At the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka, the European Union established a mission to observe the parliamentary elections there on 5 December 2001.
President Kumaratunga dissolved the Sri Lankan Parliament on 10 October 2001, exactly one year after the previous election, and announced new elections for 5 December 2001.
The EU EOM was headed by Chief Observer John Cushnahan MEP (IE), a member of the European Parliament (MEP).
The observers were deployed throughout the country. They met government and electoral officials, candidates and political parties, civil society representatives and the media.