Lack of Tamil translators hindered election process

By Rathindra Kuruwita

A chronic lack of bilingual officials at district election offices and at the Government Printer had become a serious hindrance to the smooth functioning of electoral processes, Head of the Elections Commission Mahinda Deshapriya said yesterday. That had led to the delay in issuing several important documents to election officials, Deshapriya said.

"We have been telling successive governments about this issue. For example there are no Tamil proof readers at the Government Printer and we wanted to send the names of candidates appointed for each ward to voters and we realized, halfway through, that there is no one to proof read the list and we had to deploy the Tamil speaking officials at the Secretariat for that job," he said.

Deshapriya said the commission had to use the same officials to proof read and prepare the documents necessary for the election, including the ballot papers and that the backlog created by that delay caused a number of issues.

"For example the publishing and distribution of instruction manuals for those deployed at polling centres and other places were delayed. There is also not a single Tamil speaker attached to the Gampaha District election office although there are substantial Tamil speaking populations in places like Wattala, Thihariya, Kelaniya, etc.," he added.

animated gif
Processing Request
Please Wait...