The government of Japan has announced a grant for the island nation. It is worth a little over 45000 USD, approximately Rs. 8.5 million. The grant falls under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
Moreover, Japan calls it ‘The Project for Sustaining Democratisation through the Implementation of Free and Fair Election in Sri Lanka.’ Sri Lanka’s upcoming General Elections are on 5th August 2020. The grant has been provided to conduct election monitoring and educate voters.
Furthermore, Charge d’ Affairs ad interim of the Embassy of Japan, Kitamura Toshihiro, and Executive Director of the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Rohana Hettiarachchi, signed the grant contract yesterday.
Formalities took place at the ambassador’s residence in Colombo. Additionally, this project will contribute to encouraging Sri Lankans to exercise their franchise freely and fairly. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is has put off polls twice previously. Japan extended its support to PAFFREL to convey its solidarity with Sri Lanka.
What will the grant help with?
PAFFREL is a leading local election monitoring organization. They will initiate election-related activities.
Election observers will be a part of training programs. They will then be at polling and counting stations nationwide. Also, the project will educate voters through multimedia platforms such as TV, new papers, and radio.
Japan hopes this electoral assistance through PAFFREL will have a large outreach and ensure inclusive political participation of all citizens.