Int'l polls monitors start work in Sri Lanka

10:38, April 04, 2010      

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International polls monitors have commenced their pre-polls monitoring activities for the forthcoming parliamentary polls in Sri Lanka, local monitoring groups said on Saturday.

Rohana Hettiarachchi, executive director of the People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), told reporters that 16 international elections observers have already started the pre- polls monitoring in selected districts including the minority Tamils dominated Jaffna.

Hettiarachchi said the foreign monitors would cover eight districts.

He said the PAFEEREL has received more complaints on intra- party violence compared to the 2004 parliamentary election.

Hettiarachchi stressed the need of changing the preferential voting system, which is the main cause for intra-party violence.

Executive Director of the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) Somsri Han-Anuntasuk said they hope that there would be zero violence in the polls scheduled to be held on April 8.

He said ANFREL monitors will monitor pre-election violence, voting day violence and post election violence.

Local monitors, for the first time, have been given permission to monitor counting process of the April 8 elections by the Department of Elections.

The 225-member parliament was dissolved in February and the new parliament will sit on April 22.



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