Parliamentary Election 2020 – Media coverage on CMEV Election Observation Process

The media is a stakeholder that can never be excluded in any country in which democratic elections are conducted. Regardless of whether the media entity is conventional and mainstream or alternative and new, media behavior indisputably affects the integrity of any election. Continued election observation undertaken by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) over several decades in Sri Lanka has strongly proven that the role of the media in the electoral process in the country is decisive.

While there is an ongoing discussion concerning the role of the media in this country, what is of utmost significance is establishing practices where the strong connectivity between the media and elections can be considered together, rather than allowing the media to be considered as a factor detached from the electoral process.

Accordingly, the objective of this small booklet designed and published by CMEV is to provide a glimpse of the nature of reporting carried out by mainstream newspapers during the election period. This reporting carried news and perspectives on the election to voters as the campaign unfolded. Sri Lankan newspapers have wide and increasing circulation across the country and thus have the power of informing and shaping the views of society, across any issue connected to elections. What is collated in this publication is the perspectives of a diverse range of newspapers having such circulation during the election.

පාර්ලිමේන්තු මැතිවරණය 2020 – මැතිවරණ ප්‍රචණ්ඩ ක්‍රියා නිරීක්ෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය හා සබැඳි මාධ්‍ය වාර්තාකරණය 

ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රීය  භාවිතයක් සහිත මැතිවරණ ක්‍රමවේදයක් අනුදත් කවර රාජ්‍යයක හෝ මාධ්‍ය යනු කිසිලෙසකත් බැහැර කල නොහැකි පාර්ශ්වකරුවෙකි. සම්ප්‍රදායික හෝ නව මාධ්‍ය වේවා එකී කවර මාධ්‍යයක හෝ හැසිරීම නිසැකව ම මැතිවරණයේ සුපිළිපන්නබව කෙරෙහි බලපෑමක් ඇති කරන්නේය. මෑත කාලීනව ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ද මැතිවරණ ක්‍රියාවලිය තුළ දිස්වන මාධ්‍ය භූමිකාව අතිශය තීරණාත්මක බව මැතිවරණ ප්‍රචණ්ඩ ක්‍රියා නිරීක්ෂණ මධ්‍යස්ථානය (CMEV) අඛණ්ඩව සිදුකරමින් තිබෙන මාධ්‍ය නිරීක්ෂණ හමුවේ තහවුරු වන කරුණකි.

එකී මාධ්‍ය හැසිරීම පිලිබඳව  දැනටමත් මෙරටේ යම් සමාජ කථිකාවක් නිර්මාණය වෙමින් තිබෙන අතර වඩාත් වැදගත් සාධකය වන්නේ මාධ්‍ය තවදුරටත් මැතිවරණ ක්‍රියාවලියෙන් වියුක්ත සාධකයක් ලෙස නොසලකා මැතිවරණ කෙරෙහි එහි පවත්නා අවියෝජනීය සබඳතාව වඩාත් සවිමත් වන ආකාරයේ භාවිතාවක් වෙත අවතීර්ණ වීමයි.  

එහිලා මැ.ප්‍ර.නි. මධ්‍යස්ථානය මඟින් ප්‍රකාශිත මෙම කුඩා ප්‍රමාණයේ ප්‍රකාශනයෙහි අරමුණ වන්නේ සම්ප්‍රදායික එනම් මුද්‍රිත මාධ්‍ය මැතිවරණ සමයේ සිදුකරන ලද වාර්තාකරණයේ හැඩරුව පිලිබඳ මැතිවරණ කෙරෙහි ආශක්ත පිරිස වෙත යම් හැඟීම් මාත්‍රයක්  ලබා දීමයි. ජන්දදායකයන් දැනුම්වත් කිරීම මතු නොව මැතිවරණ හා සබැඳි ඕනෑම ආකාරයක තේමාවක් පිලිබඳ සමාජය අවදි කිරීමෙහිලා පුවත්පත් සතු අසහාය බලයට අභියෝග කිරීම එතරම් පහසු කාර්යයක් නොවේ. මෙකී ප්‍රකාශණය තුළින් ද විද්‍යමාන වන්නේ මෙරටේ ප්‍රචලිත විවිධ මට්ටමේ පුවත්පත් මැතිවරණය කෙරෙහි දක්වා ඇති ආකල්පයෙහි හරස්කඩකි.

Download in here

CMEV Election Observation Report – Presidential Election 2019

CMEV is pleased to present its final Election Observation Report for the 2019 Presidential Election. The report provides an overview of the election overall; key election features and trends; a summation of CMEV’s election observation activities; trends in election violations it finds notable; and recommendations for all election stakeholders to strengthen and improve the election process in Sri Lanka.

It also provides detail, data and tabulations on election violations observed and recorded by CMEV during the pre-election, Election Day and post-election periods; as well as the communiqués and materials CMEV published throughout the election period.

Download the Report in English here

Download the Report in Tamil here

Report of the Civil Society Committee to Review the Provincial Council Election System & the Provincial Council (Amendment) Election Act

A Civil Society Committee was brought together by the Centre for Motioning Election Violence (CMEV) and the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) to review the Provincial Council Election System and to make appropriate recommendations. The committee commenced reviewing the Provincial Council (Amendment) Election Act on the 1st of June 2018 and the released their report with recommendations within 2 months of commencing the task.

“As a civil society group committed to supporting our elected representatives to do the right thing, we respectfully submit that the Parliament should act to:

  • Immediately clear misunderstandings about the Mixed Member Proportional Representation Method,
  • Address the real issues concerning the method through suitable legislation, and
  • Conduct elections without delay for all relevant Provincial Councils whose terms have ended.”

The committee has already submitted a complete report with recommendations to the relevant parties including the Speaker of the Parliament, Minister of Provincial Councils & Local Government Faiszer Musthapha, as well as all main political party leaders. Ministry of Provincial Councils & Local Government has undertaken to submit this report for the consideration of Cabinet members on 07th August 2018.

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and the Co-convener of Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director of People’s Action for Free & Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Prof. Sudantha Liyanage, Dean, Faculty of Applied Science, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Manjula Gajanayake, National Coordinator of Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and Amar Gunatileke, Chief Executive Officer of Marga Institute attended the media conference on the 2nd of August 2018 at the Public Library Auditorium, Colombo 07.

Download the trilingual version of the report as well as separate versions in English, Tamil and Sinhala.

Election Regulations and CMEV reports in accessible formats

Voter AwarenessPGE 2015 report with Braille


Since the inception of the organization, CMEV has been working to mainstream the voting rights of marginalized groups, by mainly taking part in the Electoral reforms debate.  During the last Presidential Election, CMEV was able to mainstream its Election observation process, providing opportunities for Persons With Disabilities to work at CMEV office, as well as in the field as short term Election observers. – PGE 2015 report with Braille

At the same time, CMEV worked to Educate and inform Persons With Disabilities to exercise their right to vote while proactively engaging in the civil life without being discriminated on grounds of disability. Further, CMEV in partnership with the Election Commission distributed relevant voter awareness material in accessible formats. Currently CMEV has taken a new initiative to provide Braille printing of all available main Election acts and regulations. – Voter Awareness (1)

Further, CMEV in partnership with a group of civil society organizations and individuals promoting the rights of Persons With Disabilities, including volunteers from the 2015 ‘Enabled Elections’ made a submission to the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms, to be brought to the attention of the Constitutional Assembly, in promulgating a new Constitution for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. It has been a landmark collective effort as such a submission on the political rights of Persons with Disabilities was made for the first time in political history. In the same time, Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms had been included several proposals made through the submissions.

Currently CMEV has got its final report of the Parliamentary General Election 2015 in Braille printing, along with other important documents. Those who wish to refer the said documents, please contact Tharuka Karunarathne on 0754302423.

Read this release in Sinhala here – ශ්-රි ලංකාවේ මැතිවරණ ක්-රියාවලියට – බ්-රේල් මුද්-රණයෙන් නිකුත් කිරීම.



Final Report of Parliamentary General Election 2015

Final Report On Election Related Violence and Malpractices Parliamentary General Election 17th August 2015

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

Download the report in full here (62Mb PDF).

Final Report on Election Related Violence: Provincial Council Elections 2013, Northern Province

CMEV wishes to acknowledge the work of the Commissioner of Elections, his officials in Colombo and throughout the Northern Province, as well as the Police in the holding of the Northern Provincial Council Election. Furthermore, the cooperation and assistance extended to CMEV greatly assisted us in our work.

CMEV also acknowledges the financial support of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) which made its monitoring of this historic election possible.

Finally, we salute the voters of the Northern Province for braving threat and intimidation in large numbers and overcoming a host of other challenges to exercise their franchise. This ensured that though the integrity of the electoral process was undermined, the final result reflected the overall wishes of the electorate.

Download the full report as a PDF here.

You can also download the report in Sinhala and Tamil.

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Local Authority Election 2011: Final Media Communiqué on Election Day

17th March 2011 Colombo, Sri Lanka, 6:00PM: At the end of polling, CMEV has recorded 56 election violations in the elections to the 91 local bodies it monitored. Of these 27 are major incidents and 29 are minor incidents. The major incidents included one report of murder, a grenade attack, seven incidents of assault, seven incidents of intimidation including five reports of an intimidatory presence around the polling station, the obstruction of polling agents, voters and election monitors, as well as the chasing away of voters. The alleged perpetrators identified as being responsible for major incidents of violence are the UPFA (16), UNP (2), TMVP (1) and the Police (1).

As CMEV did not monitor the election to all bodies that polled today, it is not in a position to make an overall comment on this phase of the Local Government elections. However, we note the recurrence of incidents of violence and violations of election law including as a consequence of intra-party competition both at the personal level and the level of constituent parties of the ruling alliance. We also note that as a consequence of a lacuna in the law, the Department of Elections could not provide transport to IDPs to polling centres. As a result, political parties did so especially in the Puttalam area. CMEV hopes that in the future the participation of all citizens in Sri Lanka in the electoral process will not in anyway raise questions about undue partisan influencing of their exercise of the franchise.

CMEV has received the following reports after the release of our second media communiqué:


Northern Province, Mannar District, Mannar PS, around 10.00PM

A CMEV monitor reports that a voter named Robel has been assaulted in front of the Sullukudirippu Roman Catholic Maha Vidyalaya by two policemen and four people who arrived in a white van. When CMEV contacted Mannar Police Station, Sergeant Upali claimed that they did not receive any complaints regarding the incident and further stated that the police station will inform the mobile police unit to conduct further investigations.

Southern Province, Hambanthota District, Tangalle UC

UNP parliamentarian Dilip Wedaarachchi reported to CMEV that UNP candidate Abdul Rahuman was attacked by UPFA supporters near the President’s residence Carlton. The victim received serious injuries and has been admitted to the hospital.

Western Province, Gampaha District, Wattala PS, at around 9.30am

UNP candidate Charles Ranmuthu reported to CMEV that he and his supporters were attacked by an unidentified group consisting of 25 persons who came in two vehicles (WPHH 3000, 5668) near the Nayakanda Good Shepherd Convent polling centre. The victims have not received injuries and at the time of the incident there was a policeman present. UNP candidate Ranmuthu alleged that the perpetrators are supporters of UPFA.

North Western Province, Kurunegala District, Nikaweratiya PS, from 12.00 – 1.00pm

UNP candidate R.B Ekanayaka (NO. 08) reported to CMEV that a group of UPFA supporters including the Secretary of Minister Jonston Fernando, Sunil Jayaweera, had tried to attack him with an iron rod near the Diwulagoda Maha Vidyalaya polling centre. When Mr. Ekanayake escaped on his motorbike they fired 6-8 gunshots. The perpetrators have smashed the victim’s motorbike (NWWM FB14) and his uncle’s Nissan Vehicle (301-1626 FB14). They also attacked neighbouring houses. The victim was not injured. He has complained about the incident to the SPO, but has failed to lodge a complaint with the police due to a fear of reprisals.

Voter transportation

Southern Province, Hambantota District, Lunugamwehera PS, around 12.40PM

A CMEV monitor reports that posters of UPFA candidate Walgama Wadduge Ajith Kumara aka Chooty Malli (NO.08) have been dispersed around the Kudagammana Prathamika Vidyalaya polling centre. His supporters are involved in voter transportation in a jeep (52-8486).

Voter intimidation

Southern Province, Hambantota District, Tissamaharama PS, at around 2.45PM

CMEV monitor reports that a group of 15 UPFA supporters are stationed near the Mahasenpura Maha Vidyalaya polling centre with a list of voters’ names.

Continuous campaigning on Election Day

Southern Province, Hambantota District, Tissamaharama PS, at around 12.40PM

Leaflets of UPFA candidate Wijenayaka (NO. 04) have been dispersed near the Muthiyammagama Kanishta Vidyalaya polling center. Leaflets of UPFA candidate R.A Gayan Sadharuwan (no.08) have been distributed by his supporters in a cab (WPPP 4313).  A three-wheeler pasted with stickers of UPFA candidate Wijenayaka (NO.04) has been transporting voters into the polling centre.

Final report on election related violence and malpractices: Presidential Election 2010

Download the final report on election related violence and malpractices during the Presidential Election 2010 in English here (Warning: PDF size ~120Mb).

To view the complete report online, click here or see below. Sinhala and Tamil versions of the report will be available soon.

CMEV Final Report – Major Incidents in the Southern Provincial Council Elections, 10th October 2009

At the close of polls, CMEV reports a provisional voter turnout of 63.66 %. A breakdown of the districts indicates 66% in Hambantota district, 68% in Matara district and 57% in Galle district. This is to be compared with the 2004 Southern Provincial Council Elections where the total turnout was 55.64% with a breakdown of 55.99% in Hambantota district, 54.43% in Matara district and 56.5% in Galle district.

On Polling Day, CMEV monitors reported 29 incidents in total with 8 major incidents and 21 minor incidents.

Download the full CMEV election day report here. Download the report in Sinhala here.