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Shrinking Space, Restrictive Laws and Electoral Integrity

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) is hosting a series of discussions on electoral integrity and the role of various stakeholders in protecting democracy in Sri Lanka. It is aimed at promoting more nuanced election reporting in Sri Lanka as well as to bring key stakeholder groups to discuss the need for active citizenship and defend democracy, taking special note that 2024 will prove a politically decisive year with multiple elections likely to be held.

Recent months saw further shrinking of civic space, the introduction of a shut-up law, hounding of dissenters, protests being regularly attacked and continuous undermining of civil liberties. These developments make it more difficult for citizens to have political engagements and to express themselves without fear of reappraisal. The disinformation around elections will make the separation of fact from fiction, thus making it further difficult to make political decisions as informed citizens.

In the current backdrop, the third of the four-session series titled “Shrinking space, restrictive laws and electoral integrity” explore how the recent developments are likely to impact people’s political decisions and even have a bearing on electoral outcomes as well as how transparency and accountability in the electoral process can still be a framework for the political discourse.

An eminent panel of speakers will join the discussion scheduled for March 27, 2024, from 3.00 -5.30 pm at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI).

Speakers:

• Bhavani Fonseka

Senior Researcher

Center for Policy Alternatives

• Prabodha Rathnayake

Operations Director

Media Law Forum

• Thyagi Ruwanpathirana

Regional Researcher

Amnesty International

The discussion will be moderated by Hana Ibrahim, Editor-in-Chief, Daily/Weekend Express and the Convenor of Free Media Movement.

A limited number of seats are available for interested journalists. Please register using the link provided below.

https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLScRf6YDtnp…/viewform…

The slots will be filled on a first come first serve basis and CIR will inform via email personally on joining the event.

The discussion series on electoral integrity is supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Colombo.

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