The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka held its ninth Parliamentary election on 5th August 2020 against the backdrop of a rapidly spreading global pandemic and amidst strict social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Sri Lanka was at a critical juncture, caught between the compulsion to hold the Parliamentary elections and the necessity to protect public health.
The election was initially scheduled to be held on the 25th of April, following the dissolution of the 8th Parliament on the 2nd of March. However, due to the strict lockdown enforced to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the election was first postponed to the 20th of June and finally, to the 5th of August. Due to the prevailing situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the absence of a Parliament quickly escalated into an internal political crisis which generated contentious views amongst politicians, civil society, and the public. Several fundamental rights cases were also filed with the Supreme Court where following consideration, the justices refused leave to proceed with the cases.