Learn more

composite
16
16

Sri Lanka

In law
21
In practice
11

In Sri Lanka, parties are entitled to direct public funding. In practice, disbursements are made, but not in a transparent fashion. Access to advertising in public media is provided, both in law and in practice, for both parties and presidential candidates. Other, non-financial state resources were regularly abused during the 2010 elections. No restrictions on contribution or expenditure are codified in law, meaning that parties and candidates can receive and spend unlimited amounts during campaigns. Reporting requirements are also sparse. The only legal requirement is that parties submit annual reports to the Commissioner of Elections. In practice, filed reports are not detailed, and very little political finance information is available to the public. Third party actors are not regulated by Sri Lankan law. The Commissioner of Elections is charged with overseeing political finance. In practice, however, the Commissioner has to date failed to fulfill this role. As such, enforcement is weak.

  • expand button!

    Direct and Indirect Public Funding

    More about category
    composite
    59
    • expand button!
      Direct Public Funding
      More about category
      • expand button!
        1
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, there is direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        Sri Lanka does not have a separate law relating to funding explicitly for electoral campaigns. However, section 127 of the Parliamentary Elections Act provides that "(1) Every recognized political party which qualifies under the succeeding provisions of this section shall be entitled to receive in respect of a General Election, financial by way of a grant from the State." The grant shall be payable only to recognized political parties. Qualified political parties, according to section 127(4), are entitled to receive a sum calculated at the rate of fifty cents (USD0.0038) per vote polled by such party in that district at the last preceding General Election. It is perceived that the sum received according to the above rate is not adequate to meet even 10% of the campaign expenses of a political party under the existing electoral system. Political parties who contest for first time at the relevant election and independent groups will not qualified to receive such assistance from State.

        No such provision can be found in the Presidential Election Act. Therefore candidates who contest Presidential Elections are not entitled to public funding for electoral campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is direct public funding for both political parties and individual candidates to campaign. A 100 also applies where only one of the two actors can be elected and, therefore, only one is entitled to direct public funding.

        A MODERATE score is earned where per law only one of the two actors (either political parties or individual candidates) is allocated direct public funding to campaign, even though both can be elected.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981, section 127. http://www.lawnet.lk/process.php?st=1981Y0V0C1A&hword=%27%27&path=5

        Presidential Election Act No. 15 of 1981
        http://www.lawnet.lk/section.php?file=http://www.lawnet.lk/docs/statutes/consstatup2_2006/indexes/1981Y0V0C15A.html

      • expand button!
        2
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, there is a transparent and equitable mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns.More about indicator

        According to Article 127 of the Parliamentary Elections Act of 1981, parties are eligible to recieve public funding for their election campaigns in a system that provides clear eligibility thresholds based on official registration and prior election performance (3), and that provides a clear allocation mechanism based on proportionality - a certain amount per vote received in the preceding election (4-5). However, no public funding is available for candidates.

        "(1) Every recognized political party which qualifies under the succeeding provisions of this section shall be entitled to receive in respect of a General Election, financial by way of a grant from the State. ... (3) The grant referred to in subsection (1) shall be payable to any recognized political party in respect of an electoral district, if that party (a) has polled not less than one per centum of the total number of valid votes polled at the last preceding General Election; and (b) has submitted a nomination paper in respect of that district at the General Election in respect of which such grant is payable.

        (4) Every recognized political party which qualifies under subsection (3), shall, on application made in that behalf to the Commissioner by the secretary of such party, be entitled to receive a sum calculated at the rate of fifty cents(USD0.0038) per vote polled by such party in that district at the last preceding General Election.

        (5) Every payment under this section shall be paid into the official bank account of the recognized political party within ten days from the last day of the nomination period.

        (6) When any dispute arises in respect of the payment of the grant under this section, such dispute shall be referred to the Commissioner whose decision thereon shall be final."

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) direct public funding for political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where direct public funding for political party and individual candidates' electoral campaigns is allocated through a clearly defined calculation mechanism that is transparent and equitable, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981, section 127(3), 127(4), 127(5), and 127(6). http://www.lawnet.lk/process.php?st=1981Y0V0C1A&hword=%27%27&path=5

      • expand button!
        3
        Score
        75
        In practice, to what extent is the mechanism to determine direct public funding for electoral campaigns transparent, equitable and consistently applied?More about indicator

        As noted, there is public funding provided to parties, but not to candidates, such as those who run in presidential elections. In the 2010 parliamentary elections, only four political parties (namely Ilankai Thamil Arsu Kachchi, United National Party, United People's Freedom Alliance and People's Liberation Front) had qualified to receive State assistance under section 127 of the Parliamentary Election Act. A total of 35 political parties had contested the election. According to the administrative report of the Election Commissioner, a sum of LKR. 4,183,980.00 (USD 32,107.90) was disbursed to the 4 political parties mentioned above based on the votes they received during the 2004 general election. However, details of public funds disbursement for each political parties are not provided in the administrative report which has been tabled to the parliament by the Commissioner of Elections.

        Deputy Election Commissioner (Admin) confirmed that calculation of funding for political parties is strictly done according to the criteria provided in the Act. They have not received any complaints regarding the unfair or wrong allocation of funds. However, this information is not published in mainstream media or Web page of the Commissioner of elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaigns allocations are always defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) electoral campaign allocations are usually defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are usually applied but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political campaign allocations are rarely or never defined through a clearly defined transparent and equitable calculation mechanism, or 2) the defined eligibility criteria are rarely applied.

        Sources

        Administration Report of the Commissioner of Elections--2010 https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8tw18ggorjtv91/Administration%20Report%2C%20Elections%20Commissioner%2C%202010.pdf?dl=0

        Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Deputy Commissioner of Elections (Admin). Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections. Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

      • expand button!
        4
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent does the entity in charge of public funding make disbursement information publicly available?More about indicator

        The Commissioner of Election is the entity that makes disbursement of public funding for political parties. At the completion of nomination precess in a general election based on above mentioned criteria funds are disbursed to political parties. Information related to the disbursement of public funds is provided only to the parliament by the Commissioner of Elections through his annual administrative report. Following its submission to parliament, the report becomes automatically accessible for general public. The 2010 administrative report was submitted to the parliament in June 2011. It has taken almost 15 months to submit such information to the parliament.

        Further, it does not provide information regarding proportion of funding received by each political party who qualified to get such funding. The general public is totally unaware of this process. Even election observers were not aware about public funding received by political parties in the 2010 General Elections.

        However, a copy of administrative report could be obtained by anyone from National Archives after paying relevant cost if they are aware of the report. The Commissioner of Elections confirmed that if anyone requests a copy in the same year that the report was published, they will be issued the report.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) complete information on the disbursements is published less than a month after disbursement, and 2) the information is available on the Internet for free or in hard copy at photocopying cost.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the information published is incomplete or published more than two months after disbursement, or 2) obtaining the information costs more than photocopying.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) disbursement information is published more than four months after disbursement, or 2) no disbursement information is published or released upon request.

        Sources

        The Commissioner of Elections, Administration Report of the Commissioner of Elections-2010, The Department of Electiones, June 2011. https://www.dropbox.com/s/0mx0sefmtktdzqk/Administration%20Report%2C%20Elections%20Commissioner%2C%202010.pdf?dl=0

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections. Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

    • expand button!
      Indirect Public Funding
      More about category
      • expand button!
        5
        Score
        YES
        In law, use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates is prohibited.More about indicator

        Article 104 B (4) (a) of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka vests the power in the Commission/ Commissioner General of Elections to prevent the misuse of public resources during Presidential, General (Parliament), Provincial Council or Local Government elections or at a referenda. "(4) (a) The Commission shall have the power during the period of an election, to prohibit the use of any movable or immovable property belonging to the State or any public corporation - (i) for the purpose of promoting or preventing the election of any candidate or any political party or independent group contesting at such election ; (ii) by any candidate or any political party or any independent group contesting at such election, by a direction in writing by the Chairman of the Commission or of the Commissioner-General of Elections on the instruction of the Commission."

        According to above provision the Commissioner has power to prohibit the use of any movable or immovable property belonging to the State or any public corporation for the purpose of promoting or preventing the election of any candidate, political party or independent group contesting at such election. He exercises such power to prohibit use of State resources by issuing directives to heads of government institutions.

        In his circulars dated December 08, 2009 and February 13, 2010 to prevent the abuse of public resources during the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, respectively, the Commissioner has clearly defined that the use of the following resources are prohibited: All categories of vehicles, including aircrafts and even assigned vehicles belonging to the state; State buildings including state maintained buildings and State owned guest houses which cannot be used free of charge; Facilities available for all public institutions and all Ministries; Public Finance or public funds intended to be utilized for public purpose; Employees of all public institutions including statutory boards; Personnel of the Armed Forces and Police; State Media institutions; and any other category of public resources.

        Further, the Commissioner of Elections issued directives against the appointment, promotion and transfer of government employees during the election period. Under the authority granted by Article 104B (4) (a) of the Constitution, the Commissioner of Elections issued such directions by circular dated December 7 2009 for the Presidential Election. In the Parliamentary Election, the Commissioner recognized the appointment, promotion and transfer of government employees also as an abuse of public resources by including the provision in the circular against the abuse of public resources.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where there is an explicit ban on the use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A YES is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions, which are accessible to all actors equally.

        A MODERATE score is earned where an explicit ban exists but it only applies to one of the two actors, even though both can be elected. A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        A NO score is also earned where the law exists, but allows discretionary exceptions.

        Sources

        17th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka, 2001, Article 104(B). http://www.priu.gov.lk/Cons/1978Constitution/SeventeenthAmendment.html

        Elections Commissioner's Circulars dated December 08, 2009 and February 13, 2010, https://www.dropbox.com/s/a85rnstwm8e74xv/5.%202010.02.13.pdf?dl=0, https://www.dropbox.com/s/rn7kfo6mj8r9p2n/5.%202009.12.09.pdf?dl=0

        Above circulars are published in the Electoral Integrity Report, Transparency International-Sri Lanka, 2010, pages 42-43. http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

        Electoral Integrity Report, Transparency International Sri Lanka. 2010, pages 11-12 http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

      • expand button!
        6
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent are no state resources used in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates' electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        The use of state resources for election campaigning has become general practice in Sri Lanka. For example, the use of state resources in favor of candidates of United People’s Freedom Alliance was witnessed in both national elections conducted in 2010. According to the Electoral Integrity Report of Program for Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) of Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), the abuse of resources of state institutions, vehicles and aircraft, the public transport facilities, state media institutions, the participation of public officers in election propaganda and the use of state employees for election campaign related work were commonly identified issues. TISL had observed systematic abuse of resources allocated for the office of president by the incumbent president for his own election campaigning. 35 instances were recorded where the President had hosted different large groups of persons for a meal at his official residence in Colombo, Kandy and Anuradhapura. It was further reported that over 1000 Sri Lanka Transport Board buses were utilised from time to time to transport supporters of the incumbent President to the venues of the propaganda meetings. The interim report of the PPPR recorded the employment of state employees from the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, The Sri Lanka Foreign Service, the Chairman of the University Grants Commission and Vice Chancellors of the Universities of Colombo, Kelaniya and Sri Jayewardenapura, senior officers of the ministries and the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and Police in electioneering. Many state buildings and resources of institutions such as the National Youth Services Council (NYSC), Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Sri Lanka Lotteries Board, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Animal Husbandry were utilised in propaganda work for the President. The resources were used to put up stages for meetings, printing of calendars, diaries and other propaganda material promoting the President.

        In the Parliamentary election, TISl observed at least 500 busses illegally being used for campaigning activities. It identified the extensive use of teachers and principals at government schools to carry out campaign related work and even named the principals of prominent schools engaged in electioneering. State buildings were often used to hold propaganda meetings. The PPPR recorded the use of the school buildings and facilities to host meetings of candidates during the General Election. According to Directive 5 of the circular issued by the Commissioner of Elections, State buildings cannot be utilised for any propaganda or election related work for the benefit of the candidates. However, the blatant misuse of government guest houses belonging to various departments throughout the country was recorded.

        The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence also reported that candidates of United People's Freedom Alliance lamentably misused government buildings, vehicles, staff of the government institutions, public funds and development programs for election campaigns in 2010 Parliament Election.

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, the Commissioner of Elections, accepted that candidates from ruling political parties used state resources for their campaign and it was difficult to prevent with existing laws and implementation mechanism.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there is no evidence of authorities using state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates. A 100 is also earned where there are clearly defined exceptions and are equally accessible to all actors.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) documented evidence indicates occasional use of state resources in favor of or against political parties and individual candidates, or 2) clearly defined exceptions are not equally accessible to all actors.

        A 0 score is earned where documented evidence indicates regular use of state resources in favor of or against certain political parties and individual candidates.

        Sources

        Program for Protection of Public Resources, ELECTORAL INTEGRITY, A review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2010 elections in Sri Lanka, Transparency International Sri Lanka, 2010, pages 84 - 102 http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

        Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, Final Report on Election Related Violence, Parliamentary Election 2010, Centre for Policy Alternatives, October 2010, page 03. http://cmev.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/final-report-on-election-related-violence-and-malpractices-parliamentary-election-2010/

        Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, Final Report on Election Related Violence, Presidential Election 2010, Centre for Policy Alternatives,February 2010 http://cmev.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/final-report-on-election-related-violence-and-malpractices-presidential-election-2010/

        Mr.Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections. Interview conducted on 23rd September, 2014

      • expand button!
        7
        Score
        YES
        In law, political parties and individual candidates have free or subsidized access to equitable air time for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        Section 117 of Presidential Election Act contains provisions regarding free access to public media during campaigns for candidates as follows: (1) Each candidate shall, subject to such conditions as may be determined by the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, upon application made in that behalf within one week from the date of nomination, be entitled to the use of broadcasting facilities during the period commencing from the day after the last date fixed for making such application and ending seventy-two hours prior to the commencement of the poll.

        (2) In the allocation of broadcasting time during the period referred to in subsection (1) to any candidate who makes an application in that behalf, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation shall ensure that each such candidate shall be permitted, without payment, to use

        (a) in the case of radio broadcasting, a total period not exceeding ninety minutes which may be used on one occasion and not more than three occasions, the use on each such occasion being for not less than fifteen minutes and not more than thirty minutes.

        (b) in the case of television broadcasting, a total period not exceeding ninety minutes, which may be used on one occasion or not more than three occasions, the use on each such occasion being for not less than fifteen minutes and not more than thirty minutes.

        (3) Where two or more candidates agree to debate any matter of national importance over the radio or television, it shall be the duty of the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation or the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation to afford facilities for that purpose, on payment made therefor. The period allocated to any candidate for that purpose on. radio or television shall not exceed forty-five minutes, which shall be in addition to the period allocated to the use of such candidate under subsection (2).

        (4) The order in which each candidate shall use the broadcasting facilities shall be determined

        (a) in the first instance by agreement among the candidates; or

        (b) in the absence of such agreement by lots cast or drawn in such manner as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation may, in his absolute discretion, determine.

        (5) No candidate shall, save and except as provided in this section, directly or indirectly use broadcasting facilities for the purpose of promoting his own election.

        (6) The Commissioner may permit every candidate to use, without payment and in addition to the periods allocated to such candidate under subsections (2) and (3), broadcasting facilities on radio and television for such equal periods as may be determined by the Commissioner having regard to the principals set out in subsection (2).

        (7) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation shall ensure, that except as provided in the preceding provision of this section, no material is broadcast over the radio or the television, during the period commencing on the day of nomination and ending on the date of declaration of the result, which will have the effect of promoting, directly or indirectly, the candidature of any candidate at the election. The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation shall act in consultation with the Commissioner in implementing the provision of this subsection."

        Similar provisions are provided in section 126 of Parliamentary Election Act too.

        (1) Every recognized political party or independent group which has submitted a nomination paper in respect of any electoral district shall, subject to such conditions as may be determined by the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, be entitled, upon application made in that behalf within one week from the last day of the nomination period, to the use of broadcasting facilities during the period commencing from the day after the last day fixed for making such application and ending seventy-two hours prior to the commencement of the poll.

        (2) A recognized political party or independent group making application under subsection (1) for the use of broadcasting facilities during the period referred to in that subsection, shall be permitted

        (a) in the ease of radio broadcasting, to use (i) a total period of thirty minutes, if such party or group has submitted nomination papers in respect of only one electoral district; (ii) a total period of sixty minutes, if such party or group has submitted nomination papers in respect of more than one but less than fourteen electoral districts or has nominated not less than one hundred and thirty two candidates for the electoral districts, in respect of which it has submitted nomination papers; (iii) a total period of ninety minutes, if such party or group has submitted nomination papers in respect of fourteen or more electoral districts or has nominated more than one hundred and thirty-two candidates for the electoral districts in respect of which it has submitted nomination papers ;

        (b) in the case of television broadcasting, to use (i) a total period of thirty minutes if such party or group has submitted nomination papers for only one electoral district ; (ii) a total period of sixty minutes, if such party or group has submitted nomination papers in respect of more than one but less than fourteen electoral districts or has nominated not less than one hundred and thirty two candidates for the electoral districts in respect of which it has submitted nomination papers ; (iii) a total period of ninety minutes, if such party or group has submitted nomination papers in respect of fourteen or more electoral districts or has nominated more than one hundred and thirty two candidates for the electoral districts in respect of which it has submitted nomination papers.

        The time allotted to each recognized political party or independent group in accordance with the provisions of this subsection may be used by such party or group on one or more occasions, so however that the use on each such occasion shall be for a period not less than fifteen minutes and not more than thirty minutes.

        (3) Where two or more recognized political parties or in dependent groups agree to debate any matter of national importance, it shall be the duty of the Chairman of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation to afford broadcasting facilities to such parties or groups, so however that the time permitted for such de bate shall not exceed the time allotted to each such party or group under subsection (2).

        (4) The order in which each recognized political party or independent group shall use the broadcasting facilities shall be determined

        (a) in the first instance by agreement among such parties and groups ; or

        (b) in the absence of such agreement by lots cast or drawn in such manner as the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation may, in his absolute discretion, determine.

        (5) The broadcasting facilities under this section shall be used only by a candidate or candidates nominated by any recognised political party or independent group to contest an election under this Act.

        (6) No candidate shall, save and except as provided in this section, directly or indirectly use broadcasting facilities for the purpose of promoting his own election.

        (7) The Commissioner may permit every recognized political party or independent group to use, in addition to the period allocated to such party or group under subsection (2), broadcasting facilities on radio and television for such periods as may be determined by the Commissioner having regard to the principles set out in subsection (2). (8) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Rupavahini Corporation shall ensure that except as provided in the preceding provision of this section no material is broadcast, over the radio or television during the period commencing on the nomination day and ending on the date of declaration of the result, which will have the effect of promoting the candidature of a particular political party or independent group or of a particular candidate. In implementing the provisions of this subsection, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation shall act in consultation with the Commissioner.

        (9) For the purpose of this section a person whose name appears in the list of persons submitted by a recognized political party or an independent group contesting a general election, to the Commissioner, under Article 99A of the Constitution, shall be deemed to be a candidate nominated by such recognized political party or independent group, as the case may be, to contest such election.

        Main difference between provisions of two acts is while Presidential election act provide access only to candidates of the elections, Parliamentary elections act provide access for recognized political parties and independent groups.

        Above provisions applicable only for public media institutions.

        Further, According to Article 104B (5) (a) “The Commission shall have the power to issue from time to time, in respect of the holding of any election or the conduct of a Referendum, such guidelines as the Commission may consider appropriate to any broadcasting or telecasting operator or any proprietor or publisher of a n newspaper as the case may be, as the Commission may consider necessary to ensure a free and fair election.” Exercising this power the Commissioner of Elections issued guidelines by notification dated December 17 2009 with the objective of controlling partial media behavior during the time of the elections. Those guidelines are applicable for both public and private media inastitutions. However, following 18th Ammendment to the Constitution, he has no any control over media who violates his guidlines. Articles 104B (5) (b), (c), (d), which empowered the commisioner to take necessary actions were removed by the 18th Ammendment.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, and 2) there are clearly defined eligibility criteria.

        A MODERATE score is earned where free or subsidized access to air time for electoral campaigns is granted in a transparent, equitable way, but eligibility criteria are not clearly defined.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981, section 126. http://www.lawnet.lk/process.php?st=1981Y0V0C1A&hword=%27%27&path=5

        Presidential Election Act No. 15 of 1981, section 117.
        http://www.lawnet.lk/section.php?file=http://www.lawnet.lk/docs/statutes/consstatup2_2006/indexes/1981Y0V0C15A.html

        Election Commissioner's guidelines to be observed by the electronic and print media - see page 51 of Electoral Integrity Report, Transparency International Sri Lanka, 2010. http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

      • expand button!
        8
        Score
        100
        In practice, to what extent is free or subsidized access to air time provided in a transparent, equitable way to political parties and individual candidates for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        As per the Presidential Election Act and the Parliament Election Act require, the allocation of 90 minutes per each candidate in a Presidential Election and 30 to 90 minutes for political parties or independent groups in Parliament Election was allocated as prescribed in the law by the chairmen of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. This facility is provided free of charge for all presidential candidates and political parties who have applied in both elections.

        However, in practice unlimited airtime is provided for ruling party campaign advertising through various programs. Therefore, in practice, allocation of airtime, except minimum requirement established by law, is not transparent and equal. For example, in presidential election 2010 all presidential candidates were allocated total 90 minutes per each equally for their political speeches through both Public radio and television. The ruling party candidate, who was then incumbent president, received extra unlimited air time for his election campaign by various programs in nature of discussions, interviews, documentaries, musical programs… etc through all state owned radio and television channels run by Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) and Independent Television Network (ITN). Even main news bulletins were used to promote ruling party candidate and defame the main opposition candidate who was a retired army general. Every news program carried deliberately fabricated news which denote inhumanity of the opposition candidate and compassion and intelligence of ruling party candidate. Current affair programs also aired by channels of above institutions provided prominent space for campaign of ruling party candidate violating election laws provided in sections 117 (7) of Presidential Election Act and 126 (8) of Parliament Election Act as well as guidelines issued by the Commissioner of Elections. Newscasts and current affair programs aired by private media also, to a lesser degree, could be observed violating above laws and guidelines.

        According to the interim report of PPPR of TISL in presidential election 2010, Lakhada and SLBC Sinhala National Service bulletins, 95% and 97% of time respectively was allocated to the incumbent president. The main opposition candidate was given only 5% and 3% respectively. Time allocation was somewhat fair by the selected private channels with Sirasa FM allocating 52% for the president and 44% for the main opposition candidate. The figures for Shri FM were 50% for the president and 48% for the common candidate.

        As for the TV news bulletins, Rupavahini gave 100% of time allocated for the election news to the incumbent president and nil to opposition candidate while ITN gave 70% to the president and 30% to main opposition candidate. The figures for Sirasa TV, Swarnavahini and TNL were 40%, 43% and 51% to the president and 53%, 32% and 41% to main opposition candidate respectively. The report comments that TV media practitioners usually do not bother to present the other views in their news bulletins and gave only one side of the story. This was more prevalent in the State media. Even when time was allocated for a particular candidate, the idea might be to portray that particular candidate negatively.

        It was not only Electronic media, but also State owned print media also were openly used for ruling party’s election campaign and abusing the character of the main opposition candidate. One news report of State owned Sunday Observer said that “if the UDF candidate wins the election, there can be a political struggle for power-sharing which might eventually end up in a military dictatorship. Therefore, it is vital to safeguard democracy in the country.”

        The broadcast of advertisements and other programs was beneficial to one particular candidate. These situations led to the appointment of a Competent Authority by the Commissioner of Elections under Article 104B(5)(c) of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. The Competent authority is permitted to observe and impose sanction on media institutions that violate Commissioner’s guidelines. However, State owned media openly disregarded observation given by the competent authority and continued to violate the guidelines with impunity. That was compelled to withdraw the Competent Authority by the Commissioner of Elections. This clearly flags the level of impunity that prevails within state institutions during elections.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The key issue here is that the provisions in the law are flouted in practice by allowing the incumbent to use the state controlled and privately owned media to broadcast news and information pertaining to government activity highlighting the role of the incumbent. By deliberately obscuring the distinction between government and the party in power/ the incumbent president, any attempt to level the playing field is defeated. Consequently, in this situation there is no need to directly and explicitly violate the legal provisions regarding media time or deny other candidates their allotted time.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is always provided in a transparent and equitable way, and 2) the defined eligibility criteria are applied consistently.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) free or subsidized access to media advertising is usually provided in a transparent and equitable way, but exceptions exist, or 2) the eligibility criteria are not always applied.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) there's rarely free or subsidized access to air time for political campaign, and 2) access exists but is not provided in a transparent, equitable way.

        Sources

        Program for Protection of Public Resources, ELECTORAL INTEGRITY, A review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2010 elections in Sri Lanka, Transparency International Sri Lanka, 2010, pages21-22 http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

        Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, Final Report on Election Related Violence, Parliamentary Election 2010, Centre for Policy Alternatives, October 2010, page 04. http://cmev.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/final-report-on-election-related-violence-and-malpractices-parliamentary-election-2010/

        Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, Final Report on Election Related Violence, Presidential Election 2010, Centre for Policy Alternatives, page 1 . http://cmev.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/final-report-on-election-related-violence-and-malpractices-presidential-election-2010/

        Program for Protection of Public Resources, Interim Report- Electronic Media Monitoring, Transparency International Sri Lanka, January 22,2010, http://www.tisrilanka.org/?p=3225

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

        Sunday Observer, Sarath K ridicules Sarath F's loose talk, The Associated News Papers Ceylon Ltd, January 10, 2010, http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2010/01/10/pol05.asp

        W.A.Sunil, Sri Lankan election: Widespread campaign violence, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), January 18, 2010, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/01/slel-j18.html

        Reviewer's sources: Final Report on Election Related Violence, Presidential Election, January 2010, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), 2010, available at http://cmev.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/presidential-election-2010-final-report.pdf

        Final Report on Election Related Violence, Parliamentary Election, April 2010, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), 2010, available at: http://cmev.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/final-report-on-election-violence-and-malpracticesenglish-ge-2010.pdf

  • expand button!

    Contribution and Expenditure Restrictions

    More about category
    composite
    0
    • expand button!
      General Rules on Electoral Campaign Contributions
      More about category
      • expand button!
        9
        Score
        NO
        In law, cash contributions are banned.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where cash contributions are banned and all financial contributions must be made via the banking system.

        A MODERATE score is earned where cash contributions are allowed up to a maximum limit, regardless of the limit.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        10
        Score
        NO
        In law, there is a ban on anonymous contributions.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where the law stipulates that anonymous contributions are banned.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the ban exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where small anonymous donations are allowed up to a maximum threshold equal to or less than the equivalent to US$300.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        11
        Score
        NO
        In law, in-kind donations to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all in-kind donations must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is also earned if the requirement to report such information exists, but applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        12
        Score
        NO
        In law, loans to political parties and individual candidates must be reported.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where all loans must be reported to the oversight authority.

        A MODERATE score is earned where loans must be reported, but the requirement applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

    • expand button!
      Limits on Contributions and Expenditures during Electoral Campaign Periods
      More about category
      • expand button!
        13
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from individuals are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) individuals may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where individuals are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        14
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from corporations are limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) corporations may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law.

        A MODERATE score is earned where a maximum amount or ban exists, but it applies only to contributions for one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates). A MODERATE score is also earned where corporations are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        15
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from foreign sources are banned.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to receive contributions (financial or in-kind) from foreign sources.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the ban exists but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates), or 2) contributions from foreign sources are allowed to a maximum amount.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        16
        Score
        NO
        In law, contributions from third-party actors (unions, foundations, think tanks, political action committees, etc.) are limited to a maximum amount or banned.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors may not contribute more than a maximum amount established by the law, or 2) are forbidden from making any contribution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the maximum amount or ban exists only for the majority of third-party actors, but not all, or 2) the maximum amount or ban exists, but applies only to contributions for either political parties or individual candidates.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        17
        Score
        NO
        In law, election campaign spending by political parties and individual candidates is limited to a maximum amount.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where it is forbidden for political parties and individual candidates to spend more than a certain amount in a political campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the maximum amount exists, but it applies only to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        18
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Do the national laws regulating political finance also apply to sub-national units? If not, to what extent do sub-national units have laws regulating political finance?More about indicator

        There are no laws to regulate national level political financing in Sri Lanka. Similarly there are no available laws to applicable sub national units.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the applicability of national political finance regulations at the sub-national level, being sure to answer: 1) whether national laws are applicable to sub-national campaigns; 2) if not, to what extent do sub-national units have similar laws regulating political finance; and 3) whether there are any reports of problems arising from gaps in this framework.

        Sources

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Deputy Commissioner of Elections (Admin). Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

      • expand button!
        19
        Score
        --
        Open Question: What are the predominant sources of funding for electoral campaigns?More about indicator

        In presidential elections, the main source of funding is donations from the business community. Both candidates from the ruling party and opposition had received contributions from members of the business community and well wishers. In most occasions, the business community donate for two or more candidates who have possibility to be elected (mainly ruling and opposition) so as to guarantee continuation their business without hassle with what ever government elected. In the 2010 Presidential Election, a number of businessmen had donated both UPFA candidate and National Demcratic Front(NDF)'s candidate. But their names and amounts are still secret.

        Other donations are also often received from the overseas wings of Sri Lankan political parties. All main political parties, United National Party, Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Janatha Vimukthi Peremuna and a few others have overseas wings. Further, though it has not been revealed, some parties receive contributions from allied political parties operating in developed countries. It is alleged that United National Party gets support from western capitalist parties and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and minor socialist parties from China, North Korea and other socialist countries. but those information cannot be proved.

        It is very rare for candidates to self-finance for politial campaigns in a presidential election, with the exception of independent candidates. Some indipendant candidates are also sponsered by main political parties for getting additional media coverage for the campaign and representation in polling booths and counting centres. In the 2010 election, independant candidate Mr.Lal Perera suported to NDF candidate in similar way.

        In parliamentary elections, candidates do invest their private funding. Popular and strong candidates in political parties get contributions from the business community and well wishers. Main political parties that maintain campaign funds also donate to their candidates for campaigns. Those campaign funds are again made of donations from top business people in the country and overseas wings.

        A few old politcal parties have means of income such as immovable property. For example, Sri Lanka Communist party recieves a rent income from their buildings.

        No political parties collect membership fees as income for election campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe the important sources of funding for electoral campaigns, being sure to answer: 1) where does the preponderance of funding come from - public, individual, corporate, or other; 2) to what extent do individual candidates self-finance; and 3) do political parties have other methods of generating campaign funds, such as owning their own businesses or trusts.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of the Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd Octoberober, 2014.

      • expand button!
        20
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been documented instances of violations of contribution or expenditure limits or any of the laws mentioned above (Section 2)?More about indicator

        As there are no laws to regulate political campaign financing, there have been no documented instances of the violation of contribution or expenditure limits. Candidates and political parties are free to receive funds from any source and spend any amount of money during campaigns.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) violation of contribution limits, 2) violation of expenditure limits, and 3) financial contributions that circumvent the regulatory framework. The objective of this question is to learn more about the local context, so please explain the cases in as much detail as relevant.

        Sources

        Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Deputy Commissioner of Elections (Admin). Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Elections Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd Octoberober, 2014.

  • expand button!

    Reporting and Public Disclosure

    More about category
    composite
    5
    • expand button!
      Reporting Requirements to the Oversight Entity
      More about category
      • expand button!
        21
        Score
        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates report itemized contributions and expenditures both during and outside electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        According to the relevent law in Sri Lanka neither political parties nor candidates are required to report their itemised contributions and expenditure during election campaign period or at any other time. Parties are bound to provide audited annual statement of accounts with other documents only for renewal of acceptance as a political party -- the law does not explicitly explain whether only contributions from the state or all contributions in general must be included in these reports.

        Parliamentary Election (Amendment) Act No.58 of 2009, political parties are bound to provide a copy of their annual statement of accounts to the Commissioner of Elections. Section 8(4) says "A copy of the annual statement of accounts of every recognized political party audited by a registered auditor shall be submitted to the Commission."

        While the law does not specify that itemized contribution and expenditures of the election campaign be reported, it does require elected MPs to submit a declaration of assets and liabilities. According to the Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law, candidates who are elected as Members of Parliament are bound to submit their declaration of Assets and Liabilities within three months of appointment date. Section 2 (1) says " The provisions of this Law shall apply to every person belonging to any one of the following classes or descriptions of persons:- (a) Members of Parliament; ...." and Section 3 provides that "Every person to whom this Law applies shall, within three months after the appointed date, make, in such form as may be prescribed, a declaration, hereinafter in this Law referred to as a " declaration of assets and liabilities ", of all- (a) his assets and liabilities ; (b) the assets and liabilities of his spouse ; and (c) the assets and liabilities of each of his children, as on such date as may be prescribed by resolution of the National State Assembly,"

        Further, this law is not applicable for the candidates who contest or are elected in Presidential elections.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates are required to report itemized contributions and expenditures to the oversight authority, both during and outside electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where: 1) the requirement applies for itemized contributions, but not for itemized expenditures, or 2) it applies only during the electoral campaign but not outside it. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement exists, but it only applies to one actor (whether political parties and individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parliamentary Election (Amendment) Act, No. 58 of 2009, section 8(4). http://documents.gov.lk/Acts/2009/Parliament%20Elections%20Act%20No.%2058/ActNo.58e.pdf

        Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law, No. 1 of 1975, sections 2 and 3. http://www.lawnet.lk/process.php?st=1981Y3V63C&hword=%27%27a&path=4

      • expand button!
        22
        Score
        NO
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during the electoral campaign.More about indicator

        Neither parties nor candidates are required to report their financial information on a monthly basis during electoral campaigns. The law does not specifically define a time period as campain period. But both elections acts provide maximum and minimum time gaps between nomination and the poll date. According to the Presidential Election Act the poll date should be after minimum of 4 weeks and maximum of 6 weeks from the date of nomination. For a Parliament Election poll date should be after minimum 5 weeks and maximum 7 weeks from the closing day of nomination .

        Candidates who are elected as members of parliament are required, within three months of taking office, to submit a declaration of assets and liabilities.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report monthly their financial information to the oversight authority during the electoral campaign.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a quarterly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Declaration of Assets and Liabilities Law, No. 1 of 1975, sections 2 and 3. http://www.lawnet.lk/process.php?st=1981Y3V63C&hword=%27%27a&path=4

        Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981, section 10(2)(b). http://www.lawnet.lk/process.php?st=1981Y0V0C1A&hword=%27%27&path=5

        Presidential Election Act No. 15 of 1981 , Section 2(1) (b) http://www.lawnet.lk/section.php?file=http://www.lawnet.lk/docs/statutes/consstatup2_2006/indexes/1981Y0V0C15A.html

      • expand button!
        23
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political parties and individual candidates are required to report their financial information on a quarterly basis outside of electoral campaign periods.More about indicator

        According to the Parliamentary Election (Amendment) Act No.58 of 2009, political parties are bound to provide a copy of their annual statement of accounts to the Commissioner of Elections. Section 8(4) says "A copy of the annual statement of accounts of every recognized political party audited by a registered auditor shall be submitted to the Commission." The Law does not specify what information to be provided or mandate a certain level of detail in these reports. It specifies only that statement should be certified by a registered auditor. Auditors are free to decide level of information to be submitted in the annual statement based on accounting standards.

        These certified statements are not checked by the Election Commisioner or any other institution unless it is required by the courts.

        No such requirement exists for individual candidates.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where political parties and individual candidates must report quarterly their financial information to the oversight authority outside of electoral campaign periods.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the requirement exists on a yearly basis. A MODERATE score is also earned where the requirement only applies to one actor (whether political parties or individual candidates).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parliamentary Election (Amendment) Act, No. 58 of 2009, section 8(4). http://documents.gov.lk/Acts/2009/Parliament%20Elections%20Act%20No.%2058/ActNo.58e.pdf

      • expand button!
        24
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do political parties and individual candidates report itemized financial information monthly?More about indicator

        As there is no such law which requires political parties and individual candidates to report itemized financial information monthly, no political party or candidate reports such financial information.

        However, according to the Assets and Liabilities Law, candidates who are elected for parliament need to submit their declaration of assets and liabilities to the Commissioner of Election within three months of their election. The correctness of these declarations is not checked by any authority unless it is required by the Court or the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption due to a complaint received against a given Member of Parliament with regard to bribery and corruption.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates report on their financial information monthly, and 2) the reports include both itemized contributions and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the reports are occasionally general rather than itemized or don't contain all accounts, or 2) the reporting frequency is quarterly.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) political parties and individual candidates rarely or never file reports, 2) the reports are filed but are rarely or never itemized or refer only to either contributions or expenditures, or 3) the reporting frequency is less than quarterly.

        Sources

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of the Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd Octoberober, 2014.

      • expand button!
        25
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do financial reports by political parties and individual candidates include all types of contributions?More about indicator

        Parties are required to submit financial reports only annually, and candidates are not mandated to submit their financial reports to a public or any other supervising authority except as provided in the Assets and Liabilities Law. Therefore, candidates do not eport any contribution or expense relate to their political campaign during or outside of elections periods. Even under the Assets and Liabilities Law, it cannot be ensured whether they have submitted their real election contribution and expenditure as public or media has no access to such information without a court order.

        According to the assessment of PPPR program of TISL, total advertising cost of two main candidates was around LKR 823,809,000.00(USD 6319735.41). Cost of the propaganda materials of two main parties was over LKR 75,600,000.00 (USD 579954.82). No political party or candidate reveals such information after election campaign.

        Following the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act No.58 of 2009, the Election Commissioner has started calling for annual audit reports in order to renew the registration of political parties. According to him, some of the political parties still have not submitted annual audit reports as required by the section 8(4) of the Parliamentary Elections act. He further added that there are some political parties that don't have a separate bank account for the party. In any case, neither candidates nor parties ever report itemized contributions.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) reports include an itemized list of all contributions indicating their type (in-kind, cash where allowed, etc.) and amount (estimated value for in-kind contributions), and 2) contain donors' names and addresses (or other personal identifier).

        A 50 score is earned where only one of the two conditions listed in the 100 criteria is met.

        A 0 score is earned where neither condition is met.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr.Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, interviewed on 23rd September, 2014

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        ELECTORAL INTEGRITY, A review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2010 elections in Sri Lanka, Transparency International - Sri Lanka, 2010, pages 62-64. http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

    • expand button!
      Availability of Electoral Campaigns' Financial Information to the Public
      More about category
      • expand button!
        26
        Score
        NO
        In law, financial information from political parties and individual candidates must be available to the public.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where in law financial information of political parties and individual candidates must be made available to the public, whether online or digitally within two days of request.

        A MODERATE score is earned where financial information must be made available to the public, but no requirement exists regarding cost, format or number of days within which it must be made available.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        No such law exists.

      • expand button!
        27
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent can citizens easily access the financial information of all political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        Financial information of political parties or individual candidates is not available to the public. Large scale expenditure in both presidential and parliamentary elections in 2010 were most discussed issue during and after elections. However, no citizen or civil society organization could get access to financial information of political parties and candidates who contested the elections.

        No major political party submits their financial information at least to their membership. However, there are a few minor political parties such as Sri Lanka Communist Party and Lanka Sama Samaja Party have presented their annual income and expenditure to their membership and pay income tax for their fixed assets. However, the researcher could not get access to any of these reports.

        On a related item, even though elected cadidates are bound to submit their declaration of assests to the Comissioner of Elections, these are not accessible to the citizens. The efforts made by one veteran journalist, Mr. Victor Ivan, get access to declaration of assets and liabiliteis of elected member of parliaments was also futile as the Commissioner of Elections rejected his request to issue copies.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online, 2) it can be obtained digitally within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily digital or in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Mr. Ananda Jayasekara, Freelance Journalist. Interviewed on 1st Octoberober, 2014.

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections. Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd Octoberober, 2014.

        Transparency International Sri Lanka, Assets Law Must be Strengthened, November 14, 2011, http://www.tisrilanka.org/?p=8828

      • expand button!
        28
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent is financial information published in a standardized format?More about indicator

        As the financial information is not published by political parties, in practice the format of publication has not been a issue. However, minor political parties such as the Sri Lanka Communist Party, Lanka Sama Samaja Party present their financial information to their membership according to auditors' formats. However, despite making formal requests to review such information to the three main political parties during the course of this research, the researcher was unable to gain access to any financial reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where financial information for all political parties and individual candidates is available to the public in a standardized format.

        A 50 score is earned where only part of the information is published in a standardized format. A 50 score is also earned where the information is standardized, but it doesn't cover all political parties and individual candidates.

        A 0 score is earned where financial information is not available in a standardized format.

        Sources

        Mr. Ananda Jayasekara, Freelance Journalist. Interviewed on 1st Octoberober, 2014.

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections. Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

      • expand button!
        29
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do mainstream journalism media outlets use political finance data in their reporting?More about indicator

        As no official financial information is published, no mainstream media outlets have used such information in their reporting. Due to the personal interests of some journalists, on a very few occasions, the media has carried articles regarding political finance issues, but these efforts rarely receive much attention. The mainstream media has carried news about the use of public funds during election campaigns.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. In the rare instances where manstream media has reported or commented on the financial dimension of a campaign it has been about the use of public resources as opposed to campaign contributions. This is attributable to the lack of transparency and availability of this data.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three independent mainstream journalism media outlets have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their reporting.

        A 50 score is earned where one independent mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        A 0 score is earned where no mainstream journalism media outlet has used officially published financial information as part of its reporting.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Ananda Jayasekara. Freelance Journalist. Interviewed on 1st October 2014

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of the Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Michael Hardy, Lax Campaign Finance Laws Breed Corruption, The Sunday Leader, December 6, 2009, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2009/12/06/lax-campaign-finance-laws-breed-corruption/

        Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Misuse Of Public Property And Funds, The Sunday Leader, January 03, 2010, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2010/01/03/misuse-of-public-property-and-funds/

      • expand button!
        30
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws?More about indicator

        As there are no laws available for political financing, there are no reported incidents of such violations.

        Three of below listed interviewees accepted that huge corruption and mismanagements take place in managing political campaign finance. Two of them had personal knowledge about such practices. But those have not been revealed to media or any investigative body as it can have adverse effects on relevant political parties or candidates. Sometimes, especially in presidential elections, candidates are not aware about correct total amount of donations he received as those collected and managed by different member of his group. For example, Sunil Jayasekara explained that, during the 2010 elections, UPFA candidate Mahinda Rajapaksha had given money to his organisers for campaign activities without maintaining any records. All that money had been donated by the business community.

        Until 2013, political parties had not submitted financial reports regularly on time. In an intervew with the Election Commisioner, he stated that he will henceforth make financial reporting mandatary for the renewal of party registration and parties who do not submit financial reports will not be granted registered status in 2015.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of violation or abuse of political finance laws during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, interviewed on 23rd September, 2014

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Michael Hardy, Lax Campaign Finance Laws Breed Corruption, The Sunday Leader, December 6, 2009, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2009/12/06/lax-campaign-finance-laws-breed-corruption/

      • expand button!
        31
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent were there no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying?More about indicator

        Section 79 of Presidential Election Act and section 80 of Parliament Election Act expressly prohibit (a)direct or indirect gifts, loans, or agreements to give or lend, or offers, promises or promises to procure or to endeavor to procure, any money or valuable consideration to or for any elector or to any person on behalf of an elector or (b) directly or indirectly gives or procures, or agrees to gives or procures or (c) gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting.

        Despite these legal prohibitions, there have been many reported incidents of vote buying during the most recent elections. There were a number of donations of dry rations for poor families, and gifts of state land deeds were also reported. Most of houses of candidates who contested the parliament elections provided free food to the tune of three meals a day for supporters throughout the campaign period.

        During the 2010 presidential election campaign a crowd of 3,000 attended a meeting with the Mediation Board members and incumbent president had paid cash rewards between LKR 500 -1000 (USD 3.84 – 7.67). Prior to and on the day of postal voting government employees were paid LKR 1500.00 (USD 11.51). This was an outstanding cost of living allowance which was not paid in the year 2009. This payment was made in an irregular manner without even getting an endorsement confirming the payment according to the Sri Lanka Teachers Union. Outstanding payments are generally added to the salary of the employee but the sudden move to make such payment can be considered an attempt to influence the postal voters. (See- Program for Protection of Public Resources, ELECTORAL INTEGRITY, A review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2010 elections in Sri Lanka, Transparency International Sri Lanka, 2010,pages 65 -102 http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf)

        Subsequent to the meeting of 5000 police officers at temple trees, the police Batta (extra payment) was increased and has been added to their December (2009) salary as follows. a) Batta of those who joined the Police after 2006 were increased up to Rs.5400/-(USD 41.43) b) Those who were paid a Batta of Rs. 4000/- were given an increment of Rs. 2400/- making the total Rs.6400/-(USD 49.10) c) Those who were paid a Batta of Rs. 5000 were given an increment of Rs. 3000/- making the total Rs.8000/-(USD 61.37) (see - Program for Protection of Public Resources, ELECTORAL INTEGRITY, A review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2010 elections in Sri Lanka, Transparency International Sri Lanka, 2010, pages 65 -102 http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf)


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree Dry rations in the context of paragraph two will include food items such as rice and lentils and whilst there is no explicit solicitation of votes at the presentation, the proximity to an election and timing within an election camapign period, carries with it the implicit reminder of which side will and can provide for the recipients.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where there were no news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 50 score is earned where there were news reports or other documented incidents of no more than two cases of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        A 0 score is earned where there were frequent news reports or other documented incidents of vote-buying during the most recent national election.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of the Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd Octoberober, 2014.

        Daily News, Presidential Election 2010: Petitioner’s Pleadings defective, The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd, October 10, 2010, http://archives.dailynews.lk/2010/10/30/pol03.asp

        Program for Protection of Public Resources, ELECTORAL INTEGRITY, A review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2010 elections in Sri Lanka, Transparency International Sri Lanka, 2010, pages 65 -102 http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

      • expand button!
        32
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do civil society organizations use political finance data?More about indicator

        There is no officially published political finance information, and thus no use of any such information.

        However, during elections campaign period civil society organizations become concerned about election campaign expenses. After elections concluded, that interest disappeared. Only few of organizations such as Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), Centre for Policy Alternative have continually engaged in discussions about political financing. In the 2010 elections, this matter was more sensitive due to massive expenses of election campaigning. Election monitoring organizations also were started to pay their attention to political financing. However, the unavailability of political finance data and unwillingness of political parties reveal such data have become the main barrier to civil society engagement in this area.

        Efforts of TISL to reveal real nature of political campaign expenditure through their Program for Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) program has been able to convince media and concerned members of the civil society to demand information related to campaign expenses from political parties and candidates. As a result of the submission of declaration of assets and liabilities to the commissioner of election, currently, has become mandatory practice.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where at least three civil society organizations have used officially published political party or individual candidate financial information as part of their advocacy or awareness work.

        A 50 score is earned where one civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its advocacy or awareness work.

        A 0 score is earned where no civil society organization has used officially published financial information as part of its work.

        Sources

        Program for Protection of Public Resources, ELECTORAL INTEGRITY, A review of the abuse of state resources and selected integrity issues during 2010 elections in Sri Lanka, Transparency International Sri Lanka, 2010, pages 62 - 64 http://www.tisrilanka.org/pub/reports/PPPR_BOOK.pdf

        Final Report on Election Related Violence, Parliamentary Election 2010, page 05. http://cmev.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/final-report-on-election-related-violence-and-malpractices-parliamentary-election-2010/

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd Octoberober, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, Misuse Of Public Property And Funds, The Sunday Leader, January 03, 2010, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2010/01/03/misuse-of-public-property-and-funds/

      • expand button!
        33
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Have there been political finance legal reforms or reform bills presented to the legislature in the last 10 years?More about indicator

        In recent years, especially after elections in 2010, political finance and campaign expenses has become one of major topics in Sri Lankan society. The present electoral system constantly being criticized by minor political parties and political critics due to the massive cost for election campaigns and the unlevel playing field created for minor political parties and independent candidates. During last three months, the Election Commisioner has called party reprecentatives for meetings on two occations and all leading political party representatives (United National Party, Sri Lanka freedom Party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Hela Urumaya and few other political parties) participated in it. At the final meeting they have agreed to discuss further about introducing limitation for election campaign expences and strenthening declaration of assests law related to the political candidates.

        Hon. Minister Mr.D.E.W Gunasekara who is the chairman of Committee on Public Enterprises in parliament confirmed that he will take this issue very soon in the Parliament Select Committee for election reforms. It has been widly accepted that the present system and unavailbility of law to limit campaign expences is favorable only for few rich politicians, and it has increased level of the corruption in the country.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The partisan politicization of the organs of the state and the blurring of the distinction between state and the party in power and government - attitudes and a culture shared by all political parties - is the main impediment to reform of the system of political finance. A culture of government and governance and of politics which treats information as a source of power to those who have it and not one of empowerment for the public at large who do not will frustrate even discussion of this, leave aside the commencement or serious contemplation of legislation in this regard. The place to start is intra-party democracy. Most political parties are highly leader-centric and run as fiefdoms - democratization will lead to greater transparency in all aspects as members demand accountability for leadership performance and management of resources.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please list and describe all documented instances of: 1) political finance reforms, including bills passed, executive orders signed, court rulings and any other legal act that had a direct effect on existent political finance regulation, and 2) all legal reform attempts presented to the legislature even if they were not approved. Please describe the political context that produced the reforms or reform attempts.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

        Mr. Ananda Jayasekara. Freelance Journalist. Interviewed on 1st October 2014

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Michael Hardy, Lax Campaign Finance Laws Breed Corruption, The Sunday Leader, December 6, 2009, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2009/12/06/lax-campaign-finance-laws-breed-corruption/

        Reviewer's sources: The Electoral Reform Debate in Sri Lanka, edited by Rohan Edrisinha and Asanga Welikala, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, 2008.

        The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution: Substance and Process, edited by Rohan Edrisinha and Aruni Jayakody, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, 2011.

        Final Report on Election Related Violence, Presidential Election January 2010, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence,(CMEV) Colombo, 2010, http://cmev.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/presidential-election-2010-final-report.pdf

        Final Report on Election Related Violence , Parliamentary Election April 2010, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) 2010, http://cmev.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/final-report-on-election-violence-and-malpracticesenglish-ge-2010.pdf

  • expand button!

    Third Party Actors

    More about category
    composite
    0
    • expand button!
      Applicability of the Law to Third-Party Actors
      More about category
      • expand button!
        34
        Score
        NO
        In law, third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority and the information is made publicly available.More about indicator

        No such law exists.

        However, the legal persona of such actors will require reporting in the case of those registered as companies to the Registrar of companies on an annual basis with audited accounts and likewise in the case of those registered with the Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organiations located within the Minsitry of Defence. Citizens can access information by requesting it from the Registrar of companies.

        Note that trade unions and political action committees are not covered by this law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) third-party actors are required to report to the oversight authority itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, and 2) the information must be publicly available.

        A MODERATE score is earned where third-party actors are required to report itemized contributions received and expenditures related to their support of electoral campaigns, but the information is not required to be publicly available. A MODERATE score is also earned where regulations exist, but only apply to electoral campaigns of one actor (whether political party or individual candidate).

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Companies Act , No 07 OF 2007, Parliament of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. http://www.drc.gov.lk/app/comreg.nsf/200392d5acdb66c246256b76001be7d8/$FILE/Act%207%20of%202007%20%28English%29.pdf

      • expand button!
        35
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do third-party actors (foundations, think tanks, unions, political action committees, etc.) report itemized contributions received and expenditures to an oversight authority?More about indicator

        A number of third-party actors such as university teachers’ movements, different trade unions, and religious groups could be seen engaged in election campaigning in the 2010 elections. However, it was not clear whether they have collected funds through their own channels or received grants from relevant political parties/candidates. There is no practice of reporting itemized contributions received or expenditures incurred for political campaigns by third- party actors.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all third-party actors report to an oversight authority both itemized contributions received and itemized expenditures.

        A 50 score is earned where third-party actors report to an oversight authority either itemized contributions received or expenditures, but not both. A 50 score is also earned where the reports refer only to one type of third-party actor, but do not cover others.

        A 0 score is earned where third-party actors rarely or never report itemized contributions received or expenditures.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd Octoberober, 2014.

      • expand button!
        36
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent can journalists and citizens easily access the financial information of third party actors, including the political spending of those actors in support of political parties and individual candidates?More about indicator

        The financial information of third-party actors who support political parties and individual candidates has not been accessed by any journalist or citizen due to the unavailability of such information. There has not been any media report about third party expenditures for electioneering.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) all relevant financial information is freely available online or in hard copy at the cost of photocopying, 2) it can be obtained within two days of requesting it, and 3) it is in a machine readable format (for example in csv or xml format).

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) information is available but in some cases is incomplete or lacking detail, 2) obtaining complete information takes up to a month, or 3) it's not necessarily in machine readable format.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the information is not publicly available, or 2) obtaining it takes more than three months, or 3) the cost of obtaining it is prohibitive for the regular citizen.

        Sources

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna, Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka. Interviewed on 3rd October 2014.

        Mr. Ananda Jayasekara. Freelance Journalist. Interviewed on 1st October 2014

      • expand button!
        37
        Score
        --
        Open Question: Please describe how third party-actors (even if they are not regulated by your country's laws) obtain contributions and spend in support of political parties and/or individual candidates.More about indicator

        Most third-party actors that are active in campaigns are aligned to political parties. Therefore, their main contributors are their allied political parties. for example, unions such as Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU), United National Party Workers union, The National Trade Union Centre, All Ceylon Workers union, Nil Balakaya and UNP youth movement are all politically affiliated bodies.

        Some other organizations such as chamber of commerce, Federation of employees are formed for specific purposes with funding support from business communities, expatriates, and foreign nongovernmental organizations. Most of religious groups such as Bodubalasena, received contributions from their members, well-wishers and their foreign wings. With the exception of professional organizations, other types of third party actors are not bound to submit their financial reports to their members.

        It has been observed these kind of third party actors involved in political campaign in various ways. Some of them could see sponsering publicity campaigns. Most trade union workers engaged in organising meetings and door to door campaigns. But their source of fund and expenditure for such campaign cannot be observed.

        Scoring Criteria

        To answer this question please: 1) list the types of third-party actors that exist in your country and describe how they work to influence campaigns, 2) explain how important such actors are or not in the context of campaigns, including whether their expenditures are substantial in relation to that of political parties and individual candidates, and 3) if documented evidence indicates they circumvent laws intended to regulate political finance, please explain how and include references to the evidence.

        Sources

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. D.E.W. Gunasekara, Senior Minister of Human Resources, Secretary of Sri Lanka Communist Party, Former Chairman of Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation. Interviewed on 27th September, 2014.

  • expand button!

    Monitoring and Enforcement

    More about category
    composite
    17
    • expand button!
      Monitoring Capabilities
      More about category
      • expand button!
        38
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, political finance information is monitored by an independent oversight authority.More about indicator

        Article 103 of the amended Constitution mandates the creation of an Election Commission that has the authority to conduct free and fair elections (section 2). However, outside of the power to collect financial reports from political parties (which counts as monitoring power), the Commission certainly lacks investigative authority. No explicit authority regarding political finance and audit powers are set forth in the law.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) an independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, and 2) the authority has investigation and audit powers.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the independent oversight authority is mandated to monitor political finance information, but doesn't have investigation or audit powers.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constititution of Sri Lanka, 2010 (amended), Section 103(2). http://www.parliament.lk/files/pdf/Constitution.pdf

      • expand button!
        39
        Score
        NO
        In law, high-level appointments to the oversight authority are based on merit.More about indicator

        Article 41 of the amended Constitution empowers the President to appoint members of the Election Commission. High level appointments are based on presidential preference. Under the 17th amendment to the Constitution (since repealed), there was the possibility that election commissioners would be appointed according to merit. According to that amendment, the president would appoint a commission based on the recommendations of the Constitutional council, which was composed of representatives appointed by both the ruling and opposition parties with seats in parliament. However, the 18th amendment to the Constitution abolished the process set forth in Amerndment 17, and exclusive power was returned to the president.

        "41A. (1) The Chairman and members of the Commissions referred to in Schedule I to this Article, and the persons to be appointed to the offices referred to in Part I and Part II of Schedule II of this Article, shall be appointed to the Commissions and the offices referred to in the said Schedules, by the President. In making such appointments, the President shall seek the observations of a Parliamentary Council" SCHEDULE I 1. The Election Commission. 2. The Public Service Commission. 3. The National Police Commission. 4. The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. 5. Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. 6. The Finance Commission. 7. The Delimitation Commission.

        SCHEDULE II PART I 1. The Chief Justice and the Judges of the Supreme Court. 2. The President and Judges of the Courtof Appeal. 3. The Members of the Judicial Service Commission, other than the Chairman. PART II 1. The Attorney-General. 2. The Auditor-General. 3. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman). 4. The Secretary-General of Parliament."

        Article 103 of the Constitution reiterates the president's authority in this matter, and enumerates some further provisions: "103(1)...members appointed by the President from amongst persons who have distinguished themselves in any profession or in the fields of administration or education. (3) No person shall be appointed as a member of the Commission or continue to hold office as such member if he is or becomes a member of Parliament, a Provincial Council, or a Local Authority, or is or appointed a judicial officer or public officer, or is or enters into the employment of the State in any capacity whatsoever."

        Therefore, there are no strict merit requirements or provisions guarding against conflicts of interest on the part of high level appointees to the Election Commission.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process; and 2) appointees must be free of conflicts of interest due to personal loyalties, family connections, political party affiliations, business partners or other biases.

        A MODERATE score is earned where high-level appointments must be based on merit in a public appointment process, but the regulations don't forbid appointments involving conflicts of interest or other biases.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constititution of Sri Lanka, 2010 (amended), Sections 41, 103. http://www.parliament.lk/files/pdf/Constitution.pdf

      • expand button!
        40
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent are high-level appointments to the oversight authority based on merit?More about indicator

        The Independent Election Commission which was supposed to be established according to the 17th and 18th amendments to the Constitution has yet to be formed. As previously explained, the President has the exclusive authority to form the Commission, and he has yet to do so. As such, the 2010 national elections, in addition to local elections since, have been carried out under a single Election Commissioner, who, according to interviewees, was appointed on merit.

        Nevertheless, all interviwees confirmed that high-level appointments of the oversight authority are totally based on the preference of the president. There are no legal requirements that appointees to the Election Commission possess merit or be free of conflicts of interest. Election Commissioners who have been appointed since 2010 are senior officers (Grade 1) of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service attached to the Department of Elections. But they were not always the most senior officers available for appointment, appointments depended exclusively on the will of the president. Additionally, the appointment of District Secretaries, who act as the District-level Returning Officers in both national and local elections are also appointed by the president in practice.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) there is an advertised competition and public vetting process, 2) candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed.

        A 50 score is earned where the public competition is usually advertised and the vetting process public, but exceptions exist. A 50 score is also earned where candidates with the most merit and without conflicts of interest or other biases are appointed but exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where there's rarely or never a public competition, or appointees are rarely selected on merit or without conflicts of interest or other biases.

        Sources

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka, interviewed on 3rd October 2014

        A.A.M.Nizam in Colombo, A new Elections Commissioner for Sri Lanka, Asian Tribune, March 25, 2011, http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2011/03/25/new-elections-commissioner-sri-lanka

      • expand button!
        41
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, the independence of high-level appointees is guaranteed.More about indicator

        Members of the Election Commission are vested with certain powers by sections 103 and 104 of the Constitution, and requirements regarding their security of tenure and due process are legally set forth. However, outside of the authority to deregister parties that fail to submit the required annual reports, the Constitution fails to include any provisions that explicitly empower the Commission to review cases and issue decisions on political finance. Further, its powers are highly circumscribed. Some of the Commission's most important powers, including the authority to regulate the media, suspend political appointments, and use development programs for election campaigns, were suspended by the 18th amendment.

        "103... (2) The object of the Commission shall be to conduct free and fair elections and Referenda... (4) The provisions of the Constitution and any other law relating to the removal of judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal from office shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to the removal of a member of the Commission from office. (5) A member of the Commission who without obtaining prior leave of the Commission, absents himself from three consecutive meetings of the Commission, shall be deemed to have vacated office with effect from the date of the third of such meetings. (6) A member of the Commission shall hold office for a period of five years from the date of appointment, unless he becomes subject to any disqualification under paragraph (3) of this Article or earlier resigns from office by writing addressed to the President or is removed from office under paragraph (4) of this Article, or is convicted by a court of law of any offence involving moral turpitude, or if a resolution for the imposition of civic disability upon him has been passed in terms of Article 81 or is deemed to have vacated office under paragraph (5) of this Article. (7) The President may grant a member leave from the performance of his duties relating to the Commission for a period not exceeding two months and may appoint a person qualified to be a member of the Commission to be a temporary member for the period of such leave. (8) A member of the Commission shall be paid such emoluments as may be determined by Parliament. The emoluments paid to a member of the Commission shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund and shall not be diminished during the term of office of the member. (9) All members of the Commission shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning and for the purposes of Chapter IX of the Penal Code.

        104A. Subject to the jurisdiction conferred on the Supreme Court under paragraph (1) of Article 126, Article 104H and Article 130 and on the Court of Appeal by Article 144 and the jurisdiction conferred on any court by any law to hear and determine election petitions or Referendum petitions, – (a) no court shall have the power or jurisdiction to entertain or hear or decide or call in question on any ground and in any manner whatsoever, any decision, direction or act of the Commission, made or done or purported to have been made or done under the Constitution or under any law relating to the holding of an election or the conduct of a Referandum as the case may be, which decisions, directions or acts shall be final and conclusive ; and (b) no suit or prosecution or other proceeding shall lie against any member or officer of the Commission for any act of thing which in good faith is done or purported to be done by him in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his functions under the Constitution or under any law relating to the holding of an election or the conduct of a Referandum as the case may be.

        104B. (1) The Commission shall exercise, perform and discharge all such powers, duties and functions conferred or imposed on or assigned to – (a) the Commission ; or (b) the Commissioner-General of Elections, by the Constitution and by the law for the time being relating to the election of the President, the election of Members of Parliament, the election of members of Provincial Councils, the election of members of local authorities and the conduct of Referenda, including but not limited to all the powers, duties and functions relating to the preparation and revision of registers of electors for the purposes of such elections and Referenda and the conduct of such elections and Referenda. (2) It shall be the duty of the Commission to secure the enforcement of all laws relating to the holding of any such election or the conduct of Referenda and it shall be the duty of all authorities of the State charged with the enforcement of such laws, to co-operate with the Commission to secure such enforcement. (3) The Commission shall be responsible and answerable to Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Orders of Parliament for the exercise, performance and discharge of its powers, duties and functions and shall forward to Parliament for each calendar year a report of its activities for such year. (4) (a)The Commission shall have the power during the period of an election, to prohibit the use of any movable or immovable property belonging to the State or any public corporation – (i) for the purpose of promoting or preventing the election of any candidate or any political party or independent group contesting at such election ; (ii) by any candidate or any political party or any independent group contesting at such election, by a direction in writing by the Chairman of the Commission or of the Commissioner-General of Elections on the instruction of the Commission. (b) It shall be the duty of every person or officer in whose custody or under whose control such property is for the time being, to comply with and give effect to such direction. (4a) For the avoidance of doubt it is stated that any guideline issued by the Commission during the period commencing on the date of the making of an Order for the holding of an election or the date of the making of a Proclamation requiring the conduct of the Referendum, as the case may be, shall— (a) be limited to matters which are directly connected with the holding of the respective election or the conduct of the respective Referendum, as the case may be; and (b) not be connected directly with any matter relating to the public service or any matter within the ambit of administration of the Public Service Commission or the Judicial Service Commission, as the case may be, appointed under the Constitution.”; and (5) (a) The Commission shall have the power to issue from time to time, in respect of the holding of any election or the conduct of a Referendum, such guidelines as the Commission may consider appropriate to any broadcasting or telecasting operator or any proprietor or publisher of a newspaper as the case may be, as the Commission may consider necessary to ensure a free and fair election. (b) It shall be the duty of any broadcasting or telecasting operator or any proprietor or publisher of a newspaper, as the case may be, to take all necessary steps to ensure compliance with any guidelines as are issued to them under paragraph (a)."

        Prior to the 18th amendment to the constitution, the Election Commission/ Commessioner were empowered to appoint an competent authority to take over the management of Broadcasting Corporation or Rupavahini Corporation in case of contravenes any guidelines issued by the commission by the 17th amendment. However that power was repealed by the 18th amendment.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, 2) the law establishes security of tenure, and 3) removal or disciplinary actions are based on due process conducted by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A MODERATE score is earned where appointees have the authority or mandate to review cases and issue decisions, BUT one of the second two conditions mentioned in the YES criteria is not met.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Constititution of Sri Lanka, 2010 (amended), Sections 103 and 104. http://www.parliament.lk/files/pdf/Constitution.pdf

        Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka http://www.priu.gov.lk/Cons/1978Constitution/SeventeenthAmendment.html

      • expand button!
        42
        Score
        50
        In practice, to what extent is the independence of high-level appointees guaranteed?More about indicator

        The Independent Election Commission which was supposed to be established according to the 17th and 18th amendments to the Constitution has yet to be formed. As such, the 2010 national elections, in addition to local elections since, have been carried out under a single Election Commissioner. Civil society actors report some suspicions that then sitting Commissioner was under the pressure of the President and his powerful brothers. The Election Commissioner had once openly expressed to media that he is under pressure as election laws are not respected by relevent authorities and stakeholders. Also, the majority of the civil society believe that the Commissioner of election declares dates of election as per the instruction of the executive or his advisers. In several occasions government ministers have pronounced exact date of the election prior to the Commissioner. Therefore, the independence of decision making was suspect in many occasions even though it has not been challenged due to lack of evidence. However, the commissioner of election categorically denied such allegations in an interview, and such allegations have not been irrevocably proven.

        Civil activists and election monitors, as well as some political parties, believe that the functions of the current Election Commissioner are largely independent. However, placing sole power for all issues related to elections in the hands of a single authority makes the process highly vulnerable to interference, and the ruling party may be able to abuse this power in crucial situations. Civil society believes that the current Commissioner of Elections declares election dates per the instructions of the Executive--therefore, his (lack of) independence is suspected, even though there is no definitive evidence in this direction. Further, it is important to note that, during the 2015 Presidential Elections, there were no suggestions of impropriety on the part of the sitting Election Commissioner.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where all of the following conditions are met: 1) appointees review cases and issue decisions without fear or favor from other branches of government, and 2) appointees are granted security of tenure and 3) no appointees are removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 50 score is earned where any of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees generally operate without fear or favor from other branches of government but exceptions exist, or 2) some but not all appointees are granted security of tenure, or 3) appointees are occasionally removed, disciplined or transferred without due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        A 0 score is earned where at least one of the following conditions apply: 1) appointees operate with fear or favor from other branches of government, or 2) are not granted security of tenure, or 3) are usually removed, disciplined or transferred without observing due process by a peer panel or independent oversight body.

        Sources

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka, interviewed on 3rd October 2014

        Kelum Bandara, Elections Commissioner threatens to withdraw from duties, FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SRI LANKA, January 13, 2010, http://sunandadeshapriya.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/elections-commissioner-threatens-to-withdraw-from-duties/

        The Island on-line, claims polls ‘smoothly rigged’, Upali Newspapers Limited, January 29, 2010, http://www.island.lk/2010/01/29/news17.html

        Elmore Perera, An open letter to Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, Transcurrents Web, http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/03/whereandwithwhomwereyoua.html

        Dr A.C.Visvalingam, Underused powers of the Commissioner of Elections - Transparency International Sri Lanka, February 22, 2010, http://www.tisrilanka.org/?p=3795

        Rathindra Kuruwita, Only Elections Commissioner is clueless, UK Tamil News, November 4, 2014, http://www.uktamilnews.com/?p=5831

        Hiru News,The Police and the Elections commissioner have lost its sovereignty; says Opposition Leader, November 3, 2014, http://www.hirunews.lk/96194/police-elections-commissioner-have-lost-its-sovereignty-says-opposition-leader

      • expand button!
        43
        Score
        --
        Open Question: How does decision-making work in the oversight authority?More about indicator

        Even after the 18th Amendment which was expected to simplify the appointment of members for independent commisions, the Independent Election Commision is yet to be established. Hence, all elections are conducted by single election commissioner instead of five member commission. As noted in #42, the majority of the civil society believe that the Commissioner of election is influenced by the government, however, the commisioner of election categorically denied such allegations in an interview and such allegations remain unproven.

        During 2010 elections, there were a number of occasions observed when the Election Commissioner was highly reluctant use his full power to ensure the integrity of the election. The state media disregarded the Election Commissioners’ guideline was one such occasion. Instead of taking the matter to court, the Election Commissioner withdrew his competent authority at that instance. Despite constant allegation of malpractice in counting centres, the Election Commissioner has refused to grant permission to election monitors to observe counting. These situations sometimes lead to create suspicion about the decision making power of the commissioner. However, the present election commisioner has promised to grant permission to observe counting for election observers in future elections -- indeed, he did so during the 2015 Presidential Elections.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The issue here is with regard to the authority of the Election Commissioner being respected in practice, be it by the police, the public service, the state and private media. In its Interim Report of the 2010 Presidential Election, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence noted that " ...the Election Commissioner has repeatedly had to issue instructions to the Police to remove poster, cutouts and banners. He has appointed and then withdrawn a Competent Authority to oversee two state-controlled media organs. He has gone on record on more than one occasion with his frustration and despair over the flagrant disregard of his constitutional authority. Consequently, professional groups have sought the intervention of religious leaders to protect the integrity of the electoral process".

        Scoring Criteria

        Please describe: 1) the composition of the decision-making body within the oversight authority, 2) the type of decisions it's allowed to make and makes in practice, and 3) in which cases majority is required. If there have been well substantiated complaints about the decision-making process being ineffective or politicized please explain.

        Sources

        Mr. Sunil Jayasekara, Convenor of Free Media Movement. Interviewed on 29th September, 2014.

        Mr. Jagath Liyana Arachchi, Attorney-at-Law and Election Law Expert. Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka, interviewed on 3rd October 2014

        Dr A.C.Visvalingam, Underused powers of the Commissioner of Elections - Transparency International Sri Lanka, February 22, 2010, http://www.tisrilanka.org/?p=3795

        Rathindra Kuruwita, Only Elections Commissioner is clueless, UK Tamil News, November 4, 2014, http://www.uktamilnews.com/?p=5831

        Hiru News,The Police and the Elections commissioner have lost its sovereignty; says Opposition Leader, November 3, 2014, http://www.hirunews.lk/96194/police-elections-commissioner-have-lost-its-sovereignty-says-opposition-leader

        Reviewer's sources: Interim Report of the 2010 Presidential Election, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence, http://cmev.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/cmev-interim-report25012010final_full.pdf

      • expand button!
        44
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority have sufficient capacity to monitor political finance regulations?More about indicator

        According to the amendment introduced in 2009 to the Parliamentry Election Act, political parties are required to submit their annual statement of account at the renewal of their acceptance as a political party. However, the election department has neither reviewed such statements nor has sufficent resources to review such staments. Staff of the department is annually engaged in preperation of electoral list which require more resources, funds and time. Hence reviewing of account staments of politcal parties and canditates would be an additional work which requires more human resources and other facilities. Under present conditions, Department of elections does not have enough expertise and financial allocation to conduct such a monitoring process. Annual registration of electors is also conducted with limited finance and human resources.

        On the other hand, the Election commissioner does not expect to monitor or investigate financial reports of political parties as they are supposed to submit audited accounts by a certified auditor. According to him such reports can only be reviewed by an auditor at Auditor General's Department. According to financial regulation of Sri Lankan adminstrative system review of financial report need to be done by officials of the Auditor General's Department. The Election Commissioner does not review any submitted reports.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) the authority has sufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, and 2) it has sufficient staff to review all incoming reports.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) the authority has insufficient budget to monitor all incoming reports, or 2) its staff can only review half of all incoming reports.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) the authority can't fulfill most of its essential functions due to budget constraints, or 2) its staff only has the capacity to review 25% or less of all incoming reports.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, interviewed on 23rd September, 2014

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Deputy Commissioner of Elections (Admin). Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

      • expand button!
        45
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority conduct investigations or audits when necessary?More about indicator

        Neither the Election Commissioner nor any other authorities have conducted any investigation into the financial statements or elections expenses of political parties. The Commission has not been required to conduct such investigation so far.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority conducted at least three investigations or audits during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 50 score is earned where the authority conducted at least one investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        A 0 score is earned where the authority didn't conduct any investigation or audit during the most recent electoral campaign.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr.Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, interviewed on 23rd September, 2014

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Deputy Commissioner of Elections (Admin). Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

      • expand button!
        46
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent does the authority publish the results of investigations or audits?More about indicator

        As neither the Election commissioner nor any other authority has conducted such investigations, no results have been published.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where the authority publishes reports of all its investigations or audits a month or less after their conclusion.

        A 50 score is earned where reports are available to the public more than a month after the conclusion of the investigation or audit.

        A 0 score is earned where reports are not available to the public or they become available after six months or more after conclusion of the investigation or audit. A 0 score is also earned where only summaries of the reports are publicly available.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr.Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, interviewed on 23rd September, 2014

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Deputy Commissioner of Elections (Admin). Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

    • expand button!
      Enforcement Capabilities
      More about category
      • expand button!
        47
        Score
        MODERATE
        In law, there are sanctions in response to political finance violations.More about indicator

        Section 9 of Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 58 of 2009 provides that Subject to subsection (2), where any recognized political party fails to comply with the provisions of section 8, such party shall cease to be a recognized political party. This is the only sanction articulated in law.

        Section 8 (4) provides that a copy of the annual statement of accounts of every recognized political party audited by a registered auditor shall be submitted to the Commission.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the law clearly defines violations of political finance laws, and 2) there are clearly defined sanctions for specific violations.

        A MODERATE score is earned where violations are clearly defined but sanctions for specific violations are not.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 58 OF 2009, http://documents.gov.lk/Acts/2009/Parliament%20Elections%20Act%20No.%2058/ActNo.58e.pdf

      • expand button!
        48
        Score
        NO
        In law, the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions.More about indicator

        No such law exists. Iif political parties to fail submit their annual audit reports for renewal of their registration there are sanctions mentioned in section 4 of the Parliamentary Election Act, No 58 of 2009. According to that section: "9. (1) Subject to subsection (2), where any recognized political party fails to comply with the provisions of section 8, such party shall cease to be a recognized political party."

        The law is unclear on this point, though according to the Electoral Commissioner, the Elections Commmission will be the authority to impose that sanction.

        Scoring Criteria

        A YES score is earned where: 1) the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, and 2) it can directly prosecute violators before the courts or is independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A MODERATE score is earned where the oversight authority has the power to impose sanctions, but it can't directly prosecute violators before the courts or is not independent to send cases to public prosecution.

        A NO score is earned where no such law exists.

        Sources

        Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 58, 2009, Section 5(9).
        http://documents.gov.lk/Acts/2009/Parliament%20Elections%20Act%20No.%2058/ActNo.58e.pdf

        Mr.Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, interviewed on 23rd September, 2014

      • expand button!
        49
        Score
        0
        In practice, to what extent do offenders comply with sanctions imposed?More about indicator

        Though, above sanction is provided with reference to de-registration of political parties, it is not implemented by the Election Commissioner so far. In the interview with him he insisted that he is going to start effectively implementing that sanction from this year. As such, it is impossible to tell at this stage whether violators will comply with sanctions imposed.

        Scoring Criteria

        A 100 score is earned where: 1) offenders comply with the sanctions imposed without exception, and 2) they are not repeat offenders.

        A 50 score is earned where: 1) offenders usually comply with the sanctions imposed but exceptions exist, or 2) most are not repeat offenders but some exceptions exist.

        A 0 score is earned where: 1) offenders rarely comply with the sanctions imposed, or 2) most are repeat offenders.

        Sources

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections. Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. M.M. Mohamed, Deputy Commissioner of Elections (Admin). Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

      • expand button!
        50
        Score
        --
        Open Question: How strong is enforcement, and what impedes more effective enforcement?More about indicator

        There is not yet any effective enforcement. Unavailability of adequate law to cover political finance is the major impediment to establish effective sanctions for offenders who abuse political finance.

        Except the submission of annual statements of accounts at the renewal of acceptance as a political party, Sri Lanka does not have any other relevant law with regard to the political financing. Submission of annual statement of accounts is also not practiced and sanctions have not been imposed in any occasion.

        Introduction of laws need to be done urgently in the areas of the limitation of campaign expences, disclosure of funding sources and public access to declaration of assets and liabilities of candidates. There needs to be established a monitoring system of political campaign expenses. Election Commissioner should enforce non-criminal sanction on political actors who violate political finace law while courts should be given mandate to enfore criminal sanction on them.

        Also, the independence of the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption to investigate political finance complaints is also important and must be ensured. It is reported that number of complaints received against ministers of present government have remained without investigation due to political influence.


        Peer reviewer comment: Agree. The partisan politicization of the organs of the state and the blurring of the distinction between state and the party in power and government - attitudes and a culture shared by all political parties - is the main impediment to reform of the system of political finance. A culture of government and governance and of politics which treats information as a source of power to those who have it and not one of empowerment for the public at large who do not will frustrate even discussion of this, leave aside the commencement or serious contemplation of legislation in this regard. The place to start is intra-party democracy. Most political parties are highly leader-centric and run as fiefdoms - democratization will lead to greater transparency in all aspects as members demand accountability for leadership performance and management of resources.

        Scoring Criteria

        Please provide a general explanation of the effectiveness of enforcement, describing: 1) any conditions that may prevent effective enforcement, and 2) explain what are the most urgent areas of reform in the country's political finance system.

        Sources

        Mr. Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL). Interviewed on 5th September, 2014.

        Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections. Interviewed on 23rd September, 2014.

        Mr. Manjula Gajanayake, Coordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV). Interviewed on 22nd September, 2014.

        Mr. J.C. Weliamuna Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, Transparency International Sri Lanka, interviewed on 3rd October 2014

        Reviewer's sources: The Electoral Reform Debate in Sri Lanka, edited by Rohan Edrisinha and Asanga Welikala, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, 2008.

        The Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution: Substance and Process, edited by Rohan Edrisinha and Aruni Jayakody, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Colombo, 2011.

        Final Report on Election Related Violence, Presidential Election January 2010, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence,(CMEV) Colombo, 2010, http://cmev.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/presidential-election-2010-final-report.pdf

        Final Report on Election Related Violence , Parliamentary Election April 2010, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) 2010, http://cmev.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/final-report-on-election-violence-and-malpracticesenglish-ge-2010.pdf

Sri Lanka has a unicameral Parliament and a directly elected executive president.

Parliament is a 225 member legislature. The members of the parliament are elected for six-year terms by proportional representation with universal franchise. Of the 225 members, 196 are elected from 22 electoral districts and remaining 29 members are elected from a national list according to the percentage of vote polled by each party.

The President who is the head of state, head of government and commander in chief of the armed forces, is directly elected for a six-year term. Presidents may only be removed from office through a process of impeachment with the concurrence of the Supreme Court. The President appoints and heads a cabinet of ministers responsible to Parliament. The President's deputy is the prime minister, who leads the ruling party in Parliament.

The lack of provisions in the law regarding campaign finance and the flagrant misuse of state resources which grossly disproportionately advantage incumbents has raised the issue of political finance, but with little result. This is largely attributable to a poitical culture of patronage and relative disregard for transparency in public affairs. The situation is compounded when the political culture and the structure of power in practice gives way to a dynastic project of populist authoritarianism, as at present.

Campaign contributions are made to both parties and to candidates and are managed accordingly. Given the leader-centric culture, practice this amounts to the leader of the party deciding on the distribution and disbursement of resources.

The most recent Presidential Election took place on January 26, 2010, and the most recent Parliamentary Election on April 8, 2010. A snap Presidential Election is to be held on January 8, 2015 (Note that the 2010 elections are the focus of this review).