As a part of the annual training plan which is being implemented with the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) is organizing a series of training workshops for the officials who are working under the election commission in various sections.
The main purpose of this workshop series is to conduct a number of activities related to the annual enumeration of electors and regarding certain tasks related to elections which are carried out using decentralised computer system in 25 district offices Island wide. With the intention of providing more efficient and effective services to the citizens (Electors and Voters) the new information system is introduced for the election commission of Sri Lanka.
The first awareness session of this series, is being held at the election secretariat, Rajagiriya at the moment.
Experience Sharing Discussion Series on Electoral Process for Government Staff Officers organised by CMEV in partnership with the Election Commission of Sri Lanka:
As a part of the annual training plan which is being implemented with the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) is organizing a series of provincial level awareness sessions for all Staff Officers who are engaging with Election duties during Election time. The first awareness session was held at Solis Hotel, Matara.
Chairman of the Election Commission, Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Director General of the Election Commission, Mr. U. Amaradasa, Chief Secretary of Southern Provincial Council and All District Secretaries/Returning Officers of Matara, Galle and Hambantota districts are participating at the event.
This is a great platform to share the lessons learnt and plan out future Election activities and it is nice to see all key administrative officers sharing their experiences with members and Chairman of Election Commission.
CMEV especially provided an insight on the importance of facilitating voting rights of Persons With Disabilities.
Following the written submission made to the Public Representative Committee of Constitutional Reforms on the 29th of February by a group of civil society organizations and individuals including volunteers from the 2015 ‘Enabled Elections’ campaign and facilitated by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), an oral submission was presented before the said committee on the 4th of March from2:00 P. M. onwards at the office of the Public Representative Committee located in Visumpaya, Colombo 02.
The presentation was commenced by Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, the National coordinator of CMEV and was followed by Mr. Subramaniam, the president of Northern Provincial Consortium of Differently Abled as well as the president of Orhan organization based in Vavuniya. Mr. Janith Rukmal, President and Co-founder of Enabled Lanka foundation summarized the contents of the written submission and highlighted the most essential points of interest to the committee while Ms. Nirosha from Trincomalee and Mr. Kasunjith from Kalutara representing the persons with disabilities opined further on the significance of the submission.
Special emphasis was given to the fact that the oral submission being presented with the majority participation of the persons with disabilities.
The translations of this document in Sinhala and Tamil languages were also submitted to the committee with accessible Braille prints of it while updating the said submission with new signatories.
The insights for this submission was taken from the inputs received from an advocacy meeting convened by CMEV on the 8th of February with substantial participation of the communities consisting of the persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka.
While pledging to continue the advocacy for the civil and political rights and the broader inclusion of persons with disabilities in the electoral process in the future, CMEV wishes to thank every organization and individual who contributed in diverse ways to make this endeavor possible.
The official documents along with the Sinhala and Tamil translations of the written submission will be available on CMEV website shortly.
Several highlights of the occasion can be viewed in the photos below.
Comprehensive document as a proposed submission for the Public representative committee for the constitutional reforms has been drafted following an advocacy consultation convened by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) on Feb 8th involving disability rights advocates, human rights organizations and disabled peoples’ organizations. This initiative has been made possible with the support of the International Federation of Electoral Assistance, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, the Northern Province Consortium for Disabled Associations, Enable Lanka Foundation and volunteers of the 2015 Enabled Elections coalition, and with the facilitation of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence.
Today at 2.pm, the translations of the said document will be submitted to the said committee in tandem with an oral submission of the proposals with the participation of numerous disability related organizations and persons with disabilities in Sri Lanka.
Since the very first general parliamentary election of Sri Lanka that was commenced in the year 1947, the recent general parliamentary Election that was held on the 17th of August 2015, is regarded as the 16th such election if one were to take the referendum held in the year 1982 as well into account.
Various opposition entities with the expectations of a good governance, lined up to question and critique the absence of the elements of a good governance in the conduct of the previous regime by raising their voices collectively with the participation of numerous community based organizations. Consequently, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena was appointed as the president on the 9th of January 2015. The subsequent general election also was spearheaded with the same intents of a good governance and accordingly the political fronts which advocated the principles of the good governance procured the victory at the general parliamentary elections held on the 17th August in the year 2015. The victory of the said election can be considered a significant landmark in the electoral history of Sri Lanka because the respective political fronts which were thus appointed had placed the agenda of the Civil Society Organizations at the forefront. In addition to the aforesaid distinction, the general election held in the year 2015 is significant due to the free and democratic atmosphere that had been manifested amidst the transitional phase of Sri Lanka that transformed from a post-conflict ambiance into a post-war context. Hence this particular general election turned out to be a steppingstone for the successive elections to be able to reinstate the democratic right of the citizenry to select and elect the candidates of their choice sans any influence.
The misappropriation of the state property as in the case of the presidential election in the year 2015 was largely absent at the recent election and instead, there was greater latitude for the election commissioner to consistently deploy his authority impartially in the electoral machination. Although there were instances of incurring colossal expenses on political campaign and hateful remarks levelled at political opponents, overall the general parliamentary election 2015 is recorded as a free and fair election that was held in Sri Lanka after a long period of time. Moreover, this election is regarded as the last election commenced under the authority of the Department of Elections prior to the establishment of an independent Elections Commission.
This report will be translated to Sinhala and Tamil languages as well and will be compiled in Braille and as an audio version in Sinhala for the benefit of visually impaired Persons.
You can request further information or submit your comments via [email protected].
Download the report in full here (62Mb PDF).
Disability is not a disqualification for anyone in voting. No matter one couldn’t see or hear or make one’s way to the polling station without help, their right to vote remains the same.
CMEV in collaboration with International Foundation for Electoral Systems convened an advocacy meeting today from 9:30 A.M. till 12:00 P. M. at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies auditorium with the participation of the coalition involved in the Enabled Election campaign and many other disabled persons’ organizations as well as disability advocates to discuss and draft a comprehensive document that addresses the need to devise and adopt provisions concerning the persons living with disabilities to be included in the constitutional reforms.
Over 25 participants represented various organizations and institutions related to persons living with disabilities at this meeting and provided their inputs in a progressive manner to be submitted to the committee that has been appointed to collate the contributions of the general public in relation to the drafting of a new constitution.
An initial draft prepared by a disability rights expert in IFES was presented to the participants in English, Sinhala and Tamil languages along with the Braille copies of the respective document. Based on the said document, a new draft was made with the inputs of the participants with the view to adopting the proposed provisions in the local context with more focus on several priority areas which were recommended to be submitted for the consideration of the aforesaid reviewing committee appointed by the government.
However, substantial inputs from any interested organizations or individuals can still be included in the final draft if they would be e-mailed to CMEV via [email protected] before the 10th of February 2016.
The photo highlights of today’s event can be viewed below.