Presidential Election 2015: Election Communiqué 2

Download this press release as a PDF here. Download this press release in Tamil here.

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CMEV notes that polling has been brisk but a few major incidents have been reported. Three explosions have so far been reported on the day of polls. The first was in Point Pedro reported in Communiqué 1. A second incident involved an explosion from Beruwala targeting a house of a Muslim businessman. No injuries were reported. The third incident from Vavuniya is provided below.

CMEV also notes several incidents of assault, threat and intimidation allegedly by ruling party politicians and their supporters. Some incidents are as follows –

Grenade explosion outside Vavuniya polling station

A grenade explosion took place near Nelukkulam Kalaimagal Maha Vidyalaya, Polling Station 32-33-34, Vavuniya at 2.30 pm. The explosion took place 50m near to the gate of the polling station. No injuries were reported. The police are investigating.

Two women struck by UPFA Deputy Minister in the Attanagalla Electorate, Gamapaha District

A report has been received by CMEV that UPFA Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardana and a group of supporters have hit two women, near the Yatiyana Junior School (Polling Centre no: 51) at approximately 1.00 pm on the 8th of January. It was also reported that Deputy Minster Gunawardana and his group of supporters have been travelling in 7 vehicles in and around the area. CMEV is yet to receive further information regarding this assault.

Assault near Mihintale Polling Station

CMEV received a report that North Central Minister S.M. Ranjith, his supporter Sumith and others had assaulted Wimalasiri A.H.M. and a few other people the culprits were seen with wooden rods and guns. The victim, Wimalasiri A.H.M. has been admitted to the Senapura Hospital. No complaint has been lodged.

Minister R.M. Ajantha Kumara Jayasinghe intimidating voters in Kalawewa Anuradhapura

CMEV received a complaint that Minister R.M. Ajantha Kumara Jayasinghe was intimidating voters and asking them to vote for President Rajapaksa near the Thambuttegama Community Hall in Kalawewa, Anuradhapura.

SLMC member assaulted and threatened.

CMEV received a report that supporters of Minister A.L.M. Athaula’s (National Congress) have assaulted and threatened a Sri Lanka Muslim Congress member, Mr. Thalha in Akkaraipattu. Mr. Thalha has made a police complaint regarding this.

Allegations of Iniya Bharathi entering Polling Centre in Thirukovil

Eyewitnesses informed CMEV of SLFP organizer, Iniya Bharathi, entering Sri Ramakrishna Vidyalayam Polling Station (number 79) at 11.45 am in Thirukovil and allege that he carried with him extra ballot papers which he stuffed into the ballot boxes. CMEV monitor at the centre confirms Iniya Bharathi entering the polling centre but no other information is presently known. The Commissioner of Elections has been informed by CMEV and is presently investigating the situation.

CMEV received a couple of incidents where continuing campaigning and other violations were committed by the EPDP.

Voters escorted to the polling station by EPDP members

CMEV received a complaint at 8.55 am that Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) local council member Iyathurai Sri Rangeswaran and escorted a few voters from the KKS electorate, polling division C in Jaffna to the Tellipalai Mahajana College (polling station number 32) to vote.

Campaigning in front of polling stations in Kilinochchi

CMEV monitor in Kilinochchi reported at 10.15 am that one EPDP member and one member of the Pradeshiya Sabha, along with some Samurdhi Development Officers, are present at the entrance of the polling station at Punnalneeravi Government Tamil Mixed School (Polling Station 57), urging voters to vote for President Rajapaksa.

Intimidating the voters in Puttalam

CMEV received a report at 9.15 am from the Palaviya Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya, No.42 polling station, the SPO was standing near the polling booth and inspecting in how people are casting their votes. When the CMEV monitor had inquired, he has stated that he was monitoring whether the ballot papers were being taken out of the polling station.

Voters picked up by a private bus and taken to polling stations

It was reported to the CMEV at 8.05 a.m. that ten persons comprising of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporters and civil defence forces picked up voters along the route to Kiribbanwewa Vidyalaya (No.87), a polling station for people of the Mullaitivu area. They had been picked up by a private bus bearing the license plate number HT6173 by people wearing red t-shirts. CMEV monitors have photographic evidence.

Army Officer standing outside polling station in Visvamadu, Mullaitivu

CMEV has received a report around 8.35 am of an Army officer standing outside the Bharathy Vidyalaya, Visuwamadu – Hall No. 2 polling station (No. 54) in the polling division “C” Mullaitivu, of the Vanni Electorate of the Mullaitivu District.