|2,520 observers to monitor
Ariff and Ishara Jayawardane
Twenty international observers along with 2,500 local observers
will be monitoring the upcoming Eastern Provincial Council
election, said People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL)
Chairman Kingsley Rodrigo. This move comes in the backdrop of
the increasing number of election violence incidents.
“We have invited 20 international observers. Six of them have
already been working in the Eastern Province for one and a half
months. Another 14 will be deployed the week prior to the
elections. Also 2,000 local stationary and 500 mobile local
observers will be used to monitor the election where 250,000
voters are registered,” he added.
To date, 36 cases of election violations have taken place. These
include the recent assassinations of two Tamil Makkal Viduthalai
Pulikal (TMVP) members.
Rodrigo told The Nation that further complaints on violence and
violations were expected in the next few days. “According to our
prior experiences, the problems begin to increase seven days
prior to the election date and that’s due any time now,” he
He added that most of the incidents reported so far have been
from the Batticaloa District. Trincomalee and Ampara Districts
have been relatively peaceful so far. “But it is too early to
predict anything,” he stated.
A total of 1,400 candidates belonging to 18 political parties
and more than 60 independent groups will be contesting the
Eastern elections, which will be held next Saturday.