Election reported incidents rise
[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 October 2000, 05:34 GMT]
Number of election related incidents reported at the Police Election Secretariat from August 28, the date nomination papers were filed, to October 6 stands at 1229, sources said.
Of these complaints, the United National Party (UNP) has made 580, while the ruling Peoples Alliance (PA) and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have made 418 and 131 respectively.
Meanwhile the Center for Monitoring of Electronic Media, comprising INFORM (Sri Lankan media monitor) and the Center for Policy Alternatives, is monitoring the electronic media coverage of the general election with the assistance of London-based freedom of expression organization, ARTICLE XIX, and Global Campaign for Free Expression.
This is the first such monitoring exercise covering all the electronic media (radio and television-private and public) during a general election in Sri Lanka, said Center for Monitoring of Electronic Media in a press release.
The press release further states that in addition to the ongoing monitoring process, spontaneous surveys are also being conducted to assess the bias of programs covering specific issues of relevance to the elections.
The monitoring team itself consists of 45 Sri Lankans of varied backgrounds including media experts, lecturers, researchers, lawyers, NGO activists and university students. The Article XIX team consists of members of the Law program and Communication Officers. Frequent discussions and dialogue between the experts and the monitors are expected to improve the quality of monitoring.
Monitoring of State-funded electronic media commenced on the 7th of September 2000, while the private media component commenced its work on 14th September. This exercise is expected to continue until one week after
the election i.e. the 17th of October, sources said.
The Center for Monitoring of Electronic Media plans to release an in-depth Final Report detailing the full results of the monitoring exercise shortly after the end of the monitoring period.