Under the series of programmes covering all the 13 Dioceses, Caritas Kurunegala – Janasetha Centre organized an awareness programme on the new electoral system on 25th January 2018 at the Janasetha Centre. A large number of CBO members from the Diocese of Anuradhapura, Kandy, Chilaw, and Kurunegala participated in the half-day session. This is the third of several awareness programme on the new electoral system, organized by SEDEC with the Caritas Diocesan Centres.

The members of the audience had the opportunity to raise  many issues and questions to the panel of experts for clarification especially on the implementation mechanism of the new electoral system.

Mr. Nimal Punchihewa, Director – Legal Affairs, Election Commissioner’s Office, Prof. Ratnajeewan Hool, Member of Election Commission & Manaz Makim, National Organizer, CaFFE were the resource persons who enlightened the audience on the new election system, which will be in effect at the upcoming local government elections across the island.

Prof. Hool gave many examples as to how some competing parties and individuals were going against the accepted norms and regulations of the new election system using hate speech on different platforms like social media, religious places and through poster campaigns. He said that there are numerous legal actions against those who use election campaign to damage the image of women and especially those who use caste, religious or linguistic biases to influence the pattern of voting in their electorates.

The programme was held under the leadership and guidance of Rev. Fr. Jamika Perera, Director, Caritas Kurunegala – Janasetha.