One of the focus areas of which the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has been vocal in parallel with the electoral reform process in Sri Lanka since several decades ago, is the need to regulate unlimited election campaign expenditure in Sri Lanka and to introduce an appropriate legislative mechanism. It is gratifying to note that there has been a strong social focus on this election-related theme at the time, and the Centre for Election Violence Monitoring has also spearheaded various initiatives aimed at continuing a broader social dialogue on the subject matter.
As part of the series of online programs being organized on the above topic, another such program being arranged to be conducted in collaboration with the ‘Next Generation’. We look forward to discussing the challenges facing young political activists in this country in the face of unregulated and unlimited election campaign finances, and we hope that all citizens who aspire to a Level Playing Field in the electoral process will join us in this discussion.
Please watch full program via the following link:
Women’s political activism became more active in the country around 1919 with the island-wide movement for women’s suffrage. Even though it has been more or less the opportunity to contest elections since then, getting nominations for women activists is still not an easy task. The forthcoming Provincial Council election will certainly be a challenging occasion. If given a chance, there are a large number of women political activists who aspire to contest elections.
This issue was also discussed extensively during a series of training programs for women political activists organized by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) in collaboration with IRI and this short video contains the views expressed by R.Iresha Udeni Hettihewa of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) who participated in this Uva Provincial Workshop.
Various activists and civil society organizations in the country have, for a long time, been calling for specific recognition for women’s political activism. The 25% quota for women, established for local government bodies, was a significant milestone. Although it confirmed only 23.5% female representation at the end of the election, it was a hallmark of Sri Lanka’s future women’s political representation. The most interesting trend in that process was the emergence of a strong women’s force of 1926 compared to only 88 female members in local government bodies before the quota system.
One way to further reinforce the future political activism of women is to give them an appropriate and sufficient understanding of the procedures of the institutional system and the laws on local governance. The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) will continue to support them in this regard. This short video has been prepared with the views of female local government representatives who participated in a series of programs conducted in collaboration with the International Republican Institute (IRI).
CMEV is passionate about women’s political activism in the country and continues to promote and encourage women’s political activism.
Simultaneously, a series of workshops were held covering the entire island in the recent past. Here is a very short video made of the opinions shared by Surangi Samaratunga, a Member of the Anuradhapura Municipal Council representing the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) at the workshop held in the North Central Province.
CMEV organized the event in collaboration with the International Republican Institute (IRI) as part of a Series of Post- Election Assessment Workshops with Women Local Government Representatives and Political Activists.
The number of people who lose the opportunity to cast their vote in every election held in this country is unlimited. That number was close to 3 million at the last election. Although there may be a certain percentage of people in the country who abstain from voting to protest without voting, most live in a background where the facilities to cast their votes are marginal.
To provide an Advance Voting facility to the voters of this country, there should be a continuous dialogue among the electoral stakeholders and there should be a special focus and interest on it among the newly elected members of Parliament as well.
The second Virtual Discussion organized by CMEV in association with DRI will be held from 6.00 PM to 7.30 PM on the 20th of December 2020.
Please watch full program via the following link: https://fb.watch/2v5flPvMp2/
Manjula Gajanayake, the National Co-ordinator of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, was invited to share his views and insights on the upcoming Local Government Elections and the current situation of Provincial Councils elections, at the radio talk-show ‘7.17’ aired on RanOne FM.
In this programme, Manjula Gajanayake highlighted various issues pertaining to the postponement of 2 elections: namely Local Government and Provincial Council Elections. Though the minister of local government and provincial councils Mr. Faizer Mustafa stated that the Local government elections can be duly held during the month of January 2018, the relevant ministry is yet to fulfill basic requirements such as publishing gazette notification on the constituency of new local government authorities as LG elections to be held under new electoral system. And this time, the members will be increased in number as twice as the previous times in comparison due to the introduction of new electoral system which is a mix of FPPT and PR. Meanwhile, government has introduced a new electoral system to the provincial councils which is known as mix system that’s comprising. of 50% each of PR and FPTT.
However he also emphasized that the hasty manner in which these changes were made is contradictory to the principle of representative democracy. One of the salient issues observed in the process of approving the relevant bill is that the government has not allowed the general public to scrutinize and to create any public debate with this regard.
Furthermore, he mentioned that the promises made by the line minister regarding the dates of local government elections were not true and hence it is difficult to have faith on the remarks he has been making in relation to the dates of elections.
Another important point he made during the interview was that the government is required to take appropriate measures to use the existing delimitation commission without setting up separate delimitation committees with the participation of political party members. One can’t deny the fact that the government has used previous delimitation committees to postpone the elections.
Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, National Co-ordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence – TALK BACK WITH JAYASIRI: Centre for Monitoring Violence (CMEV) is facilitating a series of programs focusing on current political issues, giving special focus to the electoral reforms and the reconciliation processes of the country.
The National Co-ordinator of CMEV, Mr. Manjula Gajanayake attended this program and expressed his thoughts on the current situation of the delayed Local Government Elections as well as the consequences of delaying such an important election for such a long time.
He further highlighted number of weaknesses of the previous delimitation committee report on the local government elections published in gazette by the President in September last year and the unconditional importance of holding this election without any further delay. He further highlighted the importance of strengthening the newly established Election Commission with powers being vested on it to hold any election under its discretion and the importance of having a schedule of elections.
CMEV was able to facilitate the project ‘Assista’ (Atha Hitha), recently implemented by Enable Lanka Foundation. The main objective of this project is to facilitate resources to make youth in selected districts of the country proactive youth leaders who will work as active stakeholders to bring in solutions faced by the communities in the district pertaining to civic and political engagement, employment and inclusion. The first event took place in Galle recently and this short documentary was produced at the said event.
As the Election Commission is updating the electoral register for 2016, all eligible Sri Lankans are invited to get themselves registered in this list. It is the only list which can be used for any of future election which will be conducted after the month of October 2016.
Exercise of franchise is a main civic right and the theme of this year introduced by the Election Commission is ‘The electoral process where no elector is to be left behind’. In order to make people aware of this, popular radio channel ‘RAN One FM’ dedicated their morning show called‘7:17’ to discuss matters related to electoral registry of 2016. The National Coordinator of CMEV Mr. Manjula Gajanayake attended this program and this is the audio recording of said program.
Your Vote is Your Voice!
Universal franchise is a civic right.
Sovereignty of people which is certified by the constitution could virtually be exercised though franchise in order to exercise franchise it is mandatory to have the name in the electoral register.
Inquire with Grama Niladhari of your area or the relevant District Elections Office if you have not received a form for enumeration of electors for your household.
It is a civic right and also a responsibility to insert names in the electoral register and to exercise the franchise.
The Election Commission celebrated Voters Day for the first time after they were established. The Chairman of the Election Commission insisted on the importance of an inclusive election and the strategies of the newly established Commission in getting the involvement of all marginalised groups in order to create an electoral process where no elector is to be left behind.
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.