For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Only 30 out of 435 Grama Niladari Divisions in Jaffna completes the base survey / house-to-house enumeration exercise.
Although nearly three months have passed since the Department of Elections began the 2010 Revision of the voter registry only 30 Grama Niladari Divisions out of 435 have completed the house-to-house enumeration exercise which is the basis of the revision. Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has noted that the Department of Elections has not taken action to step up the process despite constant reminders.
Not a single Grama Niladari Division in the Kankasanthurei, Manipay, Kopai and Chawakachcheri electorates have completed the house-to-house enumeration exercise. Only five out of 51 Grama Niladari divisions in Kytes, five out of 28 Grama Niladari divisions in Jaffna, three out of 40 Grama Niladari divisions in Nallur, four GN divisions out of 39 in the Wadukkodei, seven GN divisions out of 45 in Point Pedro and six GN divisions out of 44 in Udupiddi have completed the exercise.
The voter registry revision began on June 01st, 2010 and was set to end on August 15th, 2010. Due to the slow progress in the North and the some parts of the East the deadline has been extended by another two months.
Because of civil war a proper revision of the voter registries has not occurred in many parts of Jaffna and Vanni districts. Although department of elections officials conduct such revisions in other parts of the country during the months of June and July this has not happened in the North for many years. In a previous visit to the North CaFFE highlighted various issues faced by the Grama Niladaris and election officers in the North, lack of adequate resources including manpower, lack of proper training and incentives to complete the voter registration, the Department of Elections has not taken necessary steps for the successful completion of the voter registry revision.
A proper voter registry is essential for a free and fair election and it is imperative that the government rebuilds the trust in the electoral process in citizens of Jaffna.
26.08.2010 Tel. 0777791225