Commission issues directives for upcoming election
Graphic: Women line up to cast their vote, Sri Lanka
The Commission will monitor the conduct of public officers to ensure that the forthcoming local government elections are conducted freely and fairly.
The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has said it will monitor the conduct of public officers to ensure that the forthcoming elections are conducted freely and fairly.
Sri Lanka's Election Commission announced that local government elections will be held on 10 February 2018.
Issuing a circular on the activities of public officers and officers of the Provincial Public Service in connection with the Local Authority Election 2018, Commission Chairperson Dr Deepika Udagama said that public officers should act fairly and impartially.
The Commission has established an Election Complaints Desk to receive complaints related to the upcoming election. The Desk will pay particular attention to alleged rights violations of women candidates.
Noting that the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has declared the right to vote to be a fundamental right, the Commission said that all public officers are bound to ensure that the election takes place in conformity with the Constitution and existing laws.
"lf public officers vested with legal responsibility misuse such powers and act beyond legal boundaries, or fail to perform duties which they are duty bound to perform or delay the performance of their duties without justifiable reason, such action results in violation of fundamental rights," the Commission said in the circular.
It added that the Commission is vested with powers to take action when public officers violate fundamental rights.
The Commission has also prepared guidelines to be observed by all police officers in the run-up to the election, on the day of the election and in the period immediately after the election.
The guidelines, which have been provided to the Inspector General of Police, seek to protect fundamental rights during the election period.
Date: 24 January 2017
- Women line up to cast their vote, Sri Lanka - Commonwealth Secretariat, Flickr; http://bit.ly/2npt45S
- Central office of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, Colombo - APF