Promotion of Political Candidates and Political Parties by Staff Officers and Government Officials

Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Chairperson, Mr. Naleen Abesekara, PC, Member, Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, Member,

Election Commission of Sri Lanka,

Election Secretariat,

Sarana Road,

Rajagiriya.

25/10/2019

Dear Mr. Chairperson and Members of the Election Commission,

Promotion of Political Candidates and Political Parties by Staff Officers and Government Officials

We believe that the interventions of your esteemed Commission have considerably mitigated the negative trend of staff officers and other government officials engaging in promoting and demoting political parties and candidates as well as expressing their personal political views during the upcoming presidential election.

In this context, we wish to bring to your attention that the chairperson of the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, attended a political promotion campaign event held by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the presidential candidate of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), at the Nelumpokuna Auditorium on 25/10/2019. The event was for the launch of Mr. Rajapaksa’s election manifesto, and Dr. Padeniya was seen attending the main plenary.

This conduct is not only in defiance of the Establishment Code of Sri Lanka which must be abided by all government officials, but is also in violation of Circular No. 01, 6 (II) dated 18/09/2019 issued by the Election Commission. We are of the view that the pre-election period leading up to the presidential election will be severely compromised if staff officers of other government services consider this as a precedent and follow the same conduct.

Accordingly, we wish to request the Commission under your direction to take the necessary measures pertaining to the aforesaid matters with immediate effect. The kind cooperation extended by your institution in this regard, to uphold democratic values and to ensure a free and fair election, is greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

Manjula Gajanayake,
National Co-ordinator,
Centre for Monitoring Election Violence.

Copies:

  • Mr. Dharmasena Dissanayake, Chairperson, Public Service Commission, Battaramulla
  • Mrs. Vasantha Perera, Secretary, Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Colombo 10
  • Mr. Jagath Abeysiriwardhana, Senior Deputy Inspector General (Elections), Sri Lanka Police
  • Director, National Election Complaint Management Center, Election Commission, Rajagiriya.

Download this in Tamil

Media Conference

A special unit established at CMEV to  track election campaign  cost of the presidential election 2019 and launching its first interim report at 11AM at HARTI centre Colombo 07. This is the first time in election history  to disclose election campaign costs. 

Elpitiya Local Authorities Election 2019

The Local Authorities Election which is to be held for the election of members in the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha (Divisional Council) in Galle district, will be held today, the 11th of October 2019, involving 47 polling centers.

155 candidates will be contesting to represent five (5) recognized political parties in this election.

26 local authority members will be elected by 53,384 qualified electors during this election and the results of which will be announced at the counting center established at the vocational training center of Elpitiya, followed by counting of votes undertaken at the respective polling centers themselves.

The specialty of this particular election is, failing to commence the election in this district in tandem with the election held in all other local authorities on the 10th of February 2018 owing to the ruling 12/2018 that was given by the court in conjunction with the returning officer of Galle District refusing the nominations submitted by one of the contesting political parties.

CMEV held its Residential Training Session for District/Field monitors

The Centre For Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), initiated in 1997, has contributed to the electoral reforms through a thorough election observation process.

The institution created a database of election results and information about violence perpetrated in a variety of elections (such as presidential, general and provincial). Once the Election Commission announced the commencement of elections, CMEV re-initiated its election observation mission on the 18th of September. The organisation has mobilised their operations for the upcoming Presidential Election slated for the 16th of November 2019.

CMEV held its residential training session for district/field monitors on 11th of October at the Janaki Hotel, Colombo 5. Almost 100 participants from all 25 administrative districts gained exposure to: Election Law, election observation process, contemporary political climate and the misuse of state resources.

Media Communique, 1500 H, 12th October 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka Elpitiya Local Authorities Election 2019

Media Communique, 1500 H, 12th October 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka Elpitiya Local Authorities Election 2019
The Local Authorities Election was held on the 11th of October 2019 and involved 47 polling centers electing members of the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha in Galle, Southern Province.
One hundred and fifty –five (155) candidates contested representing five (5) political parties in the election. Twenty eight (28) local authority members, were elected by 53,384 eligible electors. The voter turnout was 75%.
This particular election was important because of the delay in holding it, due to the judicial proceedings which led to the court ruling of 12/2018 together with the incident of the Returning Officer, Galle District, refusing the nominations submitted by one of the contesting political parties.

Election day ended without any critical incidents of election-related violence and misconduct. Moreover, the pre-election period remained peaceful and does not challenge the final result.

CMEV monitors have reported the following minor violations:
Polling center designated at Omaththa Kanishta Vidyalaya, Galle (02:A)
Posters and other promotional material displayed at either side of the road of the polling center throughout the Election Day. Several candidate posters representing the main political party candidates (UNP, SLPP and SLFP) had reportedly been on display.
Polling Center designated at Thalgaspe Kanishta Vidyalaya (05:B)
CMEV learned that a female had been coercing the people to vote for SLPP near the polling center. She had encouraged voters to cast their votes for the SLPP candidate Malliyawadu Nalin Chaminda Priyadarshana.
Polling Center designated at Ananda Madyamaha Vidyalaya, Elpitiya, Galle (11:C)
CMEV observers noted that a convoy of vehicles led by M.P. Palitha Thewarapperuma displayed promotional posters of certain candidates while traveling with few other candidates across several polling centers (The vehicles bore the registration
numbers: KR 6312, CAW6990,GZ 2665 and WP 21483). The presence of such a convoy of vehicles near the polling centers had been a challenge to the maintenance of a peaceful environment in a polling area.

Polling Center designated at Pinikahana Siriniwasa Kanishta Vidyalaya, Galle (16:A)

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) candidate Jayaneththi Arachchi Janaka Kumara (candidate listed under the additional list), had been appealing the voters to vote for his party while standing near the polling center. A defender vehicle (registration number. P G 0007) was involved in this incident.
 

Download this Media Communique in Sinhala,Tamil
 

The Regulation of Campaign Finances and the Electoral Process in Sri Lanka 

It is the eighth decade that’s being elapsed since Sri Lanka was bestowed with universal franchise. Apart from few instances, which took place in certain elections, Sri Lanka could boast of a proud history in terms of elections with a unique identity. If any electoral reform regardless of its model or approach, should take place following the tradition that reflects the Sri Lankan identity in elections. Not a single country in the world has formulated a perfect election system.

Accordingly, a certain level of regulation should be exercised on campaign finances with a proper understanding about the prevailing political background in the country. Hence a regulating mechanism should be formulated through a series of consultative discussions with the involvement of Election Commission, political parties, Election Observing Organizations and other stakeholders. The following points should be taken into account in such an undertaking that is carried out with the legal sphere.

Introducing fundamental requisites on assets and liabilities of political parties and candidates should become the basis to any regulatory mechanism.

Regardless of the nature of regulatory mechanism thus introduced, it should not distance the politician from the elector. It is essential to make sure that such a mechanism does not curtail the freedom of expression.

The politicians should be convinced that the money is received as a privilege for engaging in responsible politics. Accordingly it is important to discuss about the ways of refining the mechanism to be agreeable for both the politicians and the voters while considering the need for inculcating the useful best practices and elements of other systems adopted and recognized internationally.

English

Can the ministerial secretaries wash their hands off building the nation

Role of Political Parties in Campaign Finance

There is no developed democracy in a society with poor civil activism

Can we expect free and fair elections without Campaign Finance Laws?

Challenges of Women in Politics

Sinhala

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මැතිවරණ ව්‍යාපාර මුල්‍යකරණය පිලිබඳ මෙතෙක් කිසිදු නීතිමය යාන්ත්‍රණයක් සකස්ව නැත. පිරිසිදු දේශපාලන සංස්කෘතියක් වෙනුවෙන් එවැනි නීතියක් හඳුන්වා දීම සඳහා එක්වෙමු. ඒ පිලිබඳ පසුබිම විමසා පළකරන විශේෂාංග ලිපි මාලාවක් මෙහි දැක්වේ.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මැතිවරණ ව්‍යාපාර මුල්‍යකරණය නියාමනය කිරීම

දේශපාලන මුල්‍යකරණය යනු කුමක්ද?

මැතිවරණ අයවැය පාලනය කල හැක්කේ කාටද ?

ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පැවැත්වෙන මැතිවරණ නිදහස්ද? සාධාරණද?

කාන්තා දේශපාලනයේ අභියෝගය

තොරතුරු පනත හා වත්කම් බැරකම් ප්‍රකාශන නීතිය

මැතිවරණ මුල්‍යකරණය හා දේශපාලන පක්ෂ

මෙරටේ පවත්නා බලගතුම නීතිය වන්නේ වත්කම් හා බැරකම් ප්‍රකාශන නීතියයි

යහපත් පුරවැසි ක්‍රියාකාරීත්වයක් නොමැති සමාජයක දියුණු ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයක් දැකිය නොහැකිය

Tamil

Challenges of Women in Politics

Political parties in Sri Lanka must use campaign finances in a positive manner

Are elections in Sri Lanka free and fair?

Empowering women activists through voter education – Kandy District Programme

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) initiated a voter education programme called ‘Provincial Council Elections Voter Education and Outreach Programme’ with the support of USAID-DAI (SDGAP). The main focus is to invoke awareness for women candidates who are willing to contest in the next provincial councils elections to be held island-wide. CMEV is planning to conduct a series of district-level awareness workshops inviting selected prospective candidates across the country.

The Seventh    in this series of workshops was conducted at Peradeniya University in Kandy. Over 70  women activists including women members of Local government, active supporters of political parties, women CSO leaders and selected students attended in this one day awareness training. Mr. Namal Thalangama, Deputy Commissioner of Elections, Kandy District was delivered the key note speech in this event.  CMEV organised this event in partnership with the faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya.