EU missions in jeopardy, if Colombo ignores recommendations- Cushnahan

[TamilNet, Friday, 28 October 2005, 11:37 GMT]
Mr John Cushnahan, head of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Sri Lanka warned Friday if the Sri Lankan government did not implement its recommendations it had made during its three previous missions to Sri Lanka, the EU is likely to reject any future requests from Sri Lanka for election observation, during a packed press conference in Trans Asia Hotel in Colombo.

Cushnahan in Batticaloa“It has to be said that the EU is clearly frustrated with the lack of follow up to our previous election observation missions. None of the key recommendations for the three previous missions to strengthen the democratic process have been implemented. They have merely been left on the shelf gathering dust,” Mr.Cushnahan said.

He added that the EU has enthusiastically supported Sri Lanka throughout the various crisis unit has experienced in recent years. It has provided substantial moral and financial support to underpin the peace process including the Tokyo donor conference.

It has also provided immediate assistance in the wake of the December 26 tsunami, he added.

Speaking on the upcoming presidential election, Mr.Cushnahan said the EU mission as particularly pleased that, unlike in preceding two elections, the 2004 general election was conducted largely free of violence and intimidation.

He also warned that the EU mission is here at the invitation of the Government and will fulfil its obligations independently and honestly.

“In this contest, I would like to make it absolutely clear that, if serious malpractices or incidents occur which fundamentally alter the outcome of this election, I will have no hesitation in issuing a very critical report,” he added.


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