South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) organised a discussion on the Best Practices in the South Asian Region for Free and Fair Elections on 17th December 2009 at the Kobbakkaduwa Centre, Sri Lanka. Guests from all spheres of the community comprising of members from international, regional and local nongovernmental organizations in a variety of fields, media personnel, and undergraduates participated at this event. The panel consisted of Mr. J C Weliamuna from Transparency International Sri Lanka, Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi from PAFFREL and Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu from Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka.
Ms. Sharmin Murshid from Bangladesh spoke about the recently concluded Bangladesh election and main differences from the elections held in the past. Her presentation further focused on the measures taken by the relevant authorities to bring about this change and the contribution by the civil society.
An overview of the Best Election Practices in the South Asian Region was given by Mr. Asanga Welikala after which Mr. J C Weliamuna focused on the relevance to Sri Lanka’s current context, the issues and shortcomings of the current Sri Lankan electoral system and how Sri Lanka can learn from its South Asian counterparts. Finally a brainstorming session on the Role of Civil Society in the short and long term was held which was moderated by Mr. K S Ratnavel.
Click here to download the video of this event which was broadcasted over Young Asia Television.