Presidential Election 2010: Election Day Media Communiqué No. 4

Read this report as a PDF here.

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CMEV has received the following reports from the field:

Eastern Province

Batticaloa District: Kalkudah Electroate: SLMC supporter Mr. Mohamad Ismail was attacked by a group of UPFA supporters at around 10:55 am about 20m away from the Oddamavadi Central College Polling Station (Polling Centre 69). CMEV spoke to Mr Ismail, who informed CMEV that he had been hit by members of the group, resulting in injuries to his face, left leg and right hand. He was admitted to the Mancholai hospital and is currently receiving treatment. No Police report had been lodged as at 10:55 am.

Ampara District: Digamadulla Electorate: At the Ampara/Lihiniyagama Maha Vidyalaya Polling Centre (21) there had been a long queue of 300 people around 8:15 am and the delay had caused about 30 people to leave the premises without casting their vote. According to the SPO of the polling station the delay is on account of the checking of temporary IDs and the lack of staff at the polling centre.

Ampara District: Digamadulla Electorate: CMEV monitors were prevented from accessing Ampara/ Damana Maha Vidyalaya Polling Centre (151) by the Police at around 10:40 am for 15 minutes after which the monitor was given access. The reason given by the Police was that the Eastern Province Minister for Education and Transport, Wimalaweera Dissanayake was at the polling station.

Ampara District: Digamadulla Electorate: CMEV reports that at around 9.30 am the Buddhist monk of Pokunuvita Temple Ven Pokunugala Sri Manarathana stood for about 30 minutes within a distance of 50 meters from the Ampara/ Damana Maha Vidyalaya Polling Centre (Polling Centre No. 151), and attempted to influence voters in favour of President Mahinda Rajapakse .  When the Police had asked the monk to leave, he had continued trying to influence people from within a distance of 200 meters for a further 1 ½ hours.

Ampara District: Digamadulla Electorate: Three officials of the Lathpandura Vidyalaya Polling Station (Polling Centre No. 19) have not reported for duty as of 10.20 am. As a result there is a long queue of about 350 people. In addition to his duties, the SPO has to assist the others in their duties.

Ampara District: Digamadulla Electorate: Chairman W.S.W.N Ariyaratne Wijewickrema and the Vice Chairman Udena Chinthaka Navaratne of the Maha Oya Pradeshiya Sabha arrived in a cab (Vehicle number – EP LE 7504) and a van (Vehicle number – EP GR 8672) with another 10 people to Mr. A. M Gunadasa’s shop and have threatened to kill him saying that he is influencing people to vote for the Swan Symbol (Sarath Fonseka). Though Mr. Gunadasa has insisted that he does not support any party, the group have threatened and warned him that he should expect “something” to happen in the night. CMEV also reports that voters have been transported in these same 2 vehicles to the Ampara Kudaharasgala Vidyalaya Polling Station (Polling Station No. 58).

Trincomalee District – Trincomalee Electorate – at 11.40am the Trincomalee ARO Mr. Vijaya Samarasinghe stated that if the Polling Agents are agreead, people with Postal IDs, Navy Passes, Army IDs and Police Reports could vote. A person with a Postal ID had allegedly attempted to cast a vote and was prevented by the SPO Krishanadas, at which point UPFA Provincial Councilor Ariyawathi Galappaththi had protested. The ARO had subsequently arrived on the scene and pronounced the above. CMEV has received confirmation of this from the SPO.

Northern Province

Vanni District – Vavuniya Electorate – as reported by the CMEV mobile team, yet another hand grenade attack was reported from Amman Road – School Road Junction, Paddirukulam at 12.02pm.

Vanni District – Vavuniya Electorate – 11.50 a.m in Kurumankadu a house at No 25, 4th lane, Dharmadevar, Kurumankadu, Vavuniya was subjected to a grenade attack.

Vavuniya District, Vavuniya electorate- CMEV monitor reported that at 11.43am a van (no57-9138) with around 8 persons including Nasim, Rishny, Larry and Risvan who were identified by persons around the area and supporters of Minister Rishard Badurdeen, came to Muslim MV Pattanichpulliyankulam (centre no 40 ) and hurled a hand grenade at SLMC member Mr. A.L.M Safir within the radius of 500m of the polling station. There were no injuries reported.

Central Province

Nuwara Eliya District – Nuwara Eliya Maskeliya Electorate – at 12.00pm at Vatagoda Tamil Vidyalaya polling station centre no 15, CWC supporters canvassed voters in favour of the UPFA candidate. The Police arrived on the scene and dispersed the group.

Nuwara Eliya District – Nuwara Eliya Maskeliya Electorate – at 1.00pm both UPFA and NDF supporters gathered at the Parpadam Wathu Pasela centre no 26, influencing voters.

Kandy District – Gampola Electorate – at 3.00pm, approximately 70 UPFA supporters were behaving in a manner that disturbed voters at the Atabage Udagama Maha Vidyalaya centre no 32.

Kandy District – Theldeniya Electorate – At 15.20pm at the Abeysinghe Kanishta Vidyalaya centre no 30 in Watapatha, the ARO and SPO prevented CMEV mobile monitors from entering the above polling centre.

Kandy District – Theldeniya Electorate – At 2.15pm at Waradhiwela Maha Vidyalaya centre no 9 the SPO of the polling station prevented the CMEV mobile monitor from entering the polling station.

Kandy District – Gampola Electorate – at 4.00pm at Atabhage Udagama Mahavidyalaya centre no 32 at Maddagam Madda, it is alleged that UPFA Minister D.M Jayaratne’s son assaulted the policeman guarding this polling station.

Southern Province

Hambantota District – Beliatte Electorate – according to JVP Member of Parliament Nihal Galappatti, at 11.00am UPFA supporters influenced voters at the Pagngnananda Prathamika Vidyalaya centre no. 41. The Police Officer appointed to the centre had taken action to remove the UPFA supporters. The IOC of Beliatte Police Krishantha had subsequently arrived on the scene and removed the Police Officer from the polling centre.

Hambantota District – Thissamaharama Electorate – the CMEV monitor has not been allowed into the Yatalathissa Prathamika Vidyalaya centre no 71. He was also denied any information.

Galle District – Galle Electorate- around 10.10 am Deputy Minister Lionel Premasiri, Deputy Mayor of Galle Fawzie Niyas ( UPFA) visited a house close to Katagoda Technical Collage and threatened and intimidated the occupants as alleged by Phillip Nishantha, who also placed an entry with the Galle Harbour Police.

Hambantota District – Beliatta, Kahawaata Polling Station(NO.40), Ajith Mathumanna, JVP member of Pradeshiya Sabha, reported that two vehicles  belonging to Blue Force(“NIL BALAKAYA”)of UPFA, were  parked near the Polling Station at about 10.00 a.m.

Hambantota District – Beliatte Electorate – Gatamanna North Junior School Polling Station (No 35),CMEV mobile monitor Sampath reported that many unauthorized persons were seen in the polling station between 08.30am and 09.15 am.

Hambantota District – Beliatte Electorate -H/Nayaka Rajapakse Vidyalaya (No 34), CMEV monitor reported that many unauthorized persons were seen within the polling station between 8.30am and 9.15 a.m.

Hambantota District – Beliatte Electorate – Gatamanna Wijaya Central Collage Polling Station (No 33), CMEV monitor in Beliatta reported that that many unauthorized persons were seen within the polling station between 08.30 am and 9.15 a.m.

Hambantota District – Tangalle Electorate – Kadurupokuna Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station No 23, CMEV monitor reported that the voting booths were positioned in such a way as to make ballot papers visible to the SPO when the voters cast their votes. The incident was reported about 8.30 a.m.

Hambantota District – Tangalla Electorate,Gajanayakagama Junior School(No 50)Polling Station, former MP Kularatne reported that D.R. Pradeep Kumarage who was supposed to continue as a representative in the Polling Station was assaulted and handed over to the Weerakatiya Police Station by M.K.Mahesh, the son of M.K. Ranjith, Member of the Southern Provincial Council and Private Secretary to Minister, Mahinda Samaraweera, complaining that he had illegally collected NICs at about 12.20 pm. The suspect remains under arrest at the Police station.

Matara District – Matara Electorate – Pamburana Saliputhra Vidyalaya Polling Station, JVP organizer for Mathara District reported that UPFA supporters of minister Chandrasiri Gajahdheera came in a procession to the Pamburana  Sailputhra Polling Station about 8.50 a.m. .

North Western Province

Kurunegala District – Hiriyala Electorate – between 12.00pm and 1.00pm, CMEV monitors W.A.S.L. Gunawardena and R.S.G. Wijendra were threatened and their documents torn up by approximately 20 UPFA supporters who attempted to assault the monitors, near the Almina Muslim Maha Vidyalaya centre no 36. Police Officers who arrived on the scene had resolved the situation.

Puttalam District – Chilaw Electorate – at 2.40 pm when the Returning Officer was entering the polling station at Pambala Kanishta Vidyalaya centre no 66, some UPFA supporters had also entered the polling station asserting that if the Returning Officer could enter the station, they also had the ability to do so.

Puttalam District – Chilaw Electorate – at 11.20 am: voters at the Bangadeniya Kanishta Vidyalaya Polling Station centre no 23 were assaulted by UPFA Arachchikattuwa Pradesheeya Sabha President Jagath Samantha and others. They also told the Polling Agent to leave the Polling station. Jagath Samantha rejects the allegation.

North Central Province

Polonnaruwa District – Polonnaruwa Electorate – while UNP supporter Lakshman Senevirathne was on his way to the polling centre at 6.00am, A.K.G. Nishantha Harischandra, Ranjan Nanayakkara (Mahaweli Adhikariya) and Prashan had blocked the road and threatened him.  A complaint has been lodged at the Aralaganwila Police – CIB I 205/238.

Polonnaruwa District – Polonnaruwa Electorate – UPFA provincial councilor Peshala Jayaratna had been transporting voters in vehicles belonging to Thamankaduwa Pradeshiya Sabha at around 1.30pm.

Uva Province

Badulla District – Mahiyanganaya Electorate – at 1.30 p.m – a group of supporters of the Agriculture Minister of the Uva Palath Sabahva, Anura Vidanagamage, went to the home of Mr Attanayake Mudiansalage Gunaratne in Beligalla, Dambana and assaulted him and his wife. No serious injuries were sustained in the assault. The Mahiyangana Police has received the complaint and were recording statements.

Monaragala District – Monaragala Electorate – at 1.25 p.m. Uva Provincial Council Minister Kumara Siri Ratnayake and his supporters parked his vehicle ( Vehicle No. 59-2041) bearing President Rajapakse’s poster, in front of the Kirawanagoda Kanishta Vidyala centre no 87 and were seen talking to voters.

Digamadulla District, Pottuvil Electorate: CMEV observed two persons on a motor bike (MT 0340) distributing ballot papers outside AI/ Kathariya Vidyalaya (Polling Centre 86) to four women asking them to vote for President Mahinda Rajapaka. One of the women, A.M. Mizaya who had already cast her vote had taken one of the ballot papers and voted again. A CMEV monitor overheard the JPO asking her ”why did you come now, you should have come later.”

CMEV strongly urges the Election Commissioner to consider annulling the poll in this particular polling station.