20 September 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Voting in the Uva Provincial Council election commenced today, 20th September 2014. This election is the latest in the current cycle of Provincial Council elections held in four phases over two years. In total 942,730 registered voters are registered to vote at 834 polling stations in the 3 polling divisions of the Moneragala district and the 9 in the Badulla District.
Voting began at 7 a.m. By 1.00 p.m in the Badulla district voter turnout was recorded at 50% and in the Moneragala district at 45% by noon. During the previous Provincial Council election in 2009, the total voter turnout was 68.69% and 70.73% in the Moneragala and Badulla districts, respectively.
- On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Passara, Gonagala Maha Vidyalaya, Gonagala Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that a graffiti depicting the number 18 and the betel leaf symbol had been drawn on the road in front of the polling station. It is noted that the graffiti indicated the election symbol of the UPFA and the preference number of Mr. Vadivel Suresh, who is the organizer for the Passara electorate. (Photographic evidence is available)
- On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala District, Moneragala, Horambuwa, Moneragala Horambuwa Kanitu Viduhala Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that from around 7 a.m, a bus bearing registration number ND-6622 was used to transport voters to the Horambuwa Kanitu Viduhala polling station. Furthermore the bus was used to provide transport to employees of the Moneragala Pradeshiya Sabha. CMEV field monitors report that UPFA Moneragala District candidate Shashindra Rajapaksa’s name was displayed prominently on the said bus. This narration of the incident was corroborated by an employee of the Pradeshiya Sabha, who was a passenger on the bus.
- On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Haputale, Glananor Tamil Kanishta Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that a group of about 15 UPFA (CWC) supporters approached voters and asked them to cast their vote according to a model ballot paper that had marked numbers 2, 11, and 12 against the UPFA election symbol. The incident is reported to have taken place within a 100 meter radius of the polling station and the group had exerted particular pressure on women voters in this regard.
- On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Mahiyanganaya, Dehigolla Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that a group of people wearing blue t-shirts were distributing refreshments to the public on a by-road located within a 500 meter radius of the Dehigolla Maha Vidyalaya polling station.
- On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Bandarawela, Bandarawela polling Division, polling Station Numbers 60 and 61. CMEV field monitors reported that two police officers turned away voters from the polling station who did not possess polling cards. Based on eyewitness accounts, CMEV field monitors estimated that by 11 a.m, almost 20 voters had been turned away.
- On 20th September 2014 UVA Province, Badulla District, Passara, Namunukula Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that the senior presiding officer attached to Namunukula Vidyalaya polling station was under the influence of alcohol while he was on duty. Furthermore when the CMEV field monitor approached the senior presiding officer to sign the CMEV observation form, he refused to do so. CMEV has reported this incident to the Elections Commissioner.
- On 20th September UVA Province, Badulla District, Passara, Yuri Estate Tamil Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that around 1.05 p.m, a group of persons approached voters who were proceeding to the polling station and pressured them to vote for UPFA candidate Mr. Vadivel Suresh (No. 18 ). This incident is reported to have taken place within a 50 meter radius of the polling station.
- On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Bandarawela, Bandarawela Police Station. Police Communique issued by the Deputy O.I.C of the Bandarawela Police stated that at 10.20 a.m, Mayor of the Bandarawela Municipal council Mr. Chaminda Wijesiri with five other supporters visited the Bandarawela Police Station to lodge a complaint regarding UNP supporters being threatened and assaulted. At about 10.40 a.m UPFA Member of Bandarawela Pradeshiya Sabha, Mr. Heenkenda and the Deputy Minister of Trade and his supporters (who arrived a short while after Mr. Heenkenda), entered the Police Station and had an altercation with the Mayor of the Bandarawela and his supporters.
- CMEV field monitors reported that the Mayor of Bandarawela was admitted to the Diyathalawa hospital and had reportedly suffered bruising as a result of the altercation. He has been transferred to the Badulla base hospital.