STRENGTHENING ELECTORAL DEMOCRACY THROUGH VOTER EDUCATION

Rukmal with EC

In the August 2015 General Election campaign, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) is taking a number of initiatives to raise voter awareness and strengthen the fundamental right to the franchise.

Responding to a request from the Elections Commissioner Mr.Mahinda Deshapriya, CMEV isspearheading three hundred public awareness events on the method of voting under the prevailing electoral system.In addition, CMEV is also conducting an island-wide information programme for Grama Niladhari officers on their role in the elections process. The programme will reach out to an estimated nine hundred (900) Grama Niladhari Officers representing six districts and culminate in the launch of a publication titled ‘Elections Process of Sri Lanka and the Role of Grama Niladharis’. 

In addition, following the historic decision by the Elections Commissioner to facilitate the exercise of the franchise by elderly and disabled citizens,as clearly outlined in the article PE/64(2015) and the circular dated 2015.05.25 issued by him-“In an election, convenient ways should be available for senior citizens and citizens with physical weaknesses to cast their votes”- CMEV together with a collective of voluntary civil society organizations has launched a public awareness campaign in support of this. At the core of this campaign is the inclusion of all citizens of Sri Lanka irrespective of their disability to be provided with the necessary facilities to cast their votes at assigned polling stations. In this respect, the relevant polling officers and authorities are required to provide the needed facilities so that they can vote without discrimination or hindrance.

CMEV is working on this issue in collaboration with Enable Lanka Foundation (ELF), Dr Shyamani Hettiarachchi (Department of Disability Studies – University of Kelaniya), CBM Sri Lanka, DayaniPanagoda, Technical Advisor to GIZ, International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES), Navajeewana Rehabilitation (Tangalle) and Wheels in Motion (WIM), Zahabia Adamaley.