First consultative meeting on out-of-country voting

As a part of the ’Campaign ABC’ designed by CMEV to facilitate the voting rights of  Persons with Disabilities and migrant workers, CMEV conducted its first consultation session in partnership with the AFRIEL Youth Network on 16th October 2016 in Vavuniya.

Prof. S. Rathnajeevan H. Hoole attended this event representing the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (EC)  while Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Additional Commissioner of EC and Mr. Nalaka Ratnayake, Assistant Commissioner of EC addressed the event. Additionally Manjula Gajanayake spoke on international experience and methodologies of Out-of-Country Voting (OCV).

The purpose of this program has been to call for views and suggestions in relation to the rights of the out-of-country voters and compile a set of recommendations based on those inputs and present it to the relevant authorities including the parliamentary select committee nominated to investigate matters related to OCV. Higher officials attached to government ministries and departments as well as Sri Lanka Police, representatives of migrant workers associations and disability organisations, religious leaders, university students attended in this event.

It is worth noting that the Election Commission is not advocating any specific methodologies for Sri Lankan migrant voters, because there is a PSC that has been specifically established for this purpose since April 2016.  Yet however, the officials at the Election Commission are actively participating in this discourse as observers as well as resource persons.

Voters’ Day – June 2016

June 01st is considered as ‘VOTERS’ DAY’ of the country. There were several awareness programs and gatherings to celebrate this special day during the first week of this month. It is for the first time that the Election Commission (EC) celebrated this day after they were established. Centre for Monitoring Election Violence also celebrated it in partnership with the Election Commission. The main event of the Election Commission was held at the auditorium of the District Secretariat of Colombo this morning. The Chairman of the EC highly appreciated the involvement of CMEV, particularly in providing awareness material in accessible formats. Here are some images of distributing leaflets, the walk and the main gathering.

IMG_1969IMG_2019IMG_2043IMG_2063IMG_2172IMG_2254Voters Day Poster (1)

Experience Sharing Discussion Series on Electoral Process for Government Staff Officers

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.

Oral submission to Public Representative Committee (PRC)

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.

CMEV signature campaign in Badulla

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, as a member of the March 12th Movement (M12M), is organising a signature campaign in Badulla today. The vehicle parade of M12M has approached Badulla after a long march. And many of the religious / CSO / Political leaders are putting their signatures at this very moment at the function being held at Badulla town. The objective of this campaign is to obtaining 1 million signatures and to submit it to all political leaders, to put pressure on them requesting, not to give nominations to unsuitable candidates.

Signature campaign in Badulla_1 Signature campaign in Badulla_2 Signature campaign in Badulla

#icanChangeSL & #wecanChangeSL: Shaping a new Sri Lanka

The Presidential poll of 8 January 2015 inspired the largest number of voters in Sri Lanka’s history to turn out to elect a new president. The #IVotedSL campaign, which went viral in the lead up to and on the day of the election, was an unprecedented effort over social media to enhance voter turnout. Thousands of Sri Lankans participated.

This new campaign seeks to build on and sustain this interest in reframing our country.

As we all know, the work to shape Sri Lanka’s future doesn’t stop with electing a new president or a new government. Change will need to involve all of us as citizens in our various positions and roles in society. There is now a vibrant public and private debate of citizens across the country (and beyond its borders) about the hopes and vision for Sri Lanka’s future. This is currently taking place on social media, traditional media and also in homes and workplaces.

The campaign encourages us all to focus on what we can do in our individual capacities, as well as what other citizens in government, opposition politics, public services, business or our own neighbourhoods can do, to bring about change for good.

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Use the hashtag (#icanChangeSL) to flag an action that you took, a resolution you have made, or an example that you personally want to follow. For example:

  • “I just refused to pay a bribe to a public official #icanChangeSL”
  • “I will speak up the next time I see a woman being harassed on the bus #icanChangeSL”
  • “I am trying to learn about other religious beliefs #icanChangeSL”

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Use the hashtag (#wecanChangeSL) to highlight an example of a positive social practice, an inspiring news story, an idea for your friends or community, or an aspiration for the country as a whole. For example:

  • “Let merit not ‘influence’ decide who gets the job #wecanChangeSL”
  • “Rather than criticizing public services, let’s suggest how to improve them (with available resources) #wecanChangeSL”
  • “Just heard of plan to establish a post A/L volunteer corps for Sri Lanka! #wecanChangeSL”.

Some people are already using the hashtag (#ChangeSL) to mark positive changes that they see taking place in the country.

This is a tool to get your views as a citizen heard, to share your ideas and get feedback. Please use it.

This country is ours to change.

Download the logos here for Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and the web.