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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Sri Lanka's political parties discuss measures to ensure a free and fair election
Sat, Mar 20, 2010, 12:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka's political party representatives had discussed the violation of election laws and the steps that could be taken to curb such a situation when they met Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dishanayake yesterday (19).

The opposition party representatives have rapped the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for the inability of the police to remove all illegal banners, cutouts, and posters.

The IGP had however maintained that the police had practical difficulties in removing such cut-outs and posters partly due to pressure by the candidates.

Ruling United People's Freedom Alliance Secretary Minister Susil Premajayantha had noted that there were loopholes in the election law, and, therefore, the authorities concerned encountered problems when taking measures for a free and fair election.

However, Democratic National Alliance (DNA) General Secretary JVP parliamentarian Vijitha Herath had said police could remove all unlawful cut-outs and posters according to powers vested with them in the present law.

Meanwhile, the main opposition UNP had proposed that international election monitors be deployed. The Elections Commissioner had agreed to look into the request.

The Elections Commissioner had agreed to display a list of voters with temporary identity cards at every polling station at the April 8 general election. The copies of this list are to be made available with the polling booth agents of respective political parties.

Steps are also to be taken to inform displaced voters of the whereabouts of their polling stations days prior to the election.

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