Centre for Policy Alternatives on 24 August, 2007

CPA’s response to the Editor of the Island and Thinakaran newspapers regarding front page stories of 1st April 2004 nd the Editor of Sudar Oli regarding the editorial of 1st April 2004

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CPA's response to the Editor of the Island and Thinakaran newspapers regarding front page stories of 1st April 2004 nd the Editor of Sudar Oli regarding the editorial of 1st April 2004

Letter to Editor of Island regarding front page story of
1st April 2004

Mr. Gamini Weerakoon
Editor – Island Newspaper,
223 Bloemendhal Road,
Colombo 13.

Dear Sir,

“VOTE AGAINST TNA IS VOTE FOR FREEDOM
OF POLITICAL CHOICE – CMEV”

I am writing to you on behalf of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence with regard to the above report by Brian Tissera on the front page of your edition of 1st April 2004.

The report is of a media conference held by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) on 31st March 2004, at which CMEV released its Interim Report on Election Related Violence in the April 2004 General Election Campaign.

On behalf of the Convenors of CMEV ? Ms Sunila Abeysekera, Mr Sunanda Deshapriya and myself ? I write to point out that the above title is misleading and to clarify the position of CMEV. Ms. Abeysekera and Mr. Deshapriya would have joined me in signing this letter but are unable to do so as they are out in the field on election monitoring work.

CMEV has monitored all elections since 1997. It has received official accreditation by the Election Commissioner and at this election, is one of two local monitoring organizations granted official permission by the Commissioner to enter polling booths. Its integrity, impartiality and commitment are fundamental to its monitoring. Any suggestion of partiality could affect this and have consequences for its monitors in the field.

At our media conference we outlined the context in which the election campaign in the North and East has been conducted. We did not, however, make any evaluation or prior judgement of the nature, significance or consequences of voting for or against any party, as the title of your report indicates.

Given the subject matter of the report, I would greatly appreciate it if you would publish my letter in full and accord it the same prominence in the next issue of your newspaper as the original report of 1st April 2004.

I am copying the letter to the appended list and releasing it to the media.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Co-Convenor
CMEV

C.C:
HE The President
Hon Prime Minister
Commissioner of Elections
Chairman – Press Complaints Commission
Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar
European Union Election Monitoring Committee
Commonwealth Secretariat
PAFFREL
HE The Ambassador – Embassy of the USA
HE The High Commissioner – British High Commission
HE The Ambassador – Royal Norwegian Embassy
HE The High Commissioner – Canadian High Commission
HE The High Commissioner – Australian High Commission
HE The Ambassador – Royal Netherlands Embassy
HE The Ambassador – German Embassy
HE The High Commissioner – Indian High Commission
HE The Ambassador – Japanese Embassy
HE The Ambassador – Swedish Embassy
HE The Ambassador – Embassy of Switzerland
HE The Ambassador – Delegation of the EU
Secretaries – All Political Parties
All Print & Electronic Media Institutions
Members of the Board of Directors of CPA
Mr. S.P. Thamil Selvan

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Letter to Editor of Thinakaran regarding front page story of
1st April 2004

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1st April 2004

Mr T.S. Senthil Wellawor
Editor in Chief
Thinakaran Newspaper
Lake House
Colombo 10.

Dear Sir,

'IF NOT A SINGLE CANDIDATE FROM SANKARY OR EPDP ARE ELECTED, WE WILL BE FORCED TO CONSIDER THAT THE ELECTIONS WERE FRAUDULENT”
– OPINION OF CMEV MONITORING GROUP

I am writing to you on behalf of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violenc