Presidential Election 2015: Media Communique 03

22st December 2014 at 2.00 p.m. Download as a PDF here.

Attack in Kotte

CMEV received a complaint from Dr. Harsha De Silva, UNP organizer, Kotte, that a group of supporters of Maithreepala Sirisena was attacked by a group headed by Manjuala Budhhadasa. Mr Buddhadasa is a Member of the Western Provincial Council and the son of Mayor G.H. Buddhadasa, Kaduwela Municipal Council. Dr. De Silva asked CMEV to contact Harshani Sandaruwani, one of the victims of the attack, for further information. Harshani Sandaruwani is the leader of the group in charge of leaflet distribution for the New Democratic Front in the Nawala area.

Ms. Sandaruwan told CMEV that when they were distributing leaflets of the Common Opposition Candidate Maithreepala Sirisena at the Nawala- Koswattha Junction, a group of people arrived in a white colour cab (WP KV9902) and approached a MSD policeman who summoned them. Manjula Buddhadasa also got down from the vehicle and slapped a male person. He also snatched all the posters and threw them away. He further removed green coloured cap from a person and threatened the group that if they came to these areas again, he will kill them. According to Harshani Sandaruwani this incident happened at around 2.15 PM on 20th Dec 2014. Further she said that two policemen were present at the incident but did not take any action regarding it.

Hambantota Incident

An assault not directly related to the presidential election campaign of any candidate but one which has a bearing on the current political climate and is reflective of it, was reported to CMEV on Sunday 21 st December. Mr Sampath Samarakoon, told CMEV that when a group of street drama and human rights activists were to perform a street drama at the Hambantota bus stand on the theme ‘Veedi Virodaya’, they were attacked by Hambantota Urban Council Chairman Eraj Frenando.

Mr. Ayub Khan, the Opposition Leader , Hambantota Urban Council was one of the victims of this attack. When CMEV contacted him, he said that the group was brutally attacked with sticks. He also said that they had informed the Police regarding their street drama and further, that the Police had not taken any statement from the victims.

When CMEV contacted Mr.Eraj Fernanado, he said that at around 9.45 AM he had gone to the Hambantota town and that whilst he was waiting for his secretary he had encountered Mr. Khan and inquired from him as to whether permission had been obtained form the Urban Council for the street drama. Mr. Khan had replied in the affirmative. According to Mr. Fernando, the attack was perpetrated by the general public. He further stated that Police had asked him to leave the scene of the attack. He complied and said that he had made a Police complaint in the interests of his future security.

When CMEV contacted Hambantota Police OIC , CI Buddhika at around 1 PM ,he said that they did not receive any complaint about this incident. He further said that this drama group had not informed the Police regarding this and that it was the public at the bus stand who had disrupted the street drama. He also said the he will conduct an inquiry into the incident.

When CMEV contacted Mr Sumith Disaanayaka, a human right activist he said that although they had performed this drama in several places across the country, they did not face any problems. Mr Sumith Dissanayaka also informed CMEV that the Inspector General of Police had been informed of the incident in writing.

When CMEV contacted the main UNP office in Hambantota, the secretary of MP Sajith Premadsa, Mr Samarasinge said that the group led by Eraj Fernanado had attacked the street drama group with the intention of sabotaging Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena’s election campaign.