GEWG Appeals to Political Parties to Nominate Women to Contest Local Council Elections

CMEV together with the Gender and Election Working Group(GEWG) conducted a press conference on 09 January 2023 to request all political parties to ensure better representation and safer participation for women in Local Government Elections. D.M. Dissanayake, Chief of Operation, CMEV stated that Sri Lanka is still considered a country with a lower women’s representation in politics according to the world classification in 2022 by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Global Gender Gap index in 2021. Still, the 25% women quota introduced in 2017 has not been able to fulfil the expected participation of women in politics.

Ms Kanaka Abeygunawaradana, Convener of the GEWG pointed out that women’s representation is still limited to the legal requirement of the nomination process. Most of the women who contested in the last LG elections entered into politics as they were relatives of male politicians or close friends of party officials. She urged all political parties to give priority to active and capable women at the village level to include in nomination lists.  Ms Abeygunawardana further emphasized that political parties should take necessary actions to prevent any illegal, unethical and seriously flawed practices such as asking for sexual bribes, support for some other male candidates’ campaigns or resigning after the election to give the seat to a senior person/male in the party. Ms Nalini Rathnarajah, a member of the GEWG, pointed out various forms Gender Based Violence that take place during the time of the election.

Ms Nanda Kumarihami represented Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) emphasized the issues persons with disabilities face within the electoral process and the importance of electoral systems and processes being inclusive and responsive to their needs and requirements. She addressed the press conference with the sign language facility. 

COVID-19 and Elections: ANFREL and Sri Lankan election organisations release a Code of Conduct for election observers

ANFREL and six domestic election observation groups, including ANFREL members PAFFREL and CMEV, release today the “COVID-19 Code of Conduct for Election Observers” ahead of the 2020 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections.

This document is a joint initiative from organizations both domestic and international intending to observe the parliamentary elections of Sri Lanka. The polls were initially scheduled for 25 April 2020 but have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting the country. While the date at which the elections could be held remains uncertain, pending a ruling from the Supreme Court on the matter, election monitoring organizations have decided to plan ahead and draft guidelines so that election observation may take place in the most responsible manner.

Download Statement in Sinhala

Download Statement in Tamil

Download Statement in English

Disclosure of Campaign Costs of Candidates Contesting Presidential Election 2019

A special unit established at CMEV to track election campaign cost of the presidential election 2019 launched its first interim report at HARTI Centre Colombo 07 today morning. This is the first time in election history to disclose election campaign costs and Dr. Psaravanamuttu, Co-convener of CMEV, Manjula Gajanayake of CMEV and Ransi Karunarathne , Project Coordinator attended at this event. Disclosed data and statistics which provide Estimated Election Campaign Costs of election candidates can be obtained here and next interim report will be published closer to polling day on November 16, 2019.

Download this Materials in Sinhala,Tamil,English

Download brief note

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.

Press Conference – March 12 Movement

The March 12 Movement convened a press conference to address numerous post-election issues yesterday in Colombo.
The main objectives of the press conference were;
To request the political parties to refrain from appointing any members with track records on corruption and other kinds of misconduct, regardless of them winning seats, in new councils as Chairman or vice chairman of councils.

To pressurize political parties not to ignore well established women quota and ensure its full operation without any difficulty.

Steering  Committee Members of March 12 Movement Rohana Hettiarchchi, Manjula Gajanayake, Ariyapala Gamage and programme manager Upekshi Fernando attended this event.
March 12 movement is a voluntary public movement comprising of various government and nongovernment organizations and institutions. The eminent persons who have extended their services beyond the realms of their respective organizational commitments, are also contributing to this movement in their individual capacities. March 12 movement which was initiated with the view to fostering a clean political culture in Sri Lanka, embarked on its mission of social activism with the March 12 declaration that was launched on the 12th of March in the year 2015 with the unanimous agreement of leaders of all the political parties in the country.
Watch three videos from the conference here;

Press Conference – January 28th 2018

CMEV conducted the first media conference for 2018, in line with the upcoming Local Authorities Elections. In this conference CMEV revealed their election observation mechanism as well as findings by CMEV during the pre-election campaign to date.

The other main focus of the conference was a discussion on incidents of violence against women in elections which were witnessed even before the nomination period, though there is a legally granted 25% quota for women’s representation in this election.

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu, Co-convener of CMEV and Manjula Gajanayake addressed the media while T. Hensmen and Nirmala Benard the situation in both North & Eastern provinces respectively. This media conference was held at CSR Maradana on 28th January 2018

To watch the full press conference, click here.

A discussion on the need to systematically observe and report the political activism of women during the period of elections

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) in partnership with International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) organised a workshop on violence against women in elections (VAWIE) for election observer groups and women’s rights advocates on 27th of July at Global Towers Hotel, Colombo.

This discussion which was held based on the common issues arising  in relation to VAWIE and other relevant matters, was attended by representatives of all election observation groups as well as women’s rights  activists representing various women’s   organizations and groups.  Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, the chairman of the Election Commission inaugurated the program and Beverly Hagerdon (Chief of Party, Sri Lanka- IFES) ,D. M. Dissanayake (IFES), Udeni Thewarapperuma(IFES), Rohana Hettiarchchi(Executive Director-Paffrel) and Manjula Gajanayake (National Co-ordinator-CMEV) subsequently conducted the remaining sessions in this event respectively.

Chairman of the Election commission of Sri Lanka outlined the inclusive election process that has  being followed by the Election Commission, in accordance with the strategic plan that was introduced recently, which was followed by  the socio-economic and political challenges towards the promotion of women participation in elections.  Keerthi Thennakoon (Caffe), Daya Herath (MDL Lanka), Sashee De Mel (TISL) , Jayantha Dolawattha (SLAPA) also expressed their views on the subject representing election observer groups while Visaka Dharmadasa (AWAWSL), Nadesan Suresh (Uva Shakthi Foundation), U.D.M.  Sheelwathie (UWFWO), Nalini Rathnarajah (Women Activist) and several others contributed to the discussion representing women and other rights based organisations.

It was a novel experience to learn about VAWIE and specially for the Women’s Organizations the information shared with regard to election monitoring tools and mechanisms was instrumental. During the final discussion, all the participants agreed that the existing election monitoring tools used by observer groups lack questions to capture VAWIE and they came up with several questions that need to be included in all election monitoring tools. The participants also acknowledged that in order to implement VAWIE monitoring tools, there are certain prerequisites that need to be looked into- such as training programmes on VAWIE for election observers, establishing a district level focal point for observers to refer victims of VAWIE and increasing public awareness on VAWIE. Based on the discussion, IFES and CMEV agreed to draft sample questions to capture VAWIE that can be adopted by interested observer groups. IFES and CMEV will also develop a brief strategy on how to implement VAWIE monitoring during elections.

Press conference to ensure that local government elections are conducted urgently

The official term of most of the local government authorities have ended at this time. Thus, it is undoubtedly the need of the hour to ensure that local government elections are held without any further delay. However, no precise statement has so far been issued with regard to the time frame for holding elections.

CMEV held a press conference on 23rd June 2016 where relevant legal and technical aspects and other pertinent background facts with regard to the above subject was discussed.

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Additional media coverage of the event is available here: Press Coverage_CMEV.

View a video of the event here.


Press Conference: Condemning the appointment of Anusha Palpita

A joint media conference of main Election observation groups in Sri Lanka was held yesterday at CSR Maradana, to condemn the appointment of Anusha Palpita as the Additional Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs.  As widely reported, Mr. Palpita is indicted before the High Court of Colombo in terms of offences against the Public Property act and the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (SLTRC) act. He is due to stand trial for allegedly misappropriating Rs 600 million worth funds, belonging to the SLTRC during 30th October 2014 and 5th January 2015.

Representatives of CMEV, Paffrel, TI, MFFE and CaFFE attended the media brief.

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Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 05

Download as a PDF from here.


8th August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

05th August, 2015 Assault by UPFA in Ratnapura

Supporters of candidate Ms. Thalatha Athukorala of UNF were allegedly assaulted by supporters of the UPFA in Nivithigala. The incident occurred at around 11.30 P.M, at a brief meeting held with the participation of Ms. Athukorala. It is alleged that the perpetrators, Kumarage Don Monti Hassan, Ranasinghelage Wasantha Kumara and Kamakanange Vajira Maduranga assaulted the UNF supporters for participating in the event. The victims have been admitted to the Wathupitiya hospital with minor injuries

A complaint has been lodged at the Nivithigala police station under CIB03 23/45. Police Officer Herath said that the accused were arrested on the night of the incident.

05th August 2015. Hurt by SLMC in Batticaloa

A campaign meeting held at Kolikadai Road, Vaalachchenai led by UNF candidate Mr. Ameer Ali was stoned allegedly by supporters of the SLMC. The incident occurred around 9.40 A.M and SLMC supporter Mr. Abdul Fareed has been admitted to Valachchenai Base Hospiatal where he received 5 stitches on his face. Mr. Fareed said that he suspects Mr. Riyasdee Khan to be involved in this incident.

A complaint has been lodged with the Vaalachchenai Police station under entry No: 89/44. I.P K.A.D.D Kamarapillai said that nobody has been arrested so far.

05th August, 2015 Misuse of State resources by UNF in Mannar

It was reported to CMEV that the Export Development Board office in the Northern province located in Uppukulam, Mannar is being used by Minister Rishad Badiudeen for election purposes.

Although the Mannar Police have been informed no action has been taken.

CMEV tried unsuccessfully to contact Mr. Rishad Badiudeen. CMEV field monitor, E. Romildon confirmed the incident.

05th August 2015- Election Offence in Ratnapura

It was reported to CMEV that 3 people have been taken to custody by Ambilipitiya police station for election offences. The accused, W.A.C Athula Kumara, Sachintha Heshan and Weerakkuttige Sarath have been remanded for displaying UNP posters. The Ambilipitiya police station officers Jayantha and Asantha informed CMEV that the entry has been lodged under 23-24-25.

06th August, 2015-Attack on UNF party office in Kegalle

CMEV received a report that a campaign office of UNF candidate Mr. Sandith Samarasinghe (No: 12) has been attacked and vandalized between 12 A.M and 1.00 A.M. Police were contacted immediately through the 119 phone number UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member, Mr. Nuwan. Kegalle Police arrived at the incident around 4.00 A.M.

CMEV was unable to contact Kegalle police station to inquire as to whether a complaint had been lodged.

Election day monitoring updates

On 26 January, CMEV will disseminate monitoring reports via,

These updates can be downloaded as MP3s for broadcast, listened to online, embedded on any website and social networking platform, emailed or easily linked to. Special incidents will also be covered in these updates, and to help reduce the burden on our monitors, journalists are strongly encouraged to use this feed as their primary channel of regular soundbites from CMEV.

Press conference on election monitoring of Presidential Election 2010

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) cordially invites you to attend a press conference on election related violence and pertinent issues related to the Presidential Election 2010.

The press conference will be held on Monday 25th January 2010 at 10.30am in the Mahaweli Centre, 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 7.

The first interim report of the Presidential Election also will be released at the press conference.

Please contact Nandana on 0757079429 or Dilan on 0713244200 for more information.

Presidential Election 2010: Media Communiqué No. 6

CMEV has recorded a cumulative total of 316 Incidents of election related violence since the issue of the Gazette Notification on 23rd November 2009 announcing the Presidential Election.  Of these, 133 are classified as Major and 183 as Minor incidents. The highest number of Major incidents have been reported from the Hambantota(17) and Galle(11) Districts.

Included in this media communique are details of two major incidents. Read it in full here.

Video of press conference on Southern Provincial Council Election (Sinhala)

Video of press conference held on 13 October 2009 on Southern Provincial Council Election. Sinhala version.

The video covers the context within which the election was held, key characteristics of election violence in the run up to and on the day of the elections, and key concerns over the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.

Video of press conference on Southern Provincial Council Election (English)

Video of press conference held on 13 October 2009 on Southern Provincial Council Election. English version.

The video covers the context within which the election was held, key characteristics of election violence in the run up to and on the day of the elections, and key concerns over the conduct of free and fair elections in the country.