CaFFE Report on Voter Reg Est Ration in North July

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Revision of the Northern Provincial voter registry - 2010 Observation Report 1. Introduction The revision of the voter registries throughout the country commenced on June 1st 2010 by the Department of Elections. Since its been a long time since a comprehensive revision is being conducted in the north CaFFE visited all five districts of the Northern Province, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Mulativu and Mannar to monitor how this process is unfolding. This report is based on the observations and i
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  1 Revision of the Northern Provincial voter registry - 2010 Observation Report 1. Introduction The revision of the voter registries throughout the country commenced on June 1 st 2010 by theDepartment of Elections. Since its been a long time since a comprehensive revision is being conductedin the north CaFFE visited all five districts of the Northern Province, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya,Mulativu and Mannar to monitor how this process is unfolding. This report is based on theobservations and investigations CaFFE made during the fact finding missions and the data survey. Unique features observed 1.   There is no functional grass root level civil administrative structure in many parts specially inKilinochchi, Mulativu and Mannar because they were under the LTTE control for a long period 2.   The revision of the registry is hampered by the lack of manpower, proper training and resources 3 .   Traditional research methodologies can not be applied 4 .   The dire and immediate need of mobile units and additional staff  5 .   The necessity to educate the residents on the process since many people have not participatedin the voting process during the time under LTTE control 6 .    2 2. Background Because of the 25 year long civil war a proper revision of the voter registries has not occurred in many part of Jaffna and Vanni districts. Although department of elections officials conduct such revisions inother parts of the country during the months of June and July this has not happened in the North for many years.This has deprived the voting rights of many eligible individuals in the province while the names of many individuals who have either died, left the country or do not live in the area are included in thecurrent voter registry. furthermore Jaffna electoral district, which is a combination of Jaffna andKilinochchi administrative districts, is the ONLY area in Sri Lanka where the national identity cardnumbers are not included in the voters registry.A proper and an accurate voter registry is a must to ensure a free and fair election. International andlocal experiences have proven over and over again that the inaccuracies in the voter registry can beused to carry out election malpractices.CaFFE has continuously emphasized the importance of revising the voter registry in the North duringthe local council, presidential and general election periods. We believe that the right to vote is afundamental human right that we must try to protect as a nation. Considering the uniqueness of thecircumstances CaFFE has also stressed on the necessity for a µchange¶ in the revision process.The department of elections promised CaFFE that they will take steps to address the issues we haveraised through the 2010 revision of the voter registry. 3 . Voter registry revision process of the Northern ProvinceOrganizational and administrative structure Apart from a few areas in the Colombo district the initial steps during the revision of the voter registryis taken through the Grama Niladaris by the Divisional Secretariats in all parts of Sri Lanka. The same procedure is followed in the North.Although the Commissioner of Elections has opened a special coordinating office in Kilinochchi in allthe other districts the Grama Niladaris carry out the distribution of the registration forms and conductthe base survey for the voter registration.  3   4 . Lack of civil administrative structures There is no functional grass rootlevel civil administrative structurein the North specially inKilinochchi, Mulativu and some parts of Mannar because they wereunder the LTTE control for a long period. There is also a graveshortage of Grama Niladaris whoare essential in implementinggovernment policies in the grassroot level.  Photo -  P  aran th an GN  off   ice in Kilin o c h c h i Dis t  ric t  : N  o    f   acili t  ies There should be 153 Grama Niladaris in the five divisional secretaries in the Mannar district but whenthe revision process commenced on June 1 st there were only 122 Grama Niladaris in the District whichmeans that there are vacancies at 20% of the Grama Niladaris divisions and that there is no proper mechanism to carry out the base survey effectively for the voter registry revision process in thoseareas.A list of divisional secretaries which has a dearth of Grama Niladaris in Mannar DistrictDivisionalSecretariatThe number of recommendedGrama Niladaris Number of vacanciesGrama Niladaris onleaveGrama Niladarisattached tothe voter registrationPercentageof Grama Niladaris ondutyThe city of Mannar 49 10 02 39 79 . 6%    Nanattan 31 02 29 93%Musali 20 20 100%MandeiWest36 14 03 22 61%Madu 17 05 01 12 70%Total 153 31 06 122 79.7%  4   There are 81 acting Grama Niladaris in the Jaffna District because the vacancies have not been filled by the government. There are 11 vacancies in Kopay Divisional Secretary alone. Number DivisionalSecretariat Name of the Grama SewadivisionCode1 Delft Delft- South J/022 Delft West J/033 Velanei Mandeitivu South J/094 Velanei North East J/135 Pungudativu South West J/246 Pungudativu North J/277 Kytes Pungudativu J/398 Karampam North J/529 Karampam west J/5410 Naranthnai North J/5511 Sunruwil J/5912 Kareinagar Kareinagar J/4013 Kareinagar North J/4214 Kareinagar Central J/4815 Jaffna Nedunkulam J/6116 Pasaiur west J6517 Thirunagar J6718 Reclamation west J/6919 Gurunagar West J/7120 Kuda Kadawediya J/7221 Fort J/8122 Nawanthurei North J/8523 New Moor street J/8824 Nallur Ariyalei South West J/8925 Ariyalei East J/9026 Kantharmadam North East J/10327 Sankiliyan Thoppu J/10928 Sandilippai Chawathkadu J/13129 Manippai East J/13830 Manippai South J/13931 Mareshankadal J/15432 Mullanei J/15633 Sankanai Arali North J/16434 Silipuram East J/17435 Siththankeni J/177
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