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* 10 local bodies to monitor Sri Lanka parliamentary election
Sun, Mar 21, 2010, 01:54 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 21, Colombo: Sri Lanka Election Commissioner Dayananda Dishanayake has approved ten local election watchdogs to monitor the upcoming general election, Elections Department spokesman Bandula Kulatunga has told the state-owned weekly Sunday Observer.

Two of the ten organizations, People's Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) and the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) have been cleared to enter the polling stations and man their observers in the polling stations on the day of the elections.

The Democratic Action for Free and Fair Elections (DAFFE), Centre for Protecting Human Rights, Organisation for Professional Association, Sepco Janatha Sanvidhanaya, National Polls Observation Centre, Network to Election Monitoring, Centre for Monitoring Free and Fair Elections and Democracy and the Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) are the other organizations given clearance to act as election observers.

However, no decision has been taken regarding foreign observers as the request from the opposition parties to have foreign election observers was made late, the spokesman had said.

Meanwhile the Election Commissioner said Assistant Returning Officers will be monitoring the casting of postal votes for the forthcoming general election on March 25 and 26.

According to the Commissioner an Assistant Returning Officer will monitor two polling centers. The Department hopes to eliminate irregularities that may occur during the postal voting, he said.

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