Monday, March 8, 2010 launched

Dulshani Gunawardena

A website promoting the access to vote for Sri Lankans abroad, has been launched. It was officially launched by Justice and Law Reforms Minister Milinda Moragoda.

The website is currently collecting signatures for a petition promoting this cause.

Moragoda stated that though the vote is a fundamental human right in any democracy, millions of individuals in Sri Lanka are unable to exercise this right simply due to the fact that they are not physically present in Sri Lanka at the time of the election.

Among the disenfranchised Sri Lankan citizens abroad are those that have migrated primarily for employment and migrants holding permanent residence or citizenship status of the host country.

It is estimated that there are nearly 1.7 million who belong to the former category and they contribute immensely to the country’s economy. Despite the large number of Sri Lankan citizens abroad, the current election laws do not provide access and procedure for them to vote.

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