A total of 50 observers representing the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFE) would be invited to monitor the upcoming Parliamentary elections, People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said today.
Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi told the Daily Mirror that they were in the process of coordinating with the ANFE experts who had been monitoring local polls for years.
He said they had held two rounds of talks with the ANFE and they had agreed to arrive in Sri Lanka after necessary requirements were taken place including travelling facilities and accommodation.
“We are arranging the facilities and discussing on costs and it will finally invite the foreign observers by next week,” Mr. Hettiarachchi said.
He said the observers will be representing only South Asian and ASEAN countries. However, The Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya should also grant approval to PAFFREL’s proposal to invite a team of foreign observers.
The foreign observers are expected to visit several places in the island during the elections and monitor the polling process and the events during the post-polling period.
Speaking on 'March 12 Movement', he said their attempt had become a success since 100, 000 signatures had already been received by the several trade unions, academics and ordinary people.
According to him, the programme which began on 25 June, would travel across the country collecting about one million signatures to pressurise political parties to accept the criterion proposed for selecting candidates, while educating the general public about the criteria to be followed when electing MPs.
He said the programme was today held in Trincomalee and tommorrow (29) it would move towards Muttur and Batticaloa. (Piyumi Fonseka)