The Sunday Leader

HRCSL Proposes Forming Committees

By Waruni Karunarathne

Committees are to be appointed at the district level to take decisions on allocating public grounds and public spaces for political meetings during the elections in a fair manner.

Legal Secretary and Media Spokesman of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), Nimal Punchihewa told The Sunday Leader that the HRCSL proposed to the Election Commissioner about appointing committees at the district level to allocate public space for election rallies and political meetings during the election.

“We have already received approval from the Election Commissioner to proceed with the proposal and the committees are expected to be appointed under the District Secretariat in each district,” he added. According to him, this will ensure a formula in allocating public space for all the parties for their election campaigns in a fair manner without violating the election laws and guidelines.

During the last election, election observers and opposition parties expressed dismay at the manner in which public playgrounds and other public spaces were allocated for the government political rallies while opposition parties were deprived of access to those public spaces.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Western Provincial Councillor Mahinda Jayasinghe and local Councilor Jude Christopher also lodged a complaint with the HRCSL during the last presidential elections stating that the JVP was not given access to public spaces to conduct rallies.

Meanwhile, Punchihewa added that the HRCSL is also carrying out election monitoring activities and taking measures to ensure that the election guidelines are being followed by the government officials. He added that the HRCSL has already commenced discussions with the relevant stakeholders.

“If we receive complaints related to election law violations or violation of election guidelines by the government officials, the HRCSL will look into those matters and take necessary actions. So far we have not received any complaints,” he added.

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