Centre for Policy Alternatives on 31 July, 2009

Final Report on election related violence: Sabaragamuwa and North Central Province

Categories: Articles

The Centre for
Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) commenced its monitoring of the
Provincial Council Elections in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa
Provinces on 8th August 2008. CMEV monitoring focused on the incidence
of electoral violence and malpractice throughout the campaign and on
Polling Day. CMEV monitoring has always been conducted in the belief
that it contributes to the making of informed choices by the voter and
is organized accordingly.

Monitors in the field send information for further corroboration to
the CMEV Secretariat in Colombo, which in turn releases reports to the
In the elections to the two Provincial Councils there was a decrease in
the number and nature of incidents on Election Day, although there were
a considerable number of incidents reported during the campaign,
thereby vitiating the freeness and fairness of the polls.

In these elections, the highest number of complaints related to the
disenfranchisement of voters on account of the lack of proper identity
documents. This was also the case in the Eastern Provincial Council
Election held on 10th May 2008. In its report on that election, CMEV
highlighted the problem and the importance of taking steps to rectify
it. The problem however has persisted. Another such issue is that of
the misuse of public resources. This has become a common feature of
elections held in Sri Lanka and is yet another reinforcement of the
argument consistently advanced by CMEV regarding the urgency and
pivotal importance of the full implementation of the Seventeenth
Amendment. CMEV believes that this, through the establishment of
independent commissions for the Police, Public Service and Elections
amongst others, is absolutely necessary for protecting the integrity of
the electoral process.

Download the report in full here as a PDF.

Final Report on election related violence: Sabaragamuwa and North Central Province