Post-election violence: Media Communiqué No. 2

31st January 2010 Colombo Sri Lanka: CMEV remains gravely concerned regarding the continued trend of post election violence, which is the highest seen when compared with the 1999 (76 incidents) and 2005 (39 incidents) Presidential Elections. The total number of incidents of post election violence recorded following the polls on the 26th of January 2010 stands at 85 incidents, of which 18 incidents have involved the use of firearms.

The 46 Major incidents recorded as of today, include 19 cases of Assault, 9 cases of Threat and Intimidation, 8 cases of Arson, and 5 cases of Grievous Hurt. The majority of complaints – 50 out of an overall total of 85 incidents, are against the UPFA, of which 29 are Major incidents. In terms of the geographical spread, of the 46 major incidents, the highest numbers have been recorded in the Kurunegala and Kandy Districts, with 10 and 5 incidents respectively.

CMEV remains concerned that as previously reported, complainants and victims continue to insist on anonymity on the grounds of personal security, adding that making complaints at the Police often leads to information regarding the complaint being relayed back to the assailants, resulting in further attacks. We also have reason to believe that there are many more incidents that are not reported even to us.

CMEV reiterates its call to the President, the political leadership of all parties, and the Police to deter their supporters from propagating post election violence, and to take necessary action in order to bring those responsible to book. The need of the hour is to ensure governance and respect for the rule of law, and reconciliation, which are only hindered by post election violence.