CMEV concerned by Health Ministry’s refusal to gazette election guidelines

Wednesday, 15 July 2020 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) yesterday showed concern over the Health and Indigenous Medical Services Ministry’s refusal to gazette COVID-19 related guidelines for the upcoming General Elections.

Through their official Twitter handle, the CMEV posted: “CMEV is deeply concerned by the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine’s refusal to gazette the already-prepared #COVID19 election guidelines, particularly as the number of outbreaks is increasing while election campaigning is still occurring.”

The previous day, they tweeted: “CMEV wrote to the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and Director General Health Services questioning the unusual delay in gazetting #COVID19 Health Guidelines for conducting #GenElecSL. CMEV seeks assurance that the delay is not for any political advantage,” along with an image of a letter addressed to Health Services Director General Dr. Anil Jasinghe.

In the letter dated 13 July, the CMEV acknowledged the measures taken by the health authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country but stated that the guidelines issued regarding the General Election had not been gazetted despite the guidelines being prepared with the support of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka.

They stated that, due to this, certain political parties and candidates were carrying out their campaigning activities without adhering to these guidelines or quarantine regulations. “There is a risk of the efforts taken by your organisation to contain the spread of the virus being pointless,” they stated, adding: “It is timely that efforts are taken to gazette the guidelines as there is a risk of COVID-19 spreading in the community.”