Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 04

Download a PDF of this communique here.

08th August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Below is a summary of the major cases of election related violence reported to CMEV from the 1st of August to the 4th of August 2015.

01st August, 2015- Threat and Intimidation, Matale

It was reported to CMEV that JVP candidate Mr. Gamagedara Diassanayake was threatened by supporters of the UPFA. The incident occurred at around 5.00 P.M when Mr. Chathura, Mr. Ishara and MR. Kumara from the UPFA allegedly disconnected the electricity supply to a JVP meeting at Galewela, Makulugas Wewa.

When CMEV contacted the Galewela Police station they confirmed that a complaint had been lodged under CIB/1/392/13 by station OIC Mr. K.A.G.L Dilruk. However, contrary to the report received, the officer stated that it was the Three-wheeler Association of the area, which maintained the shrine that had disconnected the supply, as electricity was taken without their permission.

In contacting Mr. Dissanayake, he asserted that he was assaulted by the UPFA supporters,  however these claims could not be confirmed. 

02nd August, 2015 Damage to Property, Galle

It was reported to CMEV that a campaign office of UNP candidate Mr. Sunil Senanayake, in Hiniduma has been allegedly attacked by Mr. Supun, Mr. Priyantha and Mr. Daminda along with 2 other supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Piyasena Gamage at around 2.00 A.M. According to reports the attack had occurred in the vicinity of the primary school in Habarakada, Ela Ihalagala. The losses resulting from the attack have been valued at between Rs.35, 000 – Rs.40,000. The complainant Mr. Thilak Senanayake stated that the police had failed to commence investigations even though the perpetrators had been identified by the police.

In contacting Mr. Harsha Senanayake the son of Mr. Sunil Senanayake’s, he accused the police of not taking the complaint seriously. He stated that it had taken 1 hour to simply lodge the complaint. Elaborating on the incident Mr. Harsha Senanayake, said that Police had even requested him to withdraw the complaint.

When CMEV contacted Hiniduma Police station to clarify these accusations they confirmed that a complaint had been lodged under ECIB 4/2 and that no perpetrators have been arrested. However, when Mr. Harsha Senanayake’s accusations were conveyed to the police they dismissed the allegations.

CMEV was able to conform the incident by contacting Mr Jayarathne P.C, of the Galle district elections operations unit. However, when CMEV contacted Mr. K.D Wickremesinghe, campaign coordinator of Mr. Piyasena Gamage, he said that he was not aware of the matter.

03rd August 2015, Misuse of State Resources, Kalutara

It was reported to CMEV by Mr. Nimal Devapriya of the UPFA, that UNF Kalutara district candidate Mr. Rajitha Senaratne had conducted a  campaign meeting for health staff at Kalutara Base Hospital and that government vehicles, cab (PD-4435) owned by the Ministry of Health and an ambulance (LW-0741)  owned by Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s Hospital, Peradeniya were used in the event. The meeting was conducted at Garden Beach Hotel, Kalutara from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm.

When CMEV contacted Dr. Nihal Weerasinghe, Deputy Director of Peradeniya Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s Hospital, he said that the ambulance was sent to the Kalutara Base Hospital with drugs for patients in critical condition. He said that as he had no further details and he would follow up on the matter.

CMEV’s was unable to contact Dr. Rajitha Senaratne for remarks.

03rd August, 2015 Threat and Intimidation, Vanni

It has been reported to CMEV that development officer Mr. Sendil Kumaran was threatened by a supporter of Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen in Nedankery, Chenaipilavu, Vauvuniya. The incident occurred when the supporter attempted to paste a poster on the parapet wall of Mr. Kumaran’s residence against his wishes. However, the supporter of Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen had gone ahead in defiance of the objections.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Sendil Kumaran, he confirmed the incident and said that he did not lodge a complaint with the Police, as he is a government officer and was afraid of losing his job should Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen be re-elected and become a member of the government.

CMEV’s was unable to contact Mr. Bathiudeen for remarks.

04Th August, 2015- Misuse of State Resources, Kekirawa

It was reported to CMEV that employees of Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha have been used to set up a stage and decorate the location for a meeting which was to be used by UPFA candidate Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse.

When CMEV contacted Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha, an individual who was reluctant to identify themselves said that employees of the Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha were on leave on 4th of August.

04th August 2015- Assault, Kegalle

It has been reported to CMEV that 2 supporters of UNP candidate Mr. Lilan Amarakoon of the Kegalle district were assaulted by supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Lalith Dissanayake at around 8.30 P.M. The incident occurred during a meeting organized by supporters of Mr. Lilan Amarakoon in Parapitiya, Aranayaka.  Those assaulted were admitted to Aranayaka district hospital with minor injuries.

A complaint has been lodged with the Aranayaka Police station under EIB- Aranayaka electorate 1/2015. CMEV was able to confirm this entry when speaking to OIC of the Aranayaka Police station Mr. P.R.S.K Gunathilleke, who said that the alleged perpetrators Mr. P.D, Asoka and Mr. Charles have not been arrested as they had fled Aranayaka.

Meanwhile, the nurse in charge of Ward No: 1 of the Aranayaka, Hospital reported that the two victims were being provided treatment. When CMEV spoke to the victims they said they were assaulted with poles.  These claims were supported by Mr. Amarakoon.

04th August, 2015- Assault, Jaffna

It was reported to CMEV that Chairman of the Union of the Disappeared, Mr. Sahadevan, was assaulted by a supporter of UPFA candidate Mr. Angajan. The perpetrator Ms. P. Kaushi had assaulted Mr. Sahadevan during a campaign meeting organized by the supporters of Mr. Angajan for the relatives of those who had disappeared at the Green Grass Hotel, Jaffna. The incident had occurred when Mr. Sahadevan accused Mr. Angajan of exploiting the grieving victims to fulfill his election agenda.

When CMEV contacted Jaffna Police station, they confirmed that a complaint had been lodged under CIB-111353/35 and that investigation was underway. CMEV was unable to contact Ms. P. Kaushi for remarks.

04th August 2015-Arson Attack, Kandy

It has been reported to CMEV that a campaign office of UNP candidate Mr. Samantha Arunakumara has been attacked by an unidentified group on the night of the 4th of August. The group had set fire to the campaign office in addition to setting fire to a cut out of Mr. Samantha Arunakumara.

CMEV can confirm that a complaint has been lodged at the Gampola Police station under EIB 2/2015 and its officer in charge, said that investigations have been commenced.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Samantha Arunakumara, he confirmed that a complaint had been lodged. However, he stated that in the first instance, the police were reluctant to log the incident.