Media Communique 3: Uva Provincial Council Elections 2009

08th August 12:00 pm: The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) reports that as at 11am a turnout of 30% from the Moneragala District and 40% from the Badulla District has been recorded.

Attack and assault
An incident of assault was reported to CMEV by JVP M.P Samantha Vidyarathana which took place at Polling station No. 01, Bathalayaya Maha Vidyalaya (Hall No.1) Mahiyangana Polling Division, Badulla District, at around 9.30 am. In the incident JVP candidate Wasantha Kumara (Preferential No. 22) and six others including the driver traveling in a vehicle (registration number LA-0370) were attacked by supporters of UPFA candidate Anura Ravindra Widanagamage (Preferential No. 6). The supporters allegedly had a T56 gun, iron bars and bicycle chains. M.P. Vidyarathana reported that six people were injured but were not taken to the hospital and that the windscreen of the vehicle was damaged. A complaint had been lodged with the Girandurukotte Police Station. M.P Vidyarathana claimed that Sub Inspector Janaka attached to Mahiyangana Police station was an eye witness but that he did not take any action. Girandurukotte Police confirmed that they received the above complaint.

Campaigning during polling and transporting of voters
There were incidents of political parties campaigning and transporting voters during the early hours of polling. Most of the incidents were related to the UPFA alliance with a majority associated with UPFA candidate Shashindra Rajapaksa and his supporters.

  • A CMEV monitor stationed in Bibile reported that at 7.30am leaflets of UPFA candidate Shashindra Rajapaksa (Preferential No. 13) were distributed by a van (HH1214) 50 meters near to the Hepola Junior School Polling Centre (No1), Bibile Polling Division, Moneragala District.
  • A CMEV field monitor reported that handbills of UPFA candidates Sujeewa Jayasinghe (Preferential No. 21), Manel Rathnayaka (Preferential No. 15), D.D.W Wickremaratne (Preferential No. 13) and Ajith Deshpriya Nilame Wickremaratne (Preferential No. 04) were distributed by a group of 10-15 people, 200 meters near to Polling Station No. 26, Katupelellegama Community Centre Polling Centre, Badulla Polling Division, Badulla District, at around 9.00am.
  • A CMEV mobile monitor reported that a van (WP PA 1108) pasted with posters of UPFA candidate Shashindra Rajapaksa (Preferential No. 13) was transporting voters to Polling Station No. 28, Ethimale Maha Vidyalaya Polling Centre, Moneragala District, at around 10.20am.
  • A CMEV field monitor reported that a beige pick-up truck pasted with posters of UPFA candidate Shashindra Rajapaksa (Preferential No. 13) transported voters to Polling Station No. 45, Illukkumbura Primary School Polling Centre, Bibile Polling Division, Moneragala district, at around 10.35am.
  • A CMEV mobile monitor reported that two cabs (bearing number WPPD 2084 and 58-6736) pasted with posters of UPFA candidate Shasheendra Rajapaksa (Preferential No. 13) were transporting voters to polling station No. 28, Ethimale Maha Vidyalaya (Hall No.1) Polling Centre, Moneragala Polling division, Moneragala district, around 10.35am.
  • A CMEV field monitor reported that four supporters of UPFA candidate Shashindra Rajapaksa (Preferential No. 13) were campaigning by the gate of Polling Centre No. 20, Pallwatta Maha Vidyalaya (Hall No.01) Polling Station, Wellawaya Polling Division, Moneragala District, at around 10.55am.
  • Leaflets of the Democratic Unity Alliance candidates Nirmala Dissnayake (Preferential No. 17) and Avan Appasamy (Preferential No. 02) were distributed in front of  Polling Station No. 48, B/Guruthalawa, St. Thomas Vidyalaya, Welimada Polling Division, Badulla District, at around 9.05 am. According to a CMEV field monitor the incident took place within 500 meters of the polling station.

Voter issues
There were a few incidents reported to CMEV which demonstrated the continuing lack of awareness among voters of the proper forms of identification required to cast their vote.

The Senior Presiding Officer from Polling Station No. 27, Kumbukgeyaya Eksath Paropakara Society Hall Polling Centre, Moneragala Polling Division, Moneargala District, reported to CMEV that 27 voters were not given the right to vote because they failed to produce valid identification documents.

A CMEV field monitor reported that at Polling Station No. 14, Badullagammana Junior School polling center, Bibile polling division, Moneragala District at around 9.30am, a voter who attempted to use the receipt for a national identity card application given by the Grama Sevaka was not allowed to cast his vote.

A CMEV field monitor reported that at Polling Station No. 39, Allekona Junior School Polling Centre, Bibile Polling Division; a voter was not allowed to cast his vote as he produced a photograph certified by the Grama Sevaka (G.S)