Public Discussion on the Regulations of Campaign Finance and the Declarations of Asset and Liabilities in Elections

Contributing to the ongoing discussion on electoral reforms the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence organised a public discussion on the regulations of campaign finance in elections and on the declarations of asset and Liabilities, held at the Janaki Hotel, Colombo 05 on 02 nd  December 2016.

The discussion was organised by CMEV in partnership with International IDEA and the Election Commission of Sri Lanka and a number of Civil Society and political party Representatives attended this event. Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya delivered the key note speech in this event and Victor Ivan, Former Editor of Ravaya who campaigned actively for years on the necessity for declarations of assets and liabilities of public representatives, also delivered a special speech marking this landmark victory in a long standing campaign. Dr. P. Saravanamuttu, Co convenor of CMEV, Mr. Champani Padmasekara, Senior Member of the Permanent Representatives Committee set up by the Election Commission on Election related complaints, Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director of PAFFREL and Manjula Gajanayake, National Co-ordinator, CMEV were other speakers at this event. Mr. Adhy Aman Senior Programme Officer, Asia & the Pacific and Country Programme Manager, Bhutan, of the International Institute for Democracy  and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) also delivered a special lecture titled,  ‘’The Growing Cost of Campaigning: Challenges to Regulation and Enforcement’’.

Discussions on electoral security and new trends in elections for police officers

 

As a part of the short term action plan being implemented with the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, CMEV initiated a new programme to create awareness among police officers who are engaging in election related duties during Elections. CMEV is planning to discuss the new election system introduced under the Local Authority Election (Amended) No. 22 of 2012, the main features of the election process as well as the political rights of persons with disabilities, in this awareness workshop series. The first event of the new initiative was conducted for the heads of election branches in police stations in the Gampaha district  at the Covanro Hotel in Veyangoada, Gampaha on 06 th December 2016.

Mr. Saman Ratnayake, Additional Commissioner and Mr. Vajira Gunawardene, Deputy Commissioner  of the Election Commission, Mr. Muditha Pussalla, Senior Superintend of Police, Mrs . Gayani Premathilaka, Legal Officer of the Ministry of Provincial Councils and Local Government,  Dr.P. Saravanamuttu, Convener of CMEV  and Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, National Coordinator of CMEV attended as resource persons in this event. This new programme is organised by CMEV in partnership with the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka police and CBM.

New edition of Economic Review discusses ‘Evaluation and Future of the Electoral System in Sri Lanka’

The new edition of the quarterly Economic Review which is a one of the popular quarterly economic journals published by the Peoples Bank in Sri Lanka was dedicated to discussing the electoral process of the country, its past and current situation.

This edition has been published in partnership with Election Commission of Sri Lanka and it was the first time this economic journal discussed electoral related matters. Manjula Gajanayake, National Coordinator of CMEV and Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director of PAFFREL have written an article for this journal on ‘The Election Monitoring Process and its Direction in Sri Lanka’.

Download the PDF of the article in Sinhala and English.

cover-page-of-economic-review

Experience-sharing visit for Northern & Eastern local government officials on best practices for citizen-centered development

Title: An exposure visit with the view to share the experiences and best practices associated to local government related processes of participatory and citizen-centered governance was conducted in Passara Pradeshiya Sabha on the 8th, 9th and 10th of November, as   a part of the project titled ‘’Enhancing capacities of Local Authorities and Non-State Actors to address socio-economic concerns’’ implemented by CBM in partnership with European Union. CMEV was the facilitator of this exchange visit conducted Under the theme of “Learning better  practices from Passara Pradeshiya Sabha’’ Around 50 participants who took part in this initiative from the Northern  and southern provinces were able to imbibe important best practices of citizen-centered local governance while sharing their experience in relation to the community friendly innovative service mechanism driven by Passara Pradeshiya Sabha with the assistance of Passara Citizen Council (PZC) . PZC is a prime example for the citizen based initiatives which have been formulated with the view to improving the services and facilities provided by the local government authorities towards their own communities.

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.

Consultation for the Policy Brief on the Political Rights of Persons with Disabilities

CMEV has been engaging  in various initiatives of empowering disability organizations to achieve their political rights with special emphasis to voting rights of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) and to create an inclusive discourse with that regard ensuring that the popular disability-related slogan ‘Nothing about us without us’ is given its true meaning. To this effect, CMEV has been conducting a series of programs aimed at the realization of the political / voting rights of the persons with disabilities in parallel with both national level elections held in the previous year as well. As a part of the newest chapter of the said initiatives, the first consultative discussion was held on the 10th of October in partnership with Fridsro Disability Rights organisation. Key representatives of DPOs in Central province took part in this occasion while Mr. Saman Sri Ratnayake, Additional Election Commissioner  attended this event as the main resource Person representing the Election Commission of Sri Lanka. The outcome document produced based on the information gathered at this consultative meeting, will be uploaded soon.