Presidential Election 2015: Media Communique 7

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On 28th December 2014 at11.30 pm:

Colombo, Sri Lanka CMEV has recorded a cumulative total of 180 Incidents of election related violence since the issue of the Gazette Notification on 20th November 2014 announcing the Presidential Election. Of these, 108 are classified as Major and 72 as Minor incidents. The highest number incidents have been reported from Colombo (15) District. CMEV highlights the most recent confirmed Major incidents below:

28th December, Threat in Gampola, Kandy District

It was reported to CMEV that Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratna and several supporters had entered the United National Party (UNP) head office in Gampola and threatened those at the office saying “hondinnan hondin, narakinnan narakin math balagannanko”. According to Samantha Anurakumara who maintains the office and who had been present at the time, the Prime Minister and supporters had arrived after a meeting at the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) office. A complaint had been filed at the Gampola Police Station CIB (3) 19/292 but complainants have requested the police to not carry out further investigations due to fear of reprisals.

25th December, Assault at Galpaya, Kandy District

CMEV was informed of an incident on 25 December related to an assault to Rohana Kumara whose father-in-law, Mr. Karunathilaka, is a Pradeshiya Sabha member and supporter of the UNP and formerly with the UPFA. According to Rohana, he was traveling when a van crossed his path and parked in front of him. Rohana was driving Karunathilaka’s vehicle at the time. Rohana informed that the four people who attacked him and the vehicle must have thought Karunathilaka was in the vehicle at the time. A police complaint had been filed under 245/216 MOIB.

27th December, Public Property Misuse in Kantalai, Trincomalee District

CMEV was reported of an incident of public property misuse on 27th December. A SLTB Bus (WP NP 4979) had been used to transport about 200-300 persons from around Kantalai to attend a programme called ‘Juriya Obai’ done by the International Television Network (ITN) on the 27th at Lake Front Hotel in Kanthalai on behalf of the presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa.

26th December, Party office attacked, Manikitta, Kandy District

A party office of the United National Party (UNP) maintained by H.A Sisil Jayawardana was attacked by a group of unknown people on the night of 26th December. Further, several cut outs of Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena in the vicinity were destroyed. A police complaint was filed (E:R.I.B. 81/55).

28th December, Illegal Campaign in Thambuththegama, Anuradhapura District

A CMEV monitor reported that a demo vehicle plated LH 1943 was driving around in the above area (at about 4 p.m.) requesting the public (via loudspeakers) about a political meeting chaired by the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in support of the UPFA at the Weheregala Buddhist Centre. When CMEV spoke to Rajangana Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, G.H.Sarath Gamini, he confirmed that there was a meeting scheduled to take place.

28th December, Illegal Campaign in Nuwaragama, Anuradhapura District

A CMEV monitor reported that school bags printed with a picture of President Mahinda Rajapaksa were distributed to the flood victims at the Jayabima Hall which belongs to the Pradeshiya Sabha. Nagenahira Nuwaragampalatha Pradeshiya Sabha member, D.P. Bandulasena, informed CMEV that they had distributed bags to the children of the flood victims but denied knowledge of the bags containing any image.

27th December, Public Property Missus in Horana, Kaluthara District

CMEV was reported of a public property misuse in the above area on 28th of December when the Horana Vidyarathna Vidyalay had been used for a meeting by the Western Provincial Council member Yasapala Koralage(UPFA). CMEV had been notified the previous day (27th) that a meeting and walk were being organised. After a complaint was made to the Election Secretariat in Rajagiriya by CMEV on the 27th, the rally had been cancelled but the meeting had taken place.

28th December, Illegal Campaign at Bauddaloka Mawatha, Borella

CMEV received information using Public servants for election campaign of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the above location. Officers from the Land Reclamation and Development Cooperation have been distributing election materials of presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa on the roads in the above area on 28th December.

28th December, Police Misconduct in Halawatha, Kaluthara District

CMEV received a complaint of a cutout of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the above location which was informed as land belonging to Hettiarachchige Don Weerarathna. When the police intervened to take down the cutout, the Road Development Authority had said that this particular cutout was in the land which belongs to them. The police had instead covered it with a black cloth but the cutout has not been taken down as yet.

28th December, Party Office Attacked in Minuwangoda, Gampaha District

CMEV received a complaint that a group of people had attacked a United National Party (UNP) party office maintained by Warnakilasuriya Henry Josephe Fernando in the above location. Three 10×4 cutouts and six 12 feet iron poles were stolen. A complaint has been made at the Minuwangoda police station 11/MGERIB.