Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence
Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008
10th May 2008 – 2.00 am – Media Communiqué 1
Intimidation of voters in Padirippu
Armed TMVP cadres reportedly intimidated voters in a number of houses in Kaludawali Village, Padirippu, late evening. The TMVP cadres had taken the polling cards of the voters.
CMEV contacted Kalawanchikudi Police Station who informed us that a complaint had been made and that mobile teams were investigating the incident. PLOTE Leader Sidharthan confirmed that the TMVP cadres had been involved in taking polling cards from Kaludaweli Villagers last evening.
Intimidation of SPO at Kalladi
A Senior Polling Officer from the Kalladi area informed CMEV that the TMVP had called him at midnight on the 8th and told him that no voters should be allowed into the polling station after twelve noon on polling day.
Intimidation in Valaichennai
The occupants of seven houses have been subject to intimidation from around 6.30 pm last evening. The occupants of the houses in Ottamavadi (2 houses), Meeravodini (3 houses) and Valaichennai (2 houses) were reportedly SLMC supporters who were threatened by thugs.
One of the houses that was attacked in Ottamavadi belonged to Mr S.M.L. Haniffa, former provincial council member. Mr Haniffa told CMEV that the thugs came in a white van at 7.50 p.m. with a police constable seated in front who did not get down, They threatened the Haniffa family members and told them not to vote. They broke some of the windows in the house. The thugs were dressed in black with black masks.
CMEV was also informed that Kalkuda F.M (96.1) is broadcasting propaganda for the UPFA. It is alleged that the radio operates from Minister Ameer Ali’s house.
Minister Ameer Ali contacted CMEV to make a complaint about being threatened on the phone. He claimed that the phone number from which the call was made is 071 491 0458. When CMEV tried this number, the phone was not connected. Minister Ameer Ali also denied that he was involved in any of the violence and stated that the radio station stopped broadcasting on the 8th night.
When contacted, the Valaichennai Police they said that there had been some minor incidents and complaints regarding the stoning of houses. Mobile Police teams had been directed to conduct investigations. Mr Haniffa, one of the victims who was threatened, informed CMEV that an A.S.P. had come to his house to conduct an inquiry. The OIC Valaichennai, I.P. Kodisinghe informed CMEV that the Police had requested the army to help maintain law and order.
Assault and Attack in Padiyatallawa
UNP supporter, Mr Dayaratne was attacked in his house in Kiriwana, Padiyatallawa last night and the windows of his house broken. He sustained injuries in the attack, but they are reported to not be of a serious nature. When contacted by CMEV, the Police in Padiyatallawa said that they have received a complaint and have visited the site of the incident. According to the Police, the victim claimed that he was unable to identify the assailants.
CMEV was formed in 1997 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Coalition Against Political Violence as an independent and non-partisan organization to monitor the incidence of election related violence. It is currently constituted by CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.
DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA MS. SEETHA RANJANI
CO – CONVENOR CO – CONVENOR CO – CONVENOR