To address breach of media ethics during election times
By Yohan Perera
The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) an international NGO, had called for the Sri Lankan Parliament to enact laws that would create a stronger media self-regulatory mechanism to address breach of media ethics during election times.
This proposal is among the many which ANFREL had submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into electoral reforms.
“ANFREL called for the Sri Lankan Parliament to enact a law creating a stronger media self-regulatory mechanism to address breach of media ethics during elections times as well as forming a stronger independent institution that is more inclusive, consultative and proactive. The Election Commission’s lack of oversight over privately-owned media during elections should also be considered.
It has recommended advanced voting and voting giving the Sri Lankan expatriates in other countries to exercise their franchise. “Many countries nowadays empower their citizens residing overseas to vote through either mail –in –ballots, polling stations in embassies and consulates or both as we recommend that Sri Lanka enacts legislation to provide for its overseas citizens to vote,” the report said. It noted that 1.5 million Sri Lankans including migrant workers and students are currently disfranchised. It also called for legislation to provide for advance voting for those who are in hospitals, long term care centres, private-sector workers working on election days and for pre-trial detainees.