No consensus among Tamil parties

The Tamil political parties which were involved in formulating a draft political solution for the Tamil issue have failed to reach a consensus.A committee comprising Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M. A. Sumanthiran, Tamil National People’s Front leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, senior lawyer Puvindran and law faculty lecturer Kumara Guruparan, had been formed last weekend to formulate the draft proposal. The Tamil parties will meet again on June 8, in Vavuniya for further discussions on Tamil issues. Sumanthiran said that the TNA position has always been to find a solution to the Tamil issue and not run away from it.He noted that the TNA had contested the elections in the East for that reason and performed well and will do the same in the North as well.The committee has two weeks to formulate the draft proposals on a basic solution for the Tamils. Report by Easwaran Rutnam However Ponnambalam had asked the TNA not to contest the elections in the Northern Provincial Council and instead be represented by a proxy independent group.“We did not see the logic on this request as it had nothing to do with the political solution we are drafting. So I did not agree to that,” Sumanthiran said. Sumanthiran had put forward some proposals for the draft which was accepted by Ponnambalam and the others in the committee. However Sumanthiran said that the committee had failed to reach a consensus after Ponnambalam had put forward a pre-condition. read more

UN support helps double womens voter registration for elections in Yemen

On Sunday, Yemen held its third parliamentary elections – with help from UNDP and the Netherlands, which co-chaired a project to provide technical assistance – since unification in 1990. The balloting took place despite speculation that it might be postponed due to the uncertain security climate stemming, in part, from the war in Iraq.According to the UN Electoral Assistance Division, which is currently helping close to 50 electoral processes worldwide, the polls attracted interest from electoral authorities in the region, including the Palestinian Central Election Commission.UNDP has a programme that helps ensure the credibility of the electoral process in many countries across the world by co-coordinating international observers and facilitating negotiations between political parties and civil society, as well as advancing electoral reforms and supporting development of database systems that manage voter registration. read more