Forty more EU election observers arrived today

Mar 29 (IL) A further forty Election Observers from the European Union arrived in Colombo today. Already twenty seven EU observers have already been deployed in all electoral districts since the first week of March, a statement of the EU observer mission said.

A series of meetings between the EU observers and political parties, Returning officers and their staff, and society groups, Police and representative of the media has been held.

Commenting on the arrival of the remainder of his team the EU Chief Observer John Cushnahan said, "The arrival of these forty Observers brings our team up to its full strength. We will now have 70 team members coming from thirteen of the 15 member states of the European Union.

They are a vastly experienced team. In total they have participated in approximately 1000 election observation exercises.

Following an intensive briefing by our core team, the forty short term observes (STO's) will be deployed throughout Sri Lanka in teams of two to monitor the opening of polling stations, the voting process, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of votes at local and national level.

Following the completion of the count, they will rejoin the rest of the team at the EUEOM headquarters for debriefing on 3rd April prior to the publication of the EU statement on the 2004 election process".