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Sri Lanka poll peaceful, bias, hate speech, disinformation in media: EU observers

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s 2019 presidential campaign was peaceful, but there was hate speech, disinformation and bias in media, an European Union election observation mission has said.

“While the campaign on the ground was largely peaceful and calm, the playing field in the traditional and online media was affected by instances of bias, hate speech and disinformation,” Chief Observer Marisa Matias said.

“The participation of Sri Lankans was very high. This was their day to exercise their right to democratic choice, and I hope that our observation has in some way contributed to their confidence in the process.”

She said there was abuse of state resources, and unregulated campaign spending.

EU observers had visited 329 polling stations and 25 counting centres.

The mission will remain the country until mid-December observing post-election complaints and appeals. (Colombo/Nov16/2019)

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