CPA withdraws from monitoring Batticaloa elections

[TamilNet, Thursday, 21 February 2008, 12:56 GMT]
Pointing out that armed groups are allowed to participate in the forthcoming local council elections in Batticaloa, Colombo based Centre for Policy Alternative(CPA) headed by Dr.Pakyasothy Saravanamuthu announced Thursday that it is withdrawing from monitoring election related acts of violence in the district, civil society sources in Colombo said.

Just and fair elections cannot be conducted under the current situation prevailing in the region and it will not be possible to independently monitor the elections, CPA sources said.

CPA however has agreed to publish a report on the incidences of election violences in the district one week prior to the elections as well as a week after the election is over.

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) in a report issued Monday had expressed concerns of "continuing trend of paramilitary activity, reports of abduction, extra-judicial execution, intimidation and extortion attributed to 'unidentified armed men' and the inability of the law enforcement agencies to pursue investigations."

Elections will be held on March 10 for the Batticaloa Municipal Council and the Pradesheeya Sabhas of Ea’ravoorpattu, Koralaippattu, Koralaippattu North, Eruvilpattu, Ma’nmunaipattu West, Ma’nmunai Southwest, Poaratheevupattu, and Manmunai South. According to Assistant Commissioner of Elections, T. Krishnananthalingam, a total of 270,041 voters are eligible to vote in 285 polling stations at these elections.


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