December 06, 2019
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    International election observers arrive

    November 14, 2019

    On the invitation of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka (ECSL), a group of 12 international observers and a seven-member International Study Team (IST) arrived in the country for the upcoming Presidential election on Wednesday.The International Observer Group (IOG) are comprised of representatives from India,The Maldives, Indonesia and South Africa while the study team members are from Bhutan, The Philippines, The Maldives and Bangladesh.

    “We would go around the country with the support of the Election Commission for observations but, act independently,” the IOG Head, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights of South Africa Hanif Mohammed Vally told the media in Colombo yesterday.The invitees would observe the upcoming election-related activities and carry out an in-depth study in their assigned districts from today (14) until the end of the counting of votes.

    The IOG and the IST will meet the District Returning Officers and Deputy/Assistant Commissioners of Elections today, obtain information from them and observe the functioning of the complaint center of each district.On November 15, the IOG will observe the organization of the poll, polling stations, counting centers along with the security arrangements.

    On the day of the election, the observers and the study team will observe and study the taking of the poll, facilitating the voters to cast vote without difficulty and counting of the votes.Vally also said that they had special meetings with the Election Commission officials, Inspector General of Police and the contesting parties on Wednesday.

    When asked on the behaviour of social media, Vally replied that they would also observe and take into account the behaviour of social media, especially the negative impacts of them during the election period.“The impact of social media has become one the major issues in the modern world and our own countries also experience it”, he said.

    The IOG and IST would present two separate reports to the ECSL before November 20, in which they would make recommendations to the election commission in enhancing the free and fairness of the future elections.

    International Observer Group (IOG) -: Hanif Mohammed Vally (South Africa) - Ampara, Siyabonga S. Maki (South Africa) - Jaffna, Pramod Kumar Sharma (India)- Hambantota, Avinash Kumar (India) – Batticoloa, Sujeet Kumar Mishra (India) – Puttalam, Narendra Nath Butolia (India) – Monaragala, Vijay Kumar Pandey (India) – Kurunegala, Wahyu Setiawan (Indonesia) - Colombo / Gampaha, Lucky Firnandy Mayanto (Indonesia) – Vavuniya, Ismail Habeeb Abdul Raheem (Maldives) - Trincomalee

    International Study Team (IST) –: Jerico M. Jimenez (Philippines) – Anuradhapura, Ms. Maryam Nazreena / Ms. Aminath Sarma (Maldives) – Ratnapura, Apurba Kumar Biswas (Bangladesh) – Kegalle, Mohammad Shanizzaman Talukder (Bangladesh) - Nuwara Eliya, Ms. Thinley Tshomo (Bhutan) – Kalutara, Garjaman Biswa (Bhutan) - Galle

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