EU's Election Observers to visit Trincomalee
[TamilNet, Friday, 26 March 2004, 14:48 GMT]
The head of the European Union's Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM), Mr.John Cushnahan, and the head of the EU delegation in Sri Lanka, Mr.Wouter Wilton, are scheduled to visit Trincomalee on March 29, Monday, to hold
discussions with local election officials, sources said.
The EU Observers will attend a conference at the
Trincomalee district secretariat presided over by the Trincomalee District returning Officer, Mr. Gamini Rodrigo, Monday noon as a part of regular meetings with election officials at the national, regional and local levels
as well as with political parties, candidates, civil society and the media, the sources said.
In addition to Mr. Cushnahan, the Core Team of the EU-EOM comprises 6 members: - Messrs Carlo F.Accame (Deputy Chief Observer), Delphine Blanchet (LTO Co-ordinator), Phillip Jol (Operation Expert), Giovanna Maiola (Media
expert), Victor Perez (Security Expert) and Giles Saphy (Election /Legal
Expert). The mission also includes 20 Long Term Observers (LTO) that have
already reached the country, said a press release of the EU-EOM.
Forty Short Term Observers (STOs) are expected to arrive in the country one week before the Election Day. The STOs would be deployed across Sri Lanka in teams of two to monitor the opening of polling stations, the voting process, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of votes at
local and national level, the press release said.
One of the EU EOM Long Term Observers ( LTO ) posted to Trincomalee district, Ms Florence Balachchino, is seen in conversation with the Tamil National Alliance leader and the Trincomalee district lead candidate, Mr. R.Sampanthan, in the Trincomalee district secretariat premises Friday morning.
Already, two LTOs, Ms Florence Balachchino and Mr.Educardo Salvador Acevedo, have arrived in Trincomalee.
The key objectives of the EU-EOM are to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process and to offer an impartial, balanced and informed
assessment of the elections; to seek to reduce tension, minimize instances
of fraud, intimidation and violence and to strengthen the confidence of
voters to participate freely, said the press release.
The EU-EOM will hold a press conference to present its findings based on observation of the entire process shortly after parliamentary elections. The EU-EOM will remain in the country until the completion of the electoral process. A more comprehensive report, assessing the electoral framework,
the political environment, the conduct of media during the campaign and the voting, counting and tabulation procedures, will be published following the
end of the election process. The report will also include a series of
recommendations for developing the overall electoral process and democratic
environment in Sri Lanka, the press release said.
EU EOM vehicle in the Trincomalee district