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News


2,520 observers to monitor eastern poll

By Nabiha 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 stated.

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.

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