India to advise SL on electoral reforms

by Franklin R. Satyapalan
The Chief Elections Commissioner of India J. M. Lyndoh and the former Chief Elections Commissioner K. K. Gill will be invited before the Sri Lankan Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reforms (PCER) to seek their expertise on election laws and reforms, a spokesman for the committee said yesterday.

The PCER chaired by the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna leader and PA Parliamentarian Dinesh Gunawardeana was set up recently to examine possibilities to amend the present electoral system.

Authoritative sources said the PCER has decided to summon experts in the country to examine ways and means to amend the existing electoral laws.

The Executive Director of the PAFFREL Dr. Kingsley Rodrigo who monitored several elections will come before the committee on October 06, Secretary to the Committee and Deputy Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake revealed.

The Commissioner of Elections, Dayananda Dissanayake will make his appearance before the committee for the third time on October 06.

Last Tuesday, the Commissioner of Registration of Persons Department Vijaya Ranasinghe said that the department could provide all those reaching the voting age with a national identity card and also could store data in a computer with accessibility for the Commissioner of Elections to obtain those data for compiling the Elections Register at times of elections.

The Commissioner Registrar of Persons stated that almost 80% of the population had been issued National Identity Cards and the impediment that the department faced in issuing NICs was proper documentation to provide Birth Certificates.

CWC Parliamentarian for Colombo District R. Yogarajan one of the 19 members of Parliamentary Select Committee on Elections Reforms stated that a number of Indian Tamil plantation workers faced problems in obtaining birth certificates to get a NIC.

Registrar General N. Wijesiri stated that his department was willing to assist any group or individual if their cases were forwarded for processing.