% error margin at a
95% confidence level. Electorates were chosen as the strata to distribute the sample, and
Polling Centres within each electorate were chosen randomly. From each selected polling
centre the starting point (first household selected for the survey) of the survey was selected
randomly from the 2008 voter registry. Following the completion of an interview at the first
household, 19 other households that come under the same polling Centre were selected

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using the right hand rule._ At each selected household, a respondent was determined using
the last birthday method.
Field Work
Fieldwork for the entire study was conducted from February 18th to March 03rd 2016.
Training of Field Researchers
A total of 60 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
fieldwork, such as accompany visits, spot-checks and back-check were carried out to ensure
the quality of the data collected.
Data Processing and analysis
All the completed questionnaires were scrutinised, checked and entered into a database
designed for the survey. The dataset was further cleaned prior to the analysis. Before starting
the analysis process, the dataset was weighted in order to reflect actual geographical and
ethnic proportion. The data set was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social
Sciences (SPSS).
How to read this report
This report presents the top line results of the survey. The graphs presented set out a
descriptive explanation on the basis of National data, and have been divided
according to ethnicity.
Where there was a significant shift or change in opinion over the years, data was
compared with the surveys that were conducted in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
For questions that require more than one answer (multiple answer questions) from the
respondents, figures do not add up to a 100%.

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KEY EVENTS PRIOR TO & DURING FIELDWORK


Singing of the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil, at the 68th Independence
Day celebrations.
The Sri Lankan National Anthem was sung in Tamil for the first time since 1949 at the official
Independence Day celebrations held on the 4th of February 2016. The unofficial ban on
signing the National Anthem in Tamil was lifted in March 2015.

Visit of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.


The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Raad Al Hussein
arrived in Sri Lanka for a four day official visit on the 6th of February 2016. The main purpose
of his visit was to review the implementation of the recommendations made in his report to
the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the subsequent resolution that was submitted
to the UNHRC on Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.
Discussions were held with high level Government officials as well as officials from the Human
Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, representatives of the civil society, victims of human rights
violations and religious leaders.

Launch of a Task Force for designing a suitable reconciliation mechanism for post war
Sri Lanka.
In keeping with the mandate presented to the public at the Presidential and Parliamentary
Elections in January and August 2015, the launch of a Task Force comprising of 10 civil
society representatives was initiated by the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, to assist in
designing a suitable reconciliation mechanism to ensure transitional justice in post war Sri
Lanka. The purpose of the task force is to ascertain the opinion of stakeholders including the
victims, war widows, security personnel, families of missing, the disabled, political
personalities and religious leaders, which hopes to guide and design the process for
transitional justice in the country.

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1
ECONOMY AND DEVELOPMENT

Summary

Almost 30% of Sri Lankans believe that the current economic situation in the country
is good, whilst nearly 45% are of the opinion that it is bad. 21.7% of Sri Lankans
believe that it has remained the same.
Amongst those who believe that the current economic situation in the country is bad,
62.4% believe that the policies introduced by the Government should be held
accountable for the situation.
While 75.6% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that the Government is doing a good
job in managing the healthcare service, 21.6% of Sri Lankans do not think they are
doing a good job.
While 72.8% of Sri Lankans agree that the Government is doing a good job in
managing the education system, 20.3% state the contrary.
The three main results the respondents would like to see from the countrys current
development process are the issues of unemployment being addressed, an increase
in improved infrastructure and better education facilities.
Almost 30% of Sri Lankans indicate that they are satisfied with the Governments
performance in addressing the cost of living in the country, while 51.2% indicate that
they are dissatisfied.

44.2% of Sri Lankans believe that it is more appropriate for the Local Government
Authorities to carry out small and medium scale development activities within a given
constituency/ district.

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On the current economic situation in the country, almost 30% of Sri Lankans believe that it is
good, while nearly 45% believe that it is bad. 21.7% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that the
current economic situation in the country has remained the same.
From an ethnic perspective, it is noteworthy that a significant proportion from the Muslim
community is satisfied with the current economic situation, with almost 70.5% stating that it
is good. The Sinhala community are the least satisfied, with 51.4% indicating that that the
current economic situation is bad. (Refer Graph 1.1)
Sri Lankans appear to be slightly more satisfied with the current economic situation in the
country, than when compared with the surveys conducted in 2013 and 2014. 50.5% in 2013
and 50.1% in 2014 indicated that the current economic situation was bad. This figure
declined to 45% in February 2016.

Graph 1.1: Thinking about the current economic situation in the country, how would
you describe it?

70
63.7

50.6

52.5

34.1

35
27
21.7

26.2
24.2 25.2

24
20.9

17.5

26.1
19.6

18.7

19.3

14.5
8.9

3.5

2.8

National

3.6 5.1

2.1

Sinhala

Very Good
Somewhat Bad

1.3
Tamil

Somewhat Good
Very Bad

14

11.4
3.4

5.7 6.7

Up Country Tamil

9.8

4.7
1

Muslim

Remained the Same


Don't Know

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Amongst those who believe that the current economic situation in the country is bad, 62.4%
indicate that the reason for the countrys economic deterioration is due to the policies
introduced by the Government. (Refer Graph 1.2)

Graph 1.2: If you think the current economic situation in the country is somewhat bad,
or very bad, who do you think is responsible for its deterioration?

70

65.8

62.4

51.3

52.5

38.1

34.8

35
25.7

25.5

31.9
25.6

23.2

23.8

17.5

12.8
8.7

6.8

4.3
1

National

4.2

1.1

3.2

Sinhala

1.4

Tamil

The Government's Policies


Influence of the International Community
Dont Know

23.8
14.3

10.3

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

The Previous Government's Policies


The Citizens

Almost 30% of Sri Lankans indicate that they are satisfied with the Governments
performance in addressing the cost of living in the country, while 51.2% indicate that they are
dissatisfied. It is mostly the Muslim community with 71.8% who are satisfied, whilst the
Sinhala community appear to be the most dissatisfied with 60.9% indicating the same. (Refer
Graph 1.3)

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Graph 1.3: How satisfied are you with the Governments performance in addressing the
cost of living in the country?
70

66.7

52.3

52.5

44.3
34.7

35
27

29.5

26.2

26.1

21.7

17.5

17.4
13.4

13.2

5.7

2.9

National

12.813.6

6.1 6

9.4

2.1

Sinhala

Very Satisfied
Somewhat Dissatisfied

Tamil
Somewhat Satisfied
Very Dissatisfied

10.2
3.4

12.5

13.3

3.4 5.1

Up Country Tamil

7.7

3.6 3.6

Muslim

Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied


Don't Know

The respondents were asked to indicate their views on the Governments performance in
managing public services like health care and education. While 75.6% of Sri Lankans are of
the opinion that the Government is doing a good job in managing the countrys healthcare
service, 21.6% state the contrary. From an ethnic perspective, it is the Tamil community
(89.4% indicating satisfaction) who appear to be the most satisfied and the Sinhala
community least satisfied with only 24.9% stating their satisfaction with the Governments
performance in managing the health care service in the country. (Refer Graph 1.4)
On education, 72.8% of Sri Lankans agree that the Government is doing a good job in
managing the countrys education system, while 20.3% disagree with the same. From an
ethnic perspective, the Tamil community seem to be the most satisfied with 91.5% agreeing
that the Government is doing a good job in managing the education system, while the least
optimistic is the Sinhala community with 24.5% who disagree with the same. (Refer Graph
1.5)

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Graph 1.4: The Government is doing a good job in managing health care services
60
51.3
47

51.5

49.4

47.7

45
38.1

30

35.6

28.6

27.6
24.4

15

14.4

12.6

4.7 3.8

3.1

2.8

11.5

10.5

National

Sinhala

Strongly Agree
Don't Know

2.1

Tamil

Somewhat Agree

10.3

7.7
3.1 2.1

1.1

Up Country Tamil
Somewhat Disagree

Muslim

Strongly Disagree

Graph 1.5: The Government is doing a good job in managing the education system
60

45

56.4

47.1

46.7

45.1

47.2
42.5

41.4
35.2

30

27.7
20.4

15

14.8

12.3
8.1 6.9

9.7 8.5
3.8

National
Strongly Agree
Don't Know

Sinhala
Somewhat Agree

5.7
2.5 2.1

Tamil

3.4 2.3

Up Country Tamil
Somewhat Disagree

4.7 4.1

1.6

Muslim

Strongly Disagree

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The respondents were asked to state three main results that they would like to see from the
current development process in the country. 65% of Sri Lankans believe that issues
pertaining to unemployment should be addressed while 61.3% of Sri Lankans indicate that
they would like to see an increase in improved infrastructure in the country. The third main
result indicated by the respondents was the creation of better education facilities in country
with 21.1% indicating the same.
When analysing the findings of the survey, with the surveys conducted in 2011 and 2013,
there appears to be a shift in what Sri Lankans believe should be given a priority in the
countrys development process.
In 2013, reduction in the cost of living was given the first priority followed by a need to
address the issue of unemployment and creating better education facilities in the country. In
2011, while reduction in the cost of living was the first priority indicated by the respondents,
there appeared to be slight changes in the second and third preferences chosen by all four
communities. Agriculture was the second preference selected by the Sinhala community and
unemployment was identified by the Muslim community. Reducing poverty, was the second
preference of the Tamil and Up Country Tamil communities. As for the third preference,
improved infrastructure was selected by the Sinhala community while reducing poverty was
selected by the Muslim community. Addressing unemployment issues was selected by both
the Tamil and Up Country Tamil communities as their third preference.
The respondents were given a list of various institutions and were asked to select as to which
institution they think is most appropriate to carry out small and medium scale development
activities within the constituency/ district. The list consisted of the Central Government,
Provincial Councils and Local Government Authorities. While 11.2% of Sri Lankans indicated
the Central Government, 23.1% said that Provincial Councils should carry out small and
medium scale development activities within a given constituency/ district. However, a larger
proportion of Sri Lankans - 44.2% - indicate that it is more appropriate for the Local
Government Authorities to carry out small and medium scale development activities within a
given constituency/ district. (Refer Graph 1.6)

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Graph 1.6: In your opinion, which institution do you think is more appropriate to carry
out small and medium scale development activities within the constituency/ district?
50

47.8
44.2
38.7

37.5

37.5

34.5
31.4
27.3

25

23.1

25
21.4

20.6

23.2

22.7

21.1

18

17.9
14.8

12.5

11.2

10.5

National

8.9

Sinhala
Central Government
The Local Government Authorities

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

The Provicial Councils


Don't Know

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2
TRUST IN INSTITUTIONS
Summary
The top three institutions that citizens trust are the Army (46.7%), Courts (40.1%) and
the Civil Service (22.9%)
Almost 70% of Sri Lankans trust the Central Government, although the figure
highlights a decline from the previous surveys conducted in 2013 (84.2%) and March
2015 (74.5%).
The survey conducted in February 2016 shows a decline in the percentage of
respondents who indicate that they trust the Police. While 73.5% in 2013 and 71.6%
in March 2015 indicated that they trusted the Police, this figure dropped to 63.5% in
February 2016.
Nearly 80% of Sri Lankans indicate that they trust the Army, with only 10.5% having
no trust in them. From an ethnic perspective, the Tamil community seem to have the
least amount of trust in the Army with 35.7% indicating the same.
Overall only 13.2% of Sri Lankans have a great deal of trust in the Parliament, while
34.8% have some trust in the same. 36.5% of Sri Lankans have no trust in the
Parliament.
Sri Lankans trust the political parties the least with almost 50% indicating that they
have no trust, while 36.7% of Sri Lankans indicate that they trust the political parties of
the country.
In 2013, 41.7% and in March 2015, 62.3% indicated that they trusted the Election
Commission. A drop in this figure is seen in February 2015 with 54.8% indicating the
same.

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When assessing the level of democracy in a country, it is important to evaluate how much
trust the public has in various institutions of the country, ranging from the Central Government
to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The survey sought to evaluate respondents
level of trust on the Central Government, Provincial Government, Local Government, Civil
Service, Police, Army, Courts, Parliament, Political Parties, Election Commission and NGOs.
The top three institutions that citizens place a great deal of trust on are the Army (46.7%),
Courts (40.1%) and the Civil Service (22.9%). (Refer Graph 2.1)
Graph 2.1 How much trust do you have in the following institutions? (National)

Central Government

17.4

Provincial Government

51.3

14.6

Local Government

49.9

16.8

Civil Service

48.6

22.9

Police

32.3

9.4

NGO's
0

10.5

7.5

32.4

25

Great Deal of Trust

12.8

14.8

13.3

31.9

16.6

39.3

50

Some Trust

10.5

15.5

48.5

34.7

6.8

6.5

36.5

28.5

22.4

Election Commssion

10.6

13

34.8

8.2

24

39.6

13.2

Political Parties

11.7

30

40.1

Parliament

23.8

41.7

46.7

Courts

11.8

57.3

21.8

Army

19.5

75

No Trust

100

Don't Know

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Central Government
When comparing the findings of the survey with the surveys conducted in the past, it is
evident that there appears to be a decline in the level of trust Sri Lankans have in the Central
Government. In 2013, 84.2% and in March 2015, 74.5% of Sri Lankans said that they trusted
the Central Government. A drop in this figure to 68.7% is evident in February 2016. (Refer
Graph 2.2)
Graph 2.2: How much trust do you have in the Central Government?
60

55.5

51.3

50.5

52.8

50.6

45
28.4

30
19.5

17.4

15

11.8

14.4

25.6

24.1

23.2
11.9

11.5

11

17.9

13.8

5.1

National

Sinhala

Tamil

Great Deal of Trust

3.6

Up Country Tamil

Some Trust

No Trust

Muslim
Don't Know

Provincial Government
While 72.7% in 2013 and 67.4% in March 2015 indicated that they trusted the Provincial
Government, there appears to be a decrease in this percentage in February 2016 with 64.6%
indicating the same. (Refer Graph 2.3)

Graph 2.3: How much trust do you have in the Provincial Government?
57.6

60
49.9

57.7
51.1

47.7

45
30
15
0

27

23.8
14.6

11.7

National

13.2

22
12

Sinhala

Great Deal of Trust

21.6
13.6

10.2

6.8

Tamil
Some Trust

17

Up Country Tamil
No Trust

14.4

12.4

15.5

Muslim
Don't Know
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Local Government
In February 2016, 65.5% of Sri Lankans indicated that they trusted Local Government, a
decline from the previous surveys conducted in 2013 (73%) and in March 2015 (68%). The
Tamil community with 74.6% has the most trust in Local Government. The Sinhala
community has the least trust with 26.6% indicating that they have no trust in the same.
(Refer Graph 2.4)
Graph 2.4: How much trust do you have in the Local Government?
60

56.9
48.6

50.8

47.2

50

45

30

26.6

24
16.8

16.9

16

15

23.7

10.6

National

10.2

Sinhala

Great Deal of Trust

17

19.3
13.6

14.9

12.8

15.4

8.5

Tamil
Some Trust

Up Country Tamil
No Trust

Muslim
Don't Know

Civil Service
From the list of institutions provided to the respondents, 80.2% of Sri Lankans said that they
trust the Civil Service of the country, with 22.9% placing a great deal of trust. 13% of Sri
Lankans indicate that they have no trust in the same. However, when compared with the
survey conducted in March 2015 where 84.9% indicated that they trusted the Civil Service,
there appears to be a slight decline in the percentage of Sri Lankans who hold this view in
February 2016. (Refer Graph 2.5)

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Graph 2.5: How much trust do you have in the Civil Service?
57.3

60

57.4

60

57
51.7

45
30

22.9

26

22.8

19
13.6

13

15

6.8

25.3

National

12.6

11.9
6.2

8.7

5.1

Sinhala

Tamil

Great Deal of Trust

10.3

Up Country Tamil

Some Trust

No Trust

12.3

Muslim
Don't Know

Police
In 2013, 73.5% and in March 2015, 71.6% of Sri Lankans indicated that they trusted the
Police, while this figure has declined in February 2016 to 63.5%. Meanwhile, 30% of Sri
Lankans indicate that they have no trust in the Police. (Refer Graph 2.6)
In March 2015, 18.2% from the Sinhala community and 20% from the Muslim community
indicated that they have no trust in the Police. A marked rise in these figures is seen in
February 2016 with 31.9% from the Sinhala community and 30.6% from the Muslim
community indicating the same.
Graph 2.6: How much trust do you have in the Police?
60

55.2

45

41.7

38.6
31.9

30

30

44

41.2

21.8

30.6

30.1

14

13.8

15
6.5

24.1

22.5

21.4

National

8.9

5.5

Sinhala

Great Deal of Trust

Tamil
Some Trust

11.4

6.9

Up Country Tamil
No Trust

Muslim
Don't Know
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Army
On the level of trust in the Army, nearly 80% of Sri Lankans indicate that they trust the Army
with only 10.5% indicating that they have no trust in them. From an ethnic perspective, the
Tamil community the Army the least with 35.7% stating that they have no trust. (Refer Graph
2.7)
There has been a some change in the percentage of respondents from the Tamil and Up
Country Tamil communities with regard to the level of trust they have in the Army. In 2011,
32.8% from the Tamil community and 27.3 % from the Up Country Tamil community
indicated that they had no trust in the Army. This figure increased to 52% among the Tamil
and 47% among the Up Country Tamil communities in March 2015. When comparing these
figures with the survey conducted in February 2016, we see a notable drop in the
percentages, with 35.7% from the Tamil community and 13.8% from the Up Country Tamil
community who indicate that that they have no trust in the Army.
Graph 2.7: How much trust do you have in the Army?
58

60
46.7

45.4

45

40.2
35.7
32.3

30.9

30

15

24.7

22.7
14.9

11.1

10.5 10.5
5.1

31

28.5

National

Sinhala

Great Deal of Trust

13.8

20.6

11.3

5.9

Tamil
Some Trust

Up Country Tamil
No Trust

Muslim
Don't Know

Page 20 of 60

Courts
While nearly 80% of Sri Lankans trust the courts, only 7.5% indicate that they have no trust in
the same. (Refer Graph 2.8)
Graph 2.8: How much trust do you have in the Courts?

50

46.6
40.1 39.6

44.3

38.7 40.1

37.5

41.5 41

39.8
34.7

25

12.5

13.4

12.8
7.5

7.8

National

Sinhala

Great Deal of Trust

8.5

Tamil
Some Trust

10.2

12.8

10.2
5.7

Up Country Tamil
No Trust

4.6

Muslim
Don't Know

Parliament
Overall only 13.2% of Sri Lankans have a great deal of trust in Parliament while 34.8% have
some trust in the same. 36.5% of Sri Lankans have no trust in Parliament. From an ethnic
perspective, it is the Sinhala community with 41.5% who has the least trust in Parliament in
comparison to 20.3% from the Tamil, 12.5% from the Up Country Tamil and 25.95% from the
Muslim communities. Among those who trust Parliament, it is mostly the Up Country Tamil
community with 75%, followed by 61.9% of the Tamil community, 60.1% of the Muslim
community, and 42.9% of the Sinhala community. (Refer Graph 2.9)
When analysing the findings of the survey, it is evident that the level of mistrust amongst the
Sinhala and Muslim communities has increased in February 2016, when compared with the
surveys conducted in the past. Previously 13.2% in 2011 and 28.7% in March 2015 from the
Sinhala community indicated that they had no trust in the Parliament, and a rise in these
figures to 41.5% is seen in February 2016. As for the Muslim community, 23.3% in 2011 and
14.2% in March 2015 were of the opinion that they had no trust in the Parliament. These
figures increased to 25.9% in February 2016.
Page 21 of 60

Graph 2.9: How much trust do you have in the Parliament?


60

54.5

45

41.5
34.8 36.5

30.8

30
15

48.2

43.6

25.9
15.5

13.2

15.6

12.1

National

20.3

18.2

17.8

14

12.5 12.5 11.9

Sinhala

Tamil

Great Deal of Trust

20.5

Up Country Tamil

Some Trust

No Trust

Muslim
Don't Know

Political Parties
Overall, the trust Sri Lankans have in political parties is at a low level, with nearly 50%
indicating that they have no trust in the political parties of the country. Only 8.2% of Sri
Lankans have a great deal of trust while 28.5% have some trust in the political parties of the
country. From an ethnic perspective, the Up Country Tamil community has the most trust in
the political parties of the country with 55.2% indicating the same. From those who have the
least trust, it is the Sinhala community with 50.8% indicating the same.
Graph 2.10: How much trust do you have in the Political Parties?
60
50.8

48.5

36
28.5

30

15

45.9

44.8

45

39.8

35.6

34.5

25.7
15.3

14.8
8.2

8.3

National

14

10.2

14.9
10.3

9.2
4.6

Sinhala

Great Deal of Trust

Tamil
Some Trust

Up Country Tamil
No Trust

Muslim
Don't Know

Page 22 of 60

Election Commission
In 2013, 41.7% stated that they trusted the Election Commission with an increase in this
percentage in March 2015 to 62.3%. However, a drop in the level of trust is seen in February
2016, with 54.8% indicating the same. While the Up Country Tamil community (78.2%) has
the most trust, the Muslim community (13.4%) has the least trust in the Election Commission.
(Refer Graph 2.11)
Graph 2.11: How much trust do you have in the Election Commission?
47.1

50
37.7

37.5
25

32.4

31.9

40

36.1

34

38.1

31

29.8

22.4
18.5

12.5
0

15.3

13.9

13.3

National

Sinhala

Tamil

Great Deal of Trust

14.9

10.6

13.4 12.4

6.9

Up Country Tamil

Some Trust

No Trust

Muslim
Don't Know

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)


On trust in NGOs, only 9.4% of Sri Lankans have a great deal of trust in NGOs while 34.7%
indicate that they have some trust. 16.6% indicate that they have no trust in NGOs. The
Tamil community with 75.3% has the most trust in NGOs, as opposed to the Sinhala
community with 18.9% who has the least amount of trust in them. (Refer Graph 2.12)
Graph 2.12: How much trust do you have in NGOs?
59.3

60

53.6
45.8

45
34.7

28.7

28.3

30
15

44.8

39.3

18.9

16.6
9.4

National

18.4

14.9
9.8

Sinhala

Great Deal of Trust

25.3

21.7

Tamil
Some Trust

Up Country Tamil
No Trust

9.8

5.7

Muslim
Don't Know
Page 23 of 60

3
PERCEPTIONS ON POLITICS
Summary
While 72.6% of Sri Lankans agree that female representation in Parliament, Provincial
Councils, and Local Government Authorities is insufficient, 10.1% disagree with the
same.
On the allocation of a fixed quota for female representation, 70.5% of Sri Lankans
believe that there should be quotas for female representation in Parliament, Provincial
Councils, and Local Government Authorities, while 9.6% of Sri Lankans do not think
that there should be a quota.
52% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that men are both qualified and capable of
winning an election in comparison to women, while 23.7% disagree with the same.
While 51.4% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that once elected, women have less
decision making power than their male counterparts, 21.8% disagree with the same.
Almost 60% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that they are completely free to express
their feelings about politics, irrespective of where they are and who they are with, while
9.1% indicate that they are not free to do so.
Nearly 50% of Sri Lankans state that the Constitution should determine the number of
Ministers and that there should be no room to increase the number of Ministers in
Parliament.
A large proportion of Sri Lankans (81.4%) indicate that being involved in national level
issues by participating in debates in Parliament and formulating legislation is an
important function of a Parliamentarian.
There appears to be a low level of satisfaction among Sri Lankans with regard to the
Governments commitment in eradicating corruption in the country, when compared
with the survey conducted in October 2015. In October 2015, 49.6% in felt that the
Government is committed to eradicating corruption in the country, while only 34.5% of
Sri Lankans in February 2016 indicate the same.
Page 24 of 60

Women in Parliament
On female representation in Parliament, Provincial Councils and Local Government
Authorities, 72.6% of Sri Lankans agree that female representation is insufficient, while 10.1%
disagree with the same. From an ethnic perspective, it is the Up Country Tamil community
with 89.8% who believe that female representation is insufficient, followed by 75.4% from the
Tamil community, 72% from the Sinhala community and 66% from the Muslim community. Of
those who are of the opinion that there is sufficient female representation, opinion in the
Sinhala community is highest at 11.4%, followed by 10.8% from the Muslim, 3.8% from the
Tamil and 3.4% from the Up Country Tamil communities. (Refer Graph 3.1)

Graph 3.1: The number of female representation in Parliament, Provincial Councils,


and Local Government Authorities is insufficient

89.8

90
72.6

75.4

72

66

67.5

45

22.5
10.3 10.1

6.9

National
Agree

9.4 11.4

Sinhala

15.7
7.2

14.4
3.8

Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

5.1

3.4

8.8

3.4 3.4

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

10.8

Muslim
Don't Know

Majority of Sri Lankans (70.5%) believe that there should be quotas for female representation
in Parliament, Provincial Councils, and Local Government Authorities, while only 9.6% of Sri
Lankans disagree. From an ethnic perspective, it is the Up Country Tamil community who
mostly agree on quotas for women with 92% indicating the same. From those who mostly

Page 25 of 60

disagree on a quota for female representation, it is the Muslim community with 11.3%
indicating the same. (Refer Graph 3.2)
When comparing the data with the surveys conducted in the past, 78.6% of Sri Lankans in
2013, 79% in 2014 and 79.4% in March 2015 indicated that there should be a fixed quota for
women, this figure dropped in October 2015 to 64.8% with a slight increase to 70.5% in
February 2016.

Graph 3.2: There should be quotas for female representation in the Parliament,
Provincial Councils, and Local Government Authorities
100

92
84.7
76.8

75

70.5

66.4

50

25
8.8 9.6

11

National
Agree

9.7 10.5

Sinhala

13.4
7.6

4.7

Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

2.3 3.4 2.3

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

6.2

11.3
5.7

Muslim
Don't Know

The survey sought to evaluate the impact a candidates gender and related attributes have on
winning an electoral contest. 54% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that men are both more
qualified and capable of winning an election than women, while 23.7% disagree with the
same.
From an ethnic perspective, it is the Up Country Tamil community with 65.9% who mostly
agree that in comparison to women, men are both more qualified and capable of winning an
election, while it is the Tamil community with 30.2% who mostly disagree with the same.
(Refer Graph 3.3)
Page 26 of 60

Graph 3.3: Men, are both qualified and capable of winning an election than women
70

52.5

65.9

52.9

52

52.6

40.4

35

30.2
23.7
15.5

17.5

24.7

22.6
14.9

14.4
9.6

8.8

National

Sinhala

Agree

Tamil

8.2

6.8

5.7

4.7

24.7

21.6

Up Country Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

Disagree

Muslim
Don't Know

Around 50% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that once elected, women have less decision
making power than their male counterparts, while 21.8% of Sri Lankans disagree with the
same. From an ethnic perspective, it is the Up Country Tamil community with 71.3% who
mostly believe that women have less decision making power than their male counterparts
whilst 23.8% from the Tamil community disagree with the same. (Refer Graph 3.4)
Graph 3.4: Once elected, women have less decision making power than their male
counterparts
80

71.3

60
51.4

52.3

51

46.8

40

20

21.8
15.4

23.4 23.8

21.5
11.4

14.9

23.1
17.2

12.6
6

National
Agree

Sinhala

Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

4.6

14.9

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

9.7

6.9

Muslim
Don't Know
Page 27 of 60

Freedom of Expression
The survey sought to capture the level of freedom the public believed it has in expressing
political opinion, to join a political organisation of choice, voting and protesting/ attending a
demonstration against social and political injustice.
The respondents were asked as to how free they felt to express political opinion, irrespective
of where they are and who they are with. 59.6% of Sri Lankans said that they are completely
free while 25% indicate that they are somewhat free to express their feelings about politics,
irrespective of where they are and who they are with. 9.1% of Sri Lankans indicate that they
are not free.
From an ethnic perspective, it is the Sinhala community with 86.2% who mostly feel free to
express their views about politics, irrespective of where they are and whom they are with.
This figure is followed by 81.8% from the Up Country Tamil community, 81% from the Muslim
community and 77.1% from the Tamil community. Of those who indicate that they are not
free, it is mostly the Tamil community with 15.3%, followed by 12.8% from the Muslim
community, 11.4% from the Up Country Tamil community and 7.7% from the Sinhala
community. (Refer Graph 3.5)
When comparing the data with the surveys conducted the past, there appears to be an
increase in the level of freedom the respondents feel they have to express their views on
politics irrespective of where they are and who they are with. It is important to note that in
February 2016 the Tamil community seems to be more confident, with only 15.3% indicating
that they do not feel free to express their views on politics, when compared to the 32.2% in
2011.

Page 28 of 60

Graph 3.5: How free are you to express your feelings about politics, irrespective of
where you are and who youre with?
70
62.1

59.6

55.1

52.3

52.5

48.2

32.8

35

29.5
25

24.2

22

17.5
6.1

6.3

National
Completely free

6.3

6.1

8.1 7.2 7.6

Somewhat free

6.8
3.4

1.4

Sinhala

11.3

Tamil
Not very free

Up Country Tamil
Not free at all

6.2
1.5

Muslim
Don't Know

When asked to indicate as to how free they are to join any political organisation of choice,
86.1% of Sri Lankans indicate that they are free (with 65.4% stating that they are completely
free). When comparing the data of the 2013 survey, it is evident that Sri Lankans feel more
free at present to join any political organisation they desired. While 71.9% in 2013, indicated
that they were free to join any political organisation they desired, it increased to 86.1% in
February 2016.
From an ethnic perspective, it is the Sinhala community (90.7%) who mostly feel free to join
any political organisation they want to, while 12.6% from the Muslim community and 10.6%
from the Tamil community say that they are not free at all. (Refer Graph 3.6)

Page 29 of 60

Graph 3.5: How free are you to join any political organisation you want?
80

73.1
65.4

60

54
46.2
38.1

40
30.4

26.7

20

20.7

3.6 3.4

23

17.7
12.6

10.6 11.9

6.9

3.5

National

1.1

4.7

Completely free

4.6 5.7

4.7

Sinhala

Tamil

Somewhat free

Not very free

12.4
2.6

Up Country Tamil
Not free at all

16.5

Muslim
Don't Know

Almost 85% of Sri Lankans believe that they are completely free and 11.4% feel somewhat
free to choose whom to vote for without feeling pressured. From an ethnic perspective,
96.1% from the Sinhala community, 96.6% from the Tamil community, 98.9% from the Up
Country Tamil community and 95.9% from the Muslim community feel free to vote for without
feeling pressured. (Refer Graph 3.7)
Graph 3.7: To choose who to vote for without feeling pressured
100
84.8

93.1

88.1

83.2

90.7

75

50

25
12.9

11.4

1.3 0.2 2.3

National
Completely free

8.5
1.5 0.1 2.3

Sinhala
Somewhat free

1.3 0.4 1.7

Tamil
Not very free

5.7

0 1.1

Up Country Tamil
Not free at all

5.2

0 0.5

Muslim
Don't Know
Page 30 of 60

3.6

When asked to indicate how free the respondents felt to protest/ attend a demonstration
against social injustice, 52.4% of Sri Lankans indicate that they are completely free, while
24.2% indicate that they are somewhat free. 11.6% of Sri Lankans indicate that they are not
free do so. (Refer Graph 3.8)
When comparing the data from the surveys conducted in the past, it is evident that there is a
decrease in the percentage of Sri Lankans who feel free to protest / attend a demonstration
against social injustice. While 56% in 2013 and 69.4% in March 2015 expressed that they
were free, this figure has dropped to 52.4% in February 2016.

Graph 3.8: How free are you to protest/ attend a demonstration against social injustice
(rising I the cost of living, increase in bus fares etc)
60

56.3
52.4
45.5

45

42.5
36.9

30

32.8

31.1
26.4

24.2

21.5

19.5

17.2

15

11.8
7

4.6

National
Completely free

11.9

10.6

7.8
3.8

Sinhala
Somewhat free

5.1 6.4

Tamil

5.7

Up Country Tamil

Not very free

Not free at all

8.2
2.6

Muslim
Don't Know

While 69.8% of Sri Lankans indicate that they feel free to protest/ attend a demonstration
against political injustice, 15.5% indicate that they do not feel free to do so. From an ethnic
perspective, a larger proportion from the Sinhala community (72.5%) feel free to protest/
attend a demonstration against political injustice as opposed to the 23.1% from the Tamil
community who feel the least free to do so. (Refer Graph 3.9)
When comparing the data with the survey conducted in 2014, there appears to be an overall
rise in the percentage of Sri Lankans who feel free to protest/ attend a demonstration against
Page 31 of 60

political injustice. As such 47.8% in 2014 indicated that they were free, while this figure rose
to nearly 70% in February 2016.

Graph 3.9: How free are you to protest/ attend a demonstration against political
injustice?
50

49.1
45.3

35.9

37.5

32.2
27.4

25

24.5

31.3
29.7

26.4

23.4
20.5

18.4
14.7

12.5

10

9.8
5.7

13.9

National
Completely free

12.813.7
10.3

12.6
10.3
6.2

3.5

Sinhala
Somewhat free

12.3

Tamil
Not very free

Up Country Tamil
Not free at all

Muslim
Don't Know

Media Freedom
The survey sought to evaluate public perceptions on negative reporting and as to whether the
media should constantly report issues like corruption and mistakes made by the Government.
While 82.3% of Sri Lankans state that news media should constantly investigate and report
on corruption and the mistakes made by the Government, 6.8% state that too much
reporting on negative events, like corruption will harm the country. (Refer Graph 3.10)
When analysing the results of the surveys conducted in the past, it is evident that there has
been an increase in the percentage of respondents who believe that news media should
constantly investigate and report on corruption and the mistakes made by the Government.
While 72.6% in 2011, 73% in 2013 and 78.6% in March 2015 indicated that news media
should investigate and report on corruption and mistakes made by the Government, this
figure rose to 82.3% in February 2016.

Page 32 of 60

From an ethnic perspective, 81.5% from the Sinhala community, 85.6% from the Tamil
community, 80.5% from the Up Country Tamil community and 85% from the Muslim
community are of the opinion that news media should constantly investigate and report on
corruption and the mistakes by the Government.

Graph 3.10: 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

82.3

Sinhala

81.5

Tamil

6.8

7.3

85.6

5.7

85

Msulim

25
Option A
Don't Know

Option B

0.3

3 1.86.2

0.1

5.1 0.8
0.4
6.8

80.5

Up Country Tamil

2.41.66.6

1.3

13.8

5.2 0.5
1.6 6.7

50
Neither

75
Could not understand

100
No opinion

Page 33 of 60

Political Efficacy

While 67.5% of Sri Lankans agree that if a person is dissatisfied with the policies of the
Government, he/ she has a duty to do something about it, 6.3% of Sri Lankans disagree with
the same.

From an ethnic perspective, this view is held by 71.9% from the Sinhala

community, 55.5% from the Tamil community, 55.7% from the Up Country Tamil community
and 51.3% from the Muslim community. From those who disagree, it is mostly the Tamil
community with 10.2% indicating the same. (Refer Graph 3.11)
When comparing the data with the surveys conducted in the past, there appears to be a
slight increase in the percentage of Sri Lankans who agree - while 60% in 2011 and 64.9% in
2014 agreed that if a person is dissatisfied with the policies of the Government, he/she has a
duty to do something about it, this figure rose to 67.5% in February 2016.

Graph 3.11: If a person is dissatisfied with the policies of the government he/ she has a
duty to something about it

80
71.9
67.5

60

55.5

55.7
51.3

40
28
22.7

20
11
6.3

18.2

15.1

National
Agree

9.3

13

16.1
10.2

12.5

5.7

Sinhala

Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

15.5
9.1

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

5.2

Muslim
Don't Know

Page 34 of 60

While 38.6% of Sri Lankans agree that they have no say in what the Government does,
35.3% believe that they do have a say. From an ethnic perspective, 37.7% from the Sinhala
community, 41.3% from the Tamil community, 44.3% from the Up Country Tamil community
and 40.7% from the Muslim community agree that they have no say in what the Government
does. From those who disagree, the respondents consist of 39.5% from the Sinhala, 22.1%
from the Tamil, 22.7% from the Up Country Tamil and 23.2% from the Muslim communities.
(Refer Graph 3.12)
When analysing the data with the surveys conducted in the past, it is evident that there was a
clear decline in the percentage of Sri Lankans (30.1% in 2013, 28.1% in 2014 and 19.7% in
March 2015) who agree that they have no say in what the Government does, with a notable
rise in the percentage of respondents in February 2016 to 38.6%.

Graph 3.12: People like me have no say in what the government does
50
44.3
38.6

37.5

39.5

37.7

35.3

41.3

25

12.5

40.7

22.7

21.3 22.1

13.1

12.9

National
Agree

23.2 23.7
20.5

15.3
12.1

Sinhala

12.5

10.8

Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

12.4

Muslim
Don't Know

Page 35 of 60

If an unjust law was passed in Sri Lanka, 44.3% of Sri Lankans believe that there is nothing
they can do about it, while 25.3% disagree with the same. From an ethnic perspective,
44.7% from the Sinhala, 42.4% from the Tamil, 52.9% from the Up Country Tamil and 39.7%
from the Muslim communities believe that there is nothing they can do if an unjust law is
passed by the Government. (Refer Graph 3.13)
When comparing the data with the surveys conducted in the past, it is evident that there has
been an increase in the percentage of Sri Lankans who believe that there is nothing they can
do if an unjust law is passed in Sri Lanka. While this view was held by 30% in 2013 and 29%
in 2014, this figure rose to 44.3% in February 2016.

Graph 3.13: If an unjust law was passed by the Government I could do nothing about it
60
52.9

45

44.7

44.3

30

15

42.4

26

25.3

15.4

39.7

15

15.8

25.3

23.7
17.8
13.5

17.2

16.1
10.3

National
Agree

Sinhala

Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

23.7

19.5
11.3

Muslim
Don't Know

While 38.5% of Sri Lankans agree that it does not really matter which political party is in
power as it will not affect their lives, 28.7% disagree. From an ethnic perspective, 36.4% from
the Sinhala community, 40.7% from the Tamil community, 72.7% from the Up Country Tamil
community, 37.1% from the Muslim community agree that it does not matter which political
party is in power, 34.6% from the Sinhala, 13.1% from the Tamil, 9.1% from the Up country
Tamil and 7.7% from the Muslim communities disagree with the same. (Refer Graph 3.14)

Page 36 of 60

In 2011, 7.2% from the Sinhala, 25.9% from the Tamil, 35.1% from the Up Country Tamil and
25.3% from the Muslim communities agreed that it doesnt matter as to which political party
is in power, as it has no impact on their lives, and when compared to the data from February
2016 it is a noteworthy increase in those who agree that it does not matter.

Graph 3.14: It doesnt really matter which party is in power, because it will not affect
our lives
80

72.7

60

40

40.7

38.5

36.4

37.1

34.6

33

28.7

20

19.9
12.9

18.2
10.8

23.7

22.5

22.2
13.6

13.1

9.1
4.5

National
Agree

Sinhala

Tamil

Neither Agree nor Disagree

Up Country Tamil
Disagree

7.7

Muslim
Don't Know

Number of Ministers in Parliament

Nearly 50% of Sri Lankans say that the Constitution should determine the number of
Ministers in Parliament and that there should be no room to increase the number, while
17.6% indicate that the Government should have some control over determining the number
of Ministers in Parliament. However, 8.3% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that the
Government should have complete freedom in deciding the number of Cabinet Ministers,
Deputy Ministers and other Ministers in Parliament.
From an ethnic perspective, 56.3% from the Sinhala community, 31.4% from the Tamil
community, 25.3% from the Up Country Tamil community and 21.1% from the Muslim
community are of the opinion that the Constitution should determine the number of Ministers
Page 37 of 60

and that there should be no room to increase the number. As for the Government having
control over determining the number of Ministers, 15.3% from the Sinhala community, 21.2%
from the Tamil community, 23% from the Up Country Tamil community and 29.4% from the
Muslim community indicate the same. 4.1% from the Sinhala, 17.8% from the Tamil, 26.4%
from the Up Country Tamil and 22.7% from the Muslim communities are of the opinion that
the Government should have complete freedom in deciding the number of Ministers in
Parliament. (Refer Graph 3.15)

Graph 3.15: Please select the statement that you agree with the most.
Option A: The Constitution should determine the number of ministers and there should
be no room to increase the number
Option B: The Government should have some control over determining the number of
Ministers
Option C: The Government should have complete freedom in deciding the number of
Ministers

National

49

Sinhala

17.6

8.3

56.3

Tamil

15.3

31.4

21.2

25.3

Up Country Tamil

21.1

Msulim

0
Option A

26.4

29.4

22.7

50
Option B

4.1

24.2

17.8

23

25

25.1

29.5

25.2

26.5

75
Option C

100

Don't Know

Page 38 of 60

Choosing a Parliamentary Representative


When choosing a Parliamentary representative, 28% of Sri Lankans prefer their representative
to be from the same geographical area as themselves. This figure consists of 18.4% from the
Sinhala, 60.9% from the Tamil, 60.2% from the Up Country Tamil and 52.1% from the Muslim
communities.
38.2% of Sri Lankans indicate that their representative to the Parliament should represent
their political ideologies. This includes 44.3% from the Sinhala, 17.4% from the Tamil, 25%
from the Up Country Tamil and 20.1% from the Muslim communities.
10% of Sri Lankans indicate that their representatives to the Parliament should represent their
identity such as their ethnicity, caste or class. This figure consists of 9% from the Sinhala,
17.4% from the Tamil, 10.2% from the Up Country Tamil and 9.3% from the Muslim
communities. (Refer Graph 3.16)

Graph 3.16: From the following, please select one of the factors that you find in
common with yourself when choosing your representative to the Parliament.
Option A: The Geographical Area
Option B: Politcal Ideologies
Option C: Identity (Class, Ethnicity, Religion)

National

28

Sinhala

38.2

18.4

44.3

Tamil

60.9

Up Country Tamil

60.2

25
Option A

Option B

15.4

20.1

4.1

10.2

9.3

50

9.2

17.4

25

Option C

8.3

19

17.4

52.1

Muslim

10

11.3

1.1
3.2

7.1

75
Other

100
Don't Know
Page 39 of 60

Functions performed by Members of Parliament

The respondents were given a list of functions performed by Parliamentarians, and were
asked to rate the level of importance of each of those functions.
A majority of Sri Lankans (83.3%) believe it is important that Members of Parliament ensure
that development activities within the districts are carried out by state agencies. From an
ethnic perspective, it is mostly the Up Country Tamil community with 86.2% who believe that
it is important that that ensure that it is carried out.
85.5% of Sri Lankans believe that it is important for Members of Parliament to use their
decentralised budgets to carry out development activities within the district. From an ethnic
perspective, 85.6% from the Sinhala community, 86.4% from the Tamil community, 89.7%
from the Up Country Tamil community and 81.3% from the Muslim community hold this view.
A large proportion of Sri Lankans (81.4%) indicate that being involved in national level issues
by participating in debates in Parliament and formulating legislation is an important function of
a Parliamentarian. From an ethnic perspective, 80.6% from the Sinhala community, 86.4%
from the Tamil community, 85.1% from the Up Country Tamil community and 79.9% from the
Muslim community indicate that it is important for Parliamentarians to be involved in national
level issues by participating in debates in Parliament and formulating legislation.
While 61.3% of Sri Lankans consider it to be very important, 19.4% indicate that it is
somewhat important for Parliamentarians to ensure that the executive arm of the Government
(including Ministries/ Government Authorities and Departments) provides the public with the
relevant services required. From an ethnic perspective, 90.8% from the Up Country Tamil
community, 87.3% from the Tamil community, 79.9% from the Muslim community and 79.2%
from the Sinhala community indicate that it is important for Parliamentarians to ensure that
the executive arm of the Government provides relevant services to the citizens of the country.
(Refer Graph 3.17)

Page 40 of 60

Graph 3.17: Please indicate the importance of the different functions performed by
Members of Parliament Option A: Ensure the development activities within the districts are being carried out
by state agencies

National

60

Sinhala

58.2

23.3

2.80.7 13.2

24.9

3.3 0.6 12.9

71.6

Tamil

Up Country Tamil

14.4

66.7

19.5

57.5

Muslim
0

22.3

25

11

1.1 12.6

50

Very Important
Not Important At All

0.8
2.1

19.2

75

Somewhat Important
Don't Know

100

Not Very Important

Option B : Use his/ her decentralised budget to carry out development activities within
the district

National

66.6

18.8

3.4 1.2 9.7

Sinhala

67.6

18

4 1.3 9

Tamil

68.1

18.3

1.7
2.1 9.8

Up Country Tamil

70.1

19.5

56

Muslim
0

25

Very Important
Not Important At All

25.4
50

Somewhat Important
Don't Know

1.6

10.2

17

75

100

Not Very Important


Page 41 of 60

Option C: Be involved with national level issues including through participating in


debates in Parliament and formulating legislation

National

62.3

Sinhala

61.5

Tamil

19.1

19.1

69.5

1.1 13.5

22.7

25

2.1
1

50

Very Important
Not Important At All

2.50.410.5

16.1

57.2

Muslim

5.6 1.5 12.3

16.9

69

Up Country Tamil

4.7 1.2 12.5

17

75

Somewhat Important
Don't Know

100

Not Very Important

Option D: Ensure that the executive arm of the Government (including Ministries/
government authorities and departments) deliver relevant services to citizens

National

61.3

Sinhala

19.4

58.7

Tamil

3.6 0.8 14.5

20.4

4.5 0.9

68.2

19.1

0.8
0.8 11

83.9

Up Country Tamil

6.9

62.9

Muslim
0

25

Very Important
Not Important At All

15.3

17
50

Somewhat Important
Don't Know

1.5
1

9.1

17.4

75

100

Not Very Important

Page 42 of 60

Corruption
The survey sought to evaluate the level of confidence Sri Lankans have in the Governments
performance and commitment towards eradicating corruption in the country.
On the Governments performance in eliminating corruption in the country, 41% of Sri
Lankans are of the opinion that the Government has done enough to combat corruption,
while 42.8% do not think they have done enough.
From an ethnic perspective, the Up Country Tamil community appear to be the most satisfied
with 64.4% indicating that the Government has done enough to combat corruption, while the
least satisfied is the Sinhala community with 49.8% stating the contrary. (Refer Graph 3.18)
When comparing the findings with the survey conducted in March 2015, there is no big
change in the publics opinion with regard to the Governments performance in combating
corruption in the country. In March 2015, 43.9% of Sri Lankans indicate that the
Government has done enough to combat corruption, while 41.2% disagreed with this view.
From an ethnic perspective, when analysing the data with the survey conducted in March
2015, there appears to be a drop in the percentage of respondents from the Sinhala and Up
Country Tamil communities who believe that the Government has done enough to combat
corruption in the country. In March 2015, 39.9% from the Sinhala community and 72% from
the Up Country Tamil community were of the opinion that the Government has done enough
to combat corruption in the Country. In February 2016 a decline in these figures is evident
with 34% from the Sinhala community and 64.4% from the Up Country Tamil community.
However, there has been an increase in the percentage of respondents from the Tamil and
Muslim communities who believe that the Government has done enough to combat
corruption in the country. In March 2015, 48.4% from the Tamil and 57.9% from the Muslim
communities indicated that the Government has done enough to combat corruption in the
country and a rise in these figures is seen in February 2016 to 61.4% and 62.4%
respectively.
Overall, Sri Lankans have a low level of confidence on the Governments commitment
towards eradicating corruption in the country. While 40.8% are of the opinion that the
Government is not committed towards eradicating corruption in the country, 34.5% say that
the Government is committed.
Page 43 of 60

From an ethnic perspective, the Sinhala community seem to be the most skeptical with
47.4% indicating that the Government is not committed towards eradicating corruption in the
country, while the Muslim community is the most optimistic, with 62.9% stating that the
Government is committed. (Refer Graph 3.19)
In October 2015, 49.6% of Sri Lankans were of the opinion that the Government is
committed towards eradicating corruption in the country, whilst 28.1% stated the contrary.
Graph 3.18: In your opinion, has the Government done enough to combat corruption?
70

52.5

35

17.5

64.4

61.4
41

49.8

42.8
34
16.2

62.4

22.5

16.2

National

Sinhala
Yes

21.8

16.1

Tamil

13.8

Up Country Tamil

No

19.6

18

Muslim

Don't Know

Graph 3.19: Do you think the government is committed towards eradicating corruption
in the country?
70

52.5

35

17.5

34.5

47.4

40.8
24.7

62.9

61.4

58.5

National

26.6

26

22.5

Sinhala
Yes

Tamil
No

19.1

21.6

17

Up Country Tamil

17.5

19.6

Muslim

Don't Know
Page 44 of 60

4
TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE
Summary
On devolution of power, 25.3% of Sri Lankans agree that power needs to be devolved
to the Provincial Councils, while reducing the power of the Central Government.
Almost 50% Sri Lankans are of the opinion that certain powers could be decentralised
but the powers of the Central Government should not be reduced.
On the allocation of resources, 38.5% of Sri Lankans say that there are many other
problems that the country faces and which the Government should focus on, and
rebuilding the conflict affected areas should not be given priority over the needs of the
rest of the country.
A majority (74.4%) of Sri Lankans agree that the Clergy (religious priests/ monks) if
found guilty of unethical/ illegal behaviour or misconduct, must be taken into custody
and dealt with under the rule of law.
While 48.8% of Sri Lankans agree that the National Anthem should be sung in both
Sinhala and Tamil languages, 41.3% of Sri Lankans disagree with the same.
There appears to be a drop in the percentage of Sri Lankans who believe that the
Constitution should recognise ethnicity. While 64.6% in 2013 indicated that the
Constitution recognise ethnicity, this figure dropped to 41.2% in February 2016.
While 74.1% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that the Government should find a
solution to address the root causes of the ethnic conflict, 12.7% oppose the same.

42.2% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that there should be a mechanism to look into
what happened during the final stages of the war, while 44.2% are of the opinion that
there shouldnt be such a mechanism.
Among those who indicate that there should be a credible mechanism to look into
accountability of what happened during the final stages of the war, 47.3% of Sri

Page 45 of 60

Lankans are of the opinion that it should be an exclusively domestic one, whilst 9.2%
of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that it should be an exclusively international one.
From an ethnic perspective, it is mostly the Sinhala community who favour an
exclusively domestic mechanism with 69.3% indicating the same.
From those who favour an exclusively international mechanism, it is the Tamil
community with 26.2% indicating the same.
From those who believe that there should be an international mechanism to investigate
into what happened during the final stages of the war, it is evident that respondents
from the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities mostly prefer the judges,
prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to be from the USA while the Up Country Tamil
community prefer the judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to be from India.
Respondents who believe that there should be an exclusively domestic mechanism,
were asked as to what ethnicity they would prefer the judges, prosecutors, lawyers
and investigators to be from. In response to this question, 62.7% of Sri Lankans
stated that individuals from a combination of ethnicities should act as judges,
prosecutors, lawyers and investigators.
On the topic relating to transitional justice measures proposed by the Government,
50.8% of Sri Lankans are not aware of the Governments promise to establish a
special court with a Truth Commission, an Office of Reparations and an Office of
Missing Persons, while only 20.6% of Sri Lankans are aware of the same.
On the question of the transitional justice process in Sri Lanka, 28.8% of Sri Lankans
are of the opinion that issues in relation to reparations, which includes the victims
entitlement for redress and a proper policy framework need to be addressed.

Page 46 of 60

Devolution of power
On the topic of devolution of power, 25.3% of Sri Lankans agree that power needs to be
devolved to the Provincial Councils while reducing the power of the Central Government.
46.5% of Sri Lankans however believe that certain powers could be decentralised, but the
powers of the Central Government should not be reduced.
From an ethnic perspective, 22.5% from the Sinhala, 40.9% from the Tamil, 26.1% from the
Up Country Tamil and 28.4% from the Muslim communities agree that power needs to be
devolved to the Provincial Councils while reducing the power of the Central Government.
48.6% from the Sinhala, 34.5% from the Tamil, 39.8% from the Up Country Tamil and 47.9%
from the Muslim communities agree that powers could be decentralised, but the powers of
the Central Government should not be reduced. (Refer Graph 4.1)
When comparing the surveys conducted in the past, there is a rise in the percentage of Sri
Lankans who believe that power needs to be devolved to the Provincial Councils, while
reducing the power of the Central Government. In 2011, 15.3% from the Sinhala, 40.9% from
the Tamil, 32.5% from the Up Country Tamil, 42.9% from the Muslim communities agreed
that power needs to be devolved to the Provincial Councils, while reducing the power of the
Central Government. In 2015 - 17.8% from the Sinhala, 47.9% from the Tamil, 47.1% from
the Up Country Tamil and 51.5% from the Muslim communities indicated the same. However
in February 2016, there is a drop in the percentage of respondents from the Sinhala (22.5%)
and Muslim (28.4%) communities who hold this view.
In October 2015, nearly 26% of Sri Lankans agreed that power needs to be devolved to the
Provincial Councils while the powers of the Central Government should be reduced, followed
by 41.3% of Sri Lankans who were of the opinion that certain powers of the Central
Government could be decentralised, but the powers of the Central Government should not
be reduced.
Comparing the survey findings with the survey conducted in October 2015, there appears to
be a significant increase in the percentage across the Tamil, Up Country Tamil and Muslim
communities, who agree that certain powers could be decentralised, but powers of the
Central Government should not be reduced. In October 2015 while 18.6% from the Tamil,
25.3% from the Up Country Tamil and 21.6% from the Muslim communities held this view, in
Page 47 of 60

February 2016, 34.5% from the Tamil, 39.8% from the Up Country Tamil and 47.9% from the
Muslim community indicated the same.

Graph 4.1: Tell me which statement is the most agreeable to you.


Option A: Power needs to be devolved to the Provincial Councils, while reducing the
power of the Central Government
Option B: It is ok to decentralise certain powers, but powers of the Central
Government should not be reduced

National

25.3

Sinhala

46.5

22.5

Tamil

48.6

40.9

34.5

26.1

Up Country Tamil

39.8

28.4

Muslim
0
Option A

2.14.2

21.7

0.2

2.44.6

21.8

0.1

2.13.8

1.1
2.3

Option b

Neither

50
Could not understand

0.4

30.7

47.9

25

18.3

2.1

75
No opinion

21.1

0.5

100
Don't Know

On the question of allocation of resources, 41.5% of Sri Lankans say that the Government
should give priority to allocating resources to rebuild the conflict affected areas, even if it
means that less money is spent towards the rest of the country. 38.5% of Sri Lankans say
that there are many other problems that the country faces for which the Government should
focus on, and rebuilding the conflict affected areas should not be given priority over the
needs of the rest of the country.
From an ethnic perspective, 37.1% from the Sinhala, 61.4% from the Tamil, 46% from the Up
Country Tamil and 51.5% from the Muslim communities say that the Government should give
priority to allocating resources to rebuild the conflict affected areas, even if it means that less
Page 48 of 60

money is spent towards the rest of the country. However, 39.8% from the Sinhala, 30.1%
from the Tamil, 48.3% from the Up Country Tamil and 33.5% from the Muslim communities
say that there are many other problems that the country faces for which the Government
should focus on, and rebuilding the conflict affected areas should not be given priority over
the needs of the rest of the country. (Refer Graph 4.2)
When analysing the data from previous surveys, in 2013 while 61.1% of Sri Lankans were of
the opinion that the Government should give priority to allocating resources to rebuilding the
conflict affected areas, this figure declined to 46.3% in 2014 and 37.5% in October 2015.
However a slight increase to 41.5% is seen in February 2016.
Looking at the increase in the percentage of respondents who say that there are many other
problems in the country for which the Government should direct its focus, as opposed to
prioritising the rebuilding of the conflict affected areas - in 2014 it was 20.5%, in October
2015 it was 37.7% and in February 2016 it increased slightly to 38.5%.
Graph 4.2: Tell me which statement is most agreeable to you.
Option A: The Government should give priority in 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 the country that Government should
focus on, rebuilding the conflict affected areas should not be given priority over the
needs of the rest of the country

National

41.5

Sinhala

38.5

37.1

5.9 1.4 12.3

39.8

Tamil

7.7

61.4

Up Country Tamil

Option A

Option B

50
Neither

Could not understand

0.2

5.7

33.5

25

0.1

0.8
0.8
6.4

48.3

51.5

13.8

30.1

46

Muslim

1.4

0.3

0.5
2.6

75
No Opinion

11.3

0.3

100
Don't Know
Page 49 of 60

74.4% of Sri Lankans agree that clergy (religious priests/ monks) if found guilty of unethical/
illegal behaviour or misconduct, must be taken into custody and dealt with under the rule of
law. From an ethnic perspective, it is 68.5% from the Sinhala community, 88.1% from the
Tamil community, 93.2% from the Up Country Tamil community and 96.9% from the Muslim
community who hold this view. On the contrary, 14.3% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that
the clergy (religious priests/ monks) are ordained to be formal leaders who are distinguished
from the laity, and therefore taking them into custody despite their unethical behaviour should
not be allowed. From an ethnic perspective, it is the Sinhala community with 18.4% who
mostly agree with the same. (Refer Graph 4.3)

Graph 4.3: Tell me which statement is most agreeable to you Option A: The Clergy, (religious priests/ monks) who are found committing unethical/
illegal behaviour or misconduct, must be taken into custody and dealt with under the
rule of law
Option B: The Clergy, (religious priests/ monks) are ordained to be formal leaders who
are distinguished from the laity. Hence, taking them into custody, despite their
unethical behaviour should not be allowed

National

74.4

Sinhala

14.3

68.5

Tamil

18.4

88.1

93.2

Up Country Tamil

0
Option A

25
Option B

50
Neither

Could not understand

6.2

0.86

0.1

1.3
1.7
0.87.5

0.4

3.4 3.2

96.9

Muslim

4.8 0.7
5.5 0.2

1.5
10.5

75
No opinion

100
Don't Know
Page 50 of 60

In March 2015 the Sirisena Government lifted the unofficial ban on singing the National
Anthem in Tamil. This was followed by the National Anthem being sung in Tamil at the closing
ceremony of Sri Lankas 68th Independence Day celebrations on 04th February 2016.
While 48.8% of Sri Lankans agree that the National Anthem should be sung in both Sinhala
and Tamil languages, 41.3% of Sri Lankans disagree. Among those who agree that the
National Anthem should be sung in both Sinhala and Tamil languages, 33.2% from the
Sinhala, 96.2% from the Tamil, 97.7% from the Up Country Tamil and 97.9% from the Muslim
communities indicate the same. From those who disagree, it is mostly the Sinhala community
with 54.3% indicating the same. (Refer Graph 4.4)
When analysing the data with the survey conducted in March 2015, there does not appear to
be any significant changes to the percentage of respondents who both agree as well as
disagree with singing the national anthem in both languages. In March 2015 while 49.8% of
Sri Lankans agreed, 41.3% disagreed with singing the National Anthem in Sinhala and Tamil.

Graph 4.4: The National Anthem should be sung in both Sinhala and Tamil
languages. Please indicate as to how far you agree/ disagree with this statement.
100

75

50

97.7

93.2

88.6

25
40.3

36.6

30.7

12.2

4.6

10.7

National

5.2

18.514.6

5.8

14.1

Sinhala

Strongly Agree
Somewhat Disagree

6.7

3 0.9 0 2.6 0.4

Tamil

Somewhat Agree
Stongly Disagree

0 1.1 0

0 1.1

Up Country Tamil

9.3 1 0.5 0 0.5

Muslim

Neither Agree nor Disagree


Don't Know
Page 51 of 60

Role of Ethnicity in Politics

On the question of ethnicity and the Constitution of the country, 42.1% of Sri Lankans believe
that the Constitution should recognise ethnicity, while 34.7% state that the Constitution
should have no reference to ethnicity. From an ethnic perspective, 45.1% from the Sinhala,
29.8% from the Tamil, 27.6% from the Up Country Tamil and 39.2% from the Muslim
communities say that the Constitution should recognise ethnicity. From an ethnic perspective,
the respondents who stated that the Constitution should have no reference to ethnicity
consists of 28.3% from the Sinhala, 55.7% from the Tamil, 63.2% from the Up Country Tamil
and 47.4% from the Muslim communities. (Refer Graph 4.5)
When comparing the results of the surveys conducted in the past, it is interesting to note that
in 2013, while 64.6% of Sri Lankans indicated that the Constitution should recognise
ethnicity, 12.1% of Sri Lankans indicated that the Constitution should have no reference to
ethnicity.

Graph 4.5: Do you think that Sri Lankas Constitution should recognise ethnicity or
should our constitution have no reference to ethnicity?
70

52.5

35

63.2
55.7

17.5

47.4

45.1

42.1
34.7
23.3

39.2
28.3

26.6

29.8

27.6
14.5

National
Yes

Sinhala

Tamil
No

13.4

9.2

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Don't Know

Page 52 of 60

While 74.1% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that the Government should find a solution to
address the root causes of the ethnic conflict, 12.7% oppose the same. From an ethnic
perspective, 71% from the Sinhala, 83.5% from the Tamil, 80.7% from the Up Country Tamil
and 85.1% from the Muslim community are of the opinion that the Government should find a
solution to address the root causes of the conflict. 13.6% from the Sinhala, 10.6% from the
Tamil, 10.2% from the Up Country Tamil and 9.3% from the Muslim communities are of the
opinion that the Government should not find a solution to address the root causes of the
conflict. (Refer Graph 4.6)

When analysing the survey conducted in March 2015, 80.6% of Sri Lankans indicated that
the Government should, whilst only 6.5% indicated that the Government should not find a
solution to address the root causes of the conflict.

Graph 4.6: In your opinion, do you believe that the Government should find a solution
to address the root causes of the ethnic conflict?
90

67.5

45

83.5

74.1

85.1

80.7

71

22.5
12.7

13.2

National

13.6

Sinhala
Yes

15.4

10.6

Tamil
No

5.9

10.2

9.1

Up Country Tamil

9.3

5.7

Muslim

Don't Know

From those who indicate that the Government should find a solution to address the root
causes of the conflict, 50.1% of Sri Lankans indicate that they are satisfied with the
Governments efforts so far, while 26.2% indicate that they are not satisfied. Among those
who are satisfied, it is mostly the Up Country Tamil community with 81.7% indicating the
same. The least satisfied is the Sinhala community with 32.4%. (Refer Graph 4.7)
Page 53 of 60

When analysing the data with the survey conducted in March 2015, there appears to be a
drop in the percentage of respondents who are satisfied with the Governments efforts, and
an increase in the percentage of respondents who are dissatisfied with the Government
efforts in addressing the root causes of the conflict. As such, in March 2015, nearly 57% of
Sri Lankans were satisfied while nearly 19% were not.

Graph 4.7: If yes, how satisfied are you with the Governments efforts in addressing the
root causes of the ethnic conflict?
60

45

30

57.4
41

50.6

35.8

15

26.8
9.1

54.9

12.6

20.8

17
9.2 11.1

13.4

15.2
11.612.9

5.4

National
Very Satisfied
Somewhat Dissatisfied

Sinhala

19.5
6.6 8.1 5.6 7.1

Tamil
Somewhat Satisfied
Very Dissatisfied

5.6

8.5

0 4.2

Up Country Tamil

17.1
5.5 0.6 6.7

Muslim

Neither Satisified not Dissatisfied


Don't Know

When asked whether a credible mechanism is required to look into accountability of what
happened during the final stages of the war, 42.2% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that
there should be such a mechanism, whilst 44.2% are of the opinion that there should not be
one. From an ethnic perspective, it is the Tamil community with 89.8% who mostly feel that
there should be a credible mechanism to look into accountability of what happened during
the final stages of the war, followed by 77% from the Up Country Tamil, 72.7% from the
Muslim and 29.6% from the Sinhala communities. From those who are of the opinion that a
credible mechanism is not required to look into accountability of what happened during the
Page 54 of 60

final stages of the war, it is mostly the Sinhala community with 55.8% who indicate the same.
(Refer Graph 4.8)
When analysing the data from previous surveys, there is an increase in the percentage of
respondents who believe that there should not be a credible mechanism to look into what
happened in the final stages of the war. While 36.3% in March 2015 and 37.7% in October
2015 were not in favour of a credible mechanism, this figure has risen to 42.2% in February
2016.
There appears to be a noteworthy increase in the Sinhala community of those who are not in
favour of a credible mechanism - 44.4% in March 2015 and 47.1% in October 2015 from the
Sinhala community indicated that they were not in favour of a credible mechanism, while this
figure rose to 55.8% in February 2016.

Graph 4.8: Do you think there should be a credible mechanism to look into
accountability of what happened during the final stages of the war?
90

67.5

45

89.8
77

72.7

55.8

22.5

42.2

44.2
29.6
14.6

13.5

National
Yes

5.5

Sinhala

Tamil
No

4.7

10.3

12.6

Up Country Tamil

11.3

16

Muslim

Don't Know

From those who indicate that there should be a credible mechanism to look into
accountability of what happened during the final stages of the war, 47.3% of Sri Lankans are
of the opinion that it should be an exclusively domestic one, whilst 9.2% of Sri Lankans are of
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the opinion that it should be an exclusively international one. 37.3% of Sri Lankans are of the
opinion that the mechanism should be a combination of both a domestic and international
one.
From an ethnic perspective, it is mostly the Sinhala community who favour an exclusively
domestic mechanism with 69.3% indicating the same. This figure is followed by 19% from
the Tamil, 26.5% from the Up Country Tamil and 26.1% from the Muslim communities.
From those who favour an exclusively international mechanism, it is the Tamil community with
26.2% indicating the same. This figure is followed by, 17.6% from the Up Country Tamil
community, 6.3% from the Muslim community and only 1.3% from the Sinhala community.
From those who favour a combination of both a domestic and international mechanism, it is
mostly the Muslim community with 59.2% indicating the same. This figure is followed by
52.9% from the Up Country Tamil, 50.5% from the Tamil and 22.6% from the Sinhala
communities. (Refer Graph 4.9)

Graph 4.9: If yes, in your opinion please select the statement which accurately reflects
your views on the assessment of alleged war crimes/ crimes against humanity, that
occurred during the final stages of the war?
70

52.5

35

69.3
47.3
37.3

17.5

22.6
9.2

59.2

52.9

50.5

National

6.2

1.3

Sinhala

19

26.5

26.2

26.1
17.6

6.8

4.3

Tamil

Exclusively Domestic Mechanism


A Combination of both Domestic and International

2.9

Up Country Tamil

6.3

Muslim

Exclusively International Mechanism


Don't Know
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8.5

The respondents who believe that there should be an exclusively international or a hybrid
court system to investigate into what happened during the final stages of the war were asked
to indicate as to what nationality they would prefer the judges, prosecutors, lawyers and
investigators to be from. Most respondents were of the opinion that they would prefer judges,
prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to be from the USA (27.4%), followed by India (19%)
and Norway (4.2%).
From an ethnic perspective, it is evident that respondents from the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim
communities mostly prefer judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to be from the USA
while the Up Country Tamil community prefer judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators
to be from India.
The respondents who believe that there should be an exclusively domestic mechanism were
asked as to what ethnicity they would prefer the judges, prosecutors, lawyers and
investigators to be from. 5.8% of the respondents prefer only Sinhalese individuals, 2.2% of
respondents prefer only Tamil individuals while 62.7% of Sri Lankans indicate that individuals
from a combination of ethnicities should act as judges, prosecutors, lawyers and
investigators. 14.2% of the respondents indicate that they are not concerned with the
ethnicity of the judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators. (Refer Graph 4.10)
On the topic relating to transitional justice measures proposed by the Government, 50.8% of
Sri Lankans are not aware of the Governments promise to establish a special court with a
Truth Commission, an Office of Reparations and an Office of Missing Persons, while only
20.6% of Sri Lankans are aware of the same.
Along those who indicate that they are aware, it is mostly the Tamil community with 32.2%
followed by 29.7% from the Muslim community, 18.4% from the Up Country Tamil community
and 17.9% from the Sinhala community who indicate the same. From those who indicate that
they are not aware, it is mostly the Muslim community with 52.8% followed by 52.1% from
the Sinhala community, 43.2% from the Tamil community and 41.4% from the Up Country
Tamil community who indicate the same. (Refer Graph 4.11)

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Graph 4.10: If you are of the opinion that there should be an exclusively domestic
mechanism, what ethnicity would you prefer the judges, prosecutors, lawyers and
investigators to be from?

90

67.5

45

81.7
71.7

62.7

58.5

56.5

22.5

14.2 15.1

5.8 2.2

18.8

9.5 0

National

23.8
13.2

1.4 10.2

Sinhala

8.2

18.9
0

Tamil

1.9

7.5

Up Country Tamil

8.3 10

Muslim

Only Sinhalese Individuals


Only Tamil Individuals
Individuals from a combination of ethnicities
I am not concerned with what enthnicity the individuals are from
Don't Know

Graph 4.11: As a means of addressing transitional justice in the country, the


Government has promised to establish a special court with a Truth Commission, an
Office of Reparations and an Office of Missing Persons. Are you aware of this?

60

45

30
52.8

52.1

50.8

43.2

15
20.6

30

28.6

24.6

17.9

National
Yes

41.4

40.2

32.2

Sinhala

Tamil
No

29.7
18.4

17.4

Up Country Tamil

Muslim

Don't Know
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From those who are aware of the Governments promise to establish a special court with a
Truth Commission, an Office of Reparations and an Office of Missing Persons, 64.2% of Sri
Lankans approve (with 29.6% strongly approving) while 20.1% disapprove.
The Muslim community expressed the highest level of approval with 87.9%, followed by
81.3% from the Up Country Tamil, 80% from the Tamil and 54.4% from the Sinhala
communities. From those who disapprove, it is mostly the Sinhala community with 27.2%
followed by 8.6% from the Muslim community, 6.3% from the Up Country Tamil community
and 4% from the Tamil community. (Refer Graph 4.12)
Graph 4.12: If yes, please indicate as to how much you approve/ disapprove the same?

60

45

30

15

54.7

34.6
29.6

28.6
25.8
9.3 10.8 9.3

National

14.512.7

Sinhala

Strongly Approve
Somewhat Disapprove

7.4

36.2

31.3

25.3
11

6.4

51.7

50

12
1.3 2.7 4

Tamil
Somewhat Approve
Stongly Disapprove

0 6.3 0

12.5

Up Country Tamil

6.9

1.7 3.4

Muslim

Neither Approve nor Disapprove


Don't Know

The resolution titled Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka
was submitted to the UNHRC in October 2015, and was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka and 25
additional co-sponsors.

Many initiatives have been proposed in line with the UNHRC

resolution which hopes to achieve a long term goal of attaining truth and justice in post war
Sri Lanka. Taking this into consideration, the respondents were asked to indicate key issues
that they would highlight, if they were to appear before or be present at public sitting on the
transitional justice process of the country. 28.8% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that issues
in relation to reparations, which includes the victims entitlement for redress and a proper
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policy framework need to be addressed followed by 11.4% who indicate that issues
pertaining to non-recurrence must be addressed.
5.6% of Sri Lankans are of the opinion that issues in relation to the right to know the truth
should be addressed, followed by 9.2% who indicated that issues with regard to the right to
justice and an unbiased judicial process should be addressed. From an ethnic perspective it
is mostly the Up Country Tamil community with 11.9% who indicate that issues with regard to
the right to know the truth should be addressed. This figure is followed by 8% from the
Muslim, 6.5% from the Tamil and 4.9% from the Sinhala communities.
From the respondents who are of the opinion that issues pertaining to the right to justice
must be addressed, it is mostly the Tamil community who supports this with 36.4% indicating
the same. This figure is followed by 20.1% from the Muslim, 11.9% from the Up Country
Tamil and 3.6% from the Sinhala communities.
From the respondents who are of the opinion that issues pertaining to reparations must be
addressed, it is mostly the Sinhala community with 31.8%. This figure is followed by 28.8%
from the Up Country Tamil, 20.1% from the Tamil and 14.8% from the Muslim communities.
That issues pertaining to the guarantee of non-recurrence must be addressed, it is mostly the
Sinhala community with 13.2% who hold this view, followed by 9.8% from the Muslim, 3.8%
from the Tamil and 1.9% from the Up Country Tamil communities.
However, it is important to note that a majority of Sri Lankans (60.4%) remain unaware as to
the issues that they would highlight, if they were to appear before a public sitting on
transitional justice.
The respondents were asked to indicate as to what they would like to see from the current
and future initiatives taken by the Government on ensuring transitional justice in the country.
While most are unaware as to what should come out of the process with 65.3% indicating
that they didnt know, 21.7% of Sri Lankans indicate that the Governments initiatives in
ensuring transitional justice in the country should strengthen the rule of law, promote human
rights and ensure unity amongst the different ethnic groups that would secure peace, and a
guarantee of non-recurrence of violence in the future.

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