Women Political Representation Under the Second Republican Constitution

Ms. Sreen Saroor,Women Rights Activist Speaks about the “Women Political Representation Under the Second Republican Constitution”. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in Tamil , Sinhala

20th Amendment to the Constitution

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) speaks about the “20th Amendment of the Constitution” and its impact on the checks and balances of power of three branches of the government. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in Sinhala, Tamil

Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) for the empowerment of women’s representation in Sri Lanka

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 08, 2022, CMEV conducted a round table discussion on the impact of Electoral Dispute Resolution (EDR) for the empowerment of women’s representation in Sri Lanka. The program was held at CPA/CMEV Office with the participation of more than 20 representatives from political parties, media and Civil Society Organisations. The discussion was integrated with commemorating women leaders such as Agnes Merion De Silva, Adeline Molamure and Vivien Gunawardana who were champions in advocating for women’s universal franchise in Sri Lanka. D.M. Dissanayake, Head of Operation CMEV in his presentation on the effectiveness of women quota for ensuring women participation in politics highlighted that there are many issues in the electoral system which need to be addressed for ensuring effective women participation. Ms. Kumarini Prathapasinghe, Assistant Election Commissioner explained about current policies and practices followed by the Election Commission to strengthen women’s political participation. The requirements of a gender-sensitive EDR system was discussed by Ms. Udeni Thewarapperuma representing the Gender and Election Working Group. Dr.P. Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of CPA and a Co-convenor of CMEV highlighted the significance of women’s role in politics and common activism for ensuring the space for women in the legislature. 

The activity was co-sponsored by the International Foundation for the Electoral system. 

What is the impact of the Official Languages ​​Act, 1956 on the Constitution?

Mr. S.G. Punchihewa, Attorney at Law, speaks about the term “What is the impact of the Official Languages ​​Act, 1956 on the Constitution?” and the impact for the constitution. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in English

1957 Bandaranaike – Chelvanayagam Agreement

Mr. Lionel Guruge, Senior Researcher CPA speaks about the term “1957 Bandaranaike – Chelvanayagam Agreement” and the impact for the constitution. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in English, Tamil

What does it mean by the constitution and why does reform matter?

Dr. Asanga Welikala speaks about the term “Constitution” and the importance of reforms of a constitution. This video is created to enhance citizens’ awareness of constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

Click here to watch in Sinhala, Tamil

Executive Director of CPA & Co-convenor of CMEV Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu’s Northern Visit

Executive Director of CPA and Co-convenor of CMEV Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu with A.M.N. Victor, Coordinator of CMEV visited to Northern Province 24th to 26th of January 2022.

Following are some Photographs

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CMEV Collaborates with EC to enhance EDR Awareness

CMEV in collaboration with Election Commission of Sri Lanka launched a series of training workshops on Election Dispute Resolution for officials of District Election Offices and police offices since December 2021. The inaugural training program was conducted at the auditorium of the Jaffna District Secretariat on December 04, 2021. Mr. Nimal G. Punchihewa, Attorney-at-Law and the Chairman of the Election Commission, who led the training program stated that the clear understanding of election officers and other stakeholders about the EDR mechanism is the key for a successful election. The Chairman, in his presentation, provided a comprehensive enlightenment of the legal framework of the EDR system of Sri Lanka. He did not forget to appreciate the effective contribution of CMEV as an election observer organization to empower EDR process in various means including strategic litigation in the Supreme Court.  In addition to the legal framework and procedural practices of the EDR process, the role of the police officers in EDR process and challenges of implementing some of election laws were covered by the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (Service) Priyantha Weerasooriya. The panel discussion which was the last session of the program attended by members of the Election Commission, Election Commissioner General together with senior police officers were dedicated to answer practical issues raised by participants of the workshop. Various gaps in the present EDR system were raised for discussion in the panel discussion.

Following the Jaffna program, CMEV together with Election Commission organized another 9 programs for Election officials and other stakeholders in Hambantota, Matara, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Monaragala, Ampara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Matale, Kandy, Rathnapura, Kegalle, Puttalam, Kurunegala and Galle Districts. All workshops followed the same module with resource persons. The program series is being conducted with funding support from the Norwegian Government under increased capacity and awareness on electoral and constitutional reform project. 

Whose entitlement are elections?

The number of elections held so far since the country gained universal suffrage is 74 and we have a very formal mechanism for holding elections. However, some electoral reforms that need to be introduced immediately to ensure a more effective electoral process. Thus, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), as one of the active election observation bodies in the country, will hold an online discussion on some of such electoral reforms. The discussion will be based on the last two national-level elections held in the country, Parliamentary and Presidential Elections. Therefore, please visit the ASIAN Mirror Youtube Channel or CMEV Facebook page at 6.00 pm on the 19th February 2021 as shown below to extend your active participation.

Please watch full program via the following links:

https://fb.watch/3NaTHKvgDI/

Four Million Voters who could not exercise their Sovereignty

In any election held in this country, the number of voters who do not come to the polling centers due to the absence of facilities to cast their vote for various reasons is very large. Nearly four million people (3,920,576) did not cast their votes in the last Parliamentary Election held in 2020. Accordingly, it is crystal clear that the introduction of alternative / advance voting methods for voting is one of the few immediate electoral reforms that should not be unaddressed.

මෙරටේ පැවැත්වෙන කවර මැතිවරණයකදී හෝ විවිධ හේතු මත තම ජන්දය භාවිත කිරීමට පහසුකම් නොලැබීම නිසා ජන්ද පොළට නොඑන  ජන්දදායකයන් ප්‍රමාණය ගණනින් ඉතා විශාලය. පසුගිය පාර්ලිමේන්තු මැතිවරණයේදී එලෙස තම ජන්දය භාවිත නොකරන ලද පිරිස මිලියන හතරකට ආසන්න විය (3,920,576). ඒ අනුව  ජන්ද භාවිතය උදෙසා විකල්ප/පූර්ව  ක්‍රමවේද හඳුන්වාදීම අත්නොහැරිය යුතු ආසන්නතම මැතිවරණ ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ ස්වල්පයෙන් එකක් බව ඉතා පැහැදිළිය. 

Please watch full program via the following links:

https://fb.watch/3wyofIEISZ/

JOINT STATEMENT: MYANMAR: STOP THE COUP, LET ELECTION TRIBUNALS DO THEIR JOB

On 1 February, the armed forces of Myanmar (Tatmadaw), ostensibly acting on allegations of voter fraud in the general elections of 8 November 2020, detained numerous government officials, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and Union Election Commission (UEC) Chair U Hla Thein, as well as pro-democracy activists and politicians from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and other parties.

The Tatmadaw subsequently announced that it would seize power, declare a one-year state of emergency, and install Vice-President and retired general U Myint Swe as acting president. It was also announced that new elections would be held after the state of emergency under a new election commission, which was later appointed on the night of 2 February.

The undersigned election or human rights monitoring organizations condemn the military coup in Myanmar and call for the immediate release of all detained politicians, government officials, and activists. The Tatmadaw must restore power to the civilian-led government, and seek redress of election-related complaints through the due process of law established under the 2008 Constitution.

Indeed, Myanmar’s Constitution and election laws provide a mechanism to resolve disputes in the form of election tribunals. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which has repeatedly made claims of vote-rigging and irregularities in the recent general elections, has like any other stakeholder the legal right to formally contest election results. It certainly has done so, filing 174 complaints out of the 287 received by the UEC.

Election observers were looking forward to seeing all election-related complaints and potential evidence presented and addressed in tribunal proceedings. According to our information, the UEC was about to proceed with the appointment of election tribunals when the military intervened. Election dispute resolution is an integral part of any electoral process, which rests on the fundamental premise that all sides act in good faith.

Therefore, the Tatmadaw must back down from its coup attempt and instead engage in a peaceful and transparent election dispute resolution process. The road to a fully realized democracy is long and arduous, but it is important that all stakeholders commit to upholding and protecting democratic norms. A repeat of what transpired after the 1990 general elections would mark a stark return to authoritarianism and will not be accepted by the people of Myanmar and the international community.

More Information follow the link

https://anfrel.org/joint-statement-myanmar-stop-the-coup-let-election-tribunals-do-their-job/

The challenge of regulating election campaign expenditure: Why is Sri Lanka’s youth generation silent?

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 is underestimated by insecure politicians

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.

Identifying Women Political Activists

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).