BY RUWAN LAKNATH JAYAKODY
Elections monitoring bodies blamed the government for making Sri Lanka the first country to close its doors to European Union observers.
“Apart from seven countries including China, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Albania, is Sri Lanka going to be the eighth country that does not even allow local monitors?” Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) queried. It was Sirima Bandaranaike who first invited foreign polls observers.
CaFFE also chastised SLFP General Secretary and Petroleum Industries Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa for his recent remark that some election monitoring bodies were biased.
“Is this the official version of their belief? We believe that this is the personal view of the SLFP General Secretary, because it was the SLFP which initially, under the tenure of Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike, who officially requested for election monitors,” he said.
CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon asked whether this was representative of the official position of the main constituent party of the United People’s Freedom Alliance Government.
There are around seven election monitoring and observing bodies in the country including Network for Election Monitoring; Intellectuals for Human Rights and Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, as well as CaFFE.