Press Statement on the Unconstitutional move of the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Governments

CMEV express its deep concern about the letter issued by Neil Bandara Hapuhinna, the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Governments instructing District Secretaries to refrain from accepting deposits from candidates expecting to contest in upcoming Local Government Elections on January 10, 2023, as mentioned in the letter, according to a cabinet decision taken on January 09, 2023. According to the Sri Lankan Electoral Legal framework, District Secretaries are appointed as Returning Officers and as the signatory authority for all administrative affairs in respect of upcoming Local Government Elections, by a gazette notification, after the Election Commission issues the notice of elections. The Election Commission appointed District Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers by the extraordinary gazette bearing No.2311/26 and dated December 21, 2022. CMEV maintains that undue influence made by the cabinet against District Returning Officers who now serve as heads of the District Election Operations, is a clear threat to the democratic electoral process.

CMEV appreciates the prompt move of the Commissioner General of Election to elaborate on the responsibility of the District Returning Officers following the appointments according to Section 4(1) of the Local Government Elections Ordinance and the gazette the extraordinary gazette bearing No.2311/26. CMEV is also cites Article 104F of the Sri Lankan constitution to emphasize their constitutional duty.

104 F (1) ) “The Commission shall from time to time by notice published in the Gazette appoint by name or by office a person to be a Returning Officer to each electoral district, and may appoint by name or by office one or more persons to assist the Returning Officer in the performance of his duties.”

104 F (2) “Every Officer appointed under paragraph (1) shall in the performance and discharge of such duties and functions as are assigned to him, be subject to such directions as may be issued by the Commission and shall be responsible and answerable to the Commission therefor.”

According to the above provisions in the constitution, the directives issued by the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Governments are unconstitutional and obeying such directives constitutes a violation of the constitution.[1]

CMEV notes the decision of the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration to revoke the letter immediately, following objections from all concerned parties. We urge the government and all the actors responsible for ensuring the democratic governance of the country to refrain from making any efforts that violate the fundamental right of the people to exercise their franchise.

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu – Co – Convenor

Mr. Lasantha De Silva – Co-Convenor,

Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana – Co-Convenor

Download Statement in Sinhala

Download Statement in Tamil

Download Statement in English

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. 

Elections Commission – Directions to Prevent the Misuse of Movable or Immovable Properties belonging to the State, State Corporation or Statutory Boards during the period of an Election

No. 2313/32 – Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Elections Commission – Directions to Prevent the Misuse of Movable or Immovable Properties belonging to the State, State Corporation or Statutory Boards during the period of an Election

Download in Sinhala 

Download in Tamil

Download in English

Training for Youth, Women and Members of Other
Marginalized Communities on Regulating Political Finance
for the Empowerment of Inclusive Democratic Process in
Sri Lanka

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence and Janavaboda Kendraya conducted a one-day discussion with youths, women and members of PWD organisations on the impact of the unavailability of Campaign Finance regulations for women, youth and PWDs participation in politics on November 19, 2022, at Janavaboda Kendraya. Empowering youth, women and PWDs for advocacy campaigns on regulating campaign finance was the main objective of the discussion. Mr Jayantha Dehiattage AAL and DM Dissanayake, Chief of Operation at CMEV were facilitators of the discussion.  

A Civil Society Consultative Committee for Electoral Reforms

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and Peoples Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) together with all other election observation and advocacy organizations held a discussion on forming a Civil Society Consultative Committee for Electoral Reforms on November 8, 2022, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. The main objective of the committee was to provide constructive intervention as civil societies for electoral reforms while raising a collective voice for a transparent and accountable electoral process. In addition to the Civil Society Organizations, the Chairman of the Delimitation Commission, Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, the Election Commissioner General, Mr. Saman Sri Ratnayake, the Additional Election Commissioner of the Law and Investigation Division, Mr. B.P.C.Kularatne and the Director of  Planning  Mr. Channa P de Silva also participated in the discussion. CMEV and PAFFREL will continue this initiative with the support of all other CSOs to ensure the introduction of many required changes to the Sri Lankan Electoral system with public consultations.

Be a Volunteer to Promote Democracy and Earn a Course on Electoral Study

Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) calls for applications from Interested youth to participate in a certificate course on Electoral Studies and Democracy Empowerment.

Following a competitive selection process, the course will be offered free of charge for selected 240 participants.

Interested candidates are requested to scan below QR code or Click the link at the top to access the google form or send a CV not exceeding two pages and a short cover letter to the following email address before September 30, 2022.

Google Form Link:

Email :

ஜனநாயகத்தை உயர்த்தும் ஒரு தொண்டராய், தேர்தல் பாடநெறிகள் தொடர்பான ஒரு கற்கைநெறியினை பெற்றிட

தேர்தல் வன்முறைகளைக் கண்காணிப்பதற்கான நிலையத்தினால்(CMEV), தேர்தல் பாடநெறிகள் மற்றும் ஜனநாயகத்தை வலுப்படுத்தல் தொடர்பான சான்றிதழ் கற்கைநெறியில் இணைந்து கொள்ளவதற்கு ஆர்வமுள்ள இளையோரிடமிருந்து விண்ணப்பங்கள் வரவேற்படுகின்றன.

போட்டித்தெரிவு முறைமையினூடாக தெரிவுசெய்யப்படும் 240 விண்ணப்பதாரிகள் இக் கற்கைநெறியினை இலவசமாகவே கற்றுக்கொள்ளமுடியும்

ஆர்வமுள்ள விண்ணப்பதாரிகள் மேலுள்ள இணைப்பினூடாக(Link) அல்லது விரைவுஎதிர்வினை குறி(QR Code) இனூடாக கூகுள்-படிவத்தை(Google Form) அணுகி அல்லது இரண்டு பக்கங்களுக்கு மேற்படாத சுயவிபரக்கோவையினை ஒரு குறுகிய முகப்புக் கடித்தத்துடன்(short cover letter) கீழே குறிப்பிட்டுள்ள மின்னஞ்சல் முகவரிக்கு புரட்டாதி மாதம் 30ஆந் திகதி, 2022 க்கு முன்னர் அனுப்பி வைக்கும்படி வேண்டப்படுகிறார்கள்.

கூகுள்-படிவத்தை அணுகுவதற்கு:

இரண்டு பக்கங்களுக்கு மேற்படாத சுயவிபரக்கோவையினை ஒரு குறுகிய முகப்புக் கடித்தத்துடன்