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 and Kandy 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. 

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.