CMEV Letter to Election Commission on Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Director and Public Officials Engaging in Illegal Election Campaigning

March 06, 2020


Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya,
Chairperson,
Election Commission,
Election Secretariat Office,
Sarana Road, Rajagiriya.

Dear Mr. Deshapriya,

Public Officials Engaging in Illegal Election Campaigning

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) would like to express its appreciation of the Election Commission for some positive decisions that have been already taken based on certain incidents in relation to the upcoming General Election. 

We believe that, similar to the last Presidential Election, there will be a rise in public officials engaging in election campaigning and making undue interventions which contravene their functions.

CMEV wishes to highlight one such incident regarding the Director of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, Doctor A.M.S. Weerabandara, who has been engaging in election campaigning in a very biased and ethnically divisive manner while still remaining a public official.

The extensive efforts being taken by the Election Commission to ensure the integrity of the election process is challenged and put at a high risk by activity such as the above being done without receiving appropriate leave or by terminating the current employment for the purpose of promoting various political parties.

Section 01 of Chapter 32 of the Establishment Code of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, provides limitations through sub-sections 1.1, 1.2.3 and 1.3 on staff officers not being entitled to enjoy political rights, specifically on the establishment of election candidacy or executing initial actions for the purpose of election candidacy. These provisions have been violated by the Director’s actions.

We urge the Election Commission to take immediate action to initiate an investigation on the conduct of the said Director who should be aware of the limitations imposed on a staff officer yet has intentionally both violated the election law and disregarded the medical profession’s rules and regulations related to the public service for the purpose of political gains.  

We urge the Election Commission to use for an investigation:

  • Enclosed observation notes and records compiled by CMEV
  • Acknowledgement by the Director himself that he engaged in such election campaigning
  • The Director’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DrSarath-Weerabandara-105479324381092/
  • An article published in the Ravaya newspaper on March 05, 2020 titled “Hospital Director Disdains the Law”

Your attention and action on this matter will be highly appreciated.

Manjula Gajanayake,
National Coordinator,
CMEV

Copied to:

  • Mr. H.M.T.D. Herath, Secretary, Election Commission, Election Secretariat, Sarana Road, Rajagiriya.
  • Mr. Saman Sri Rathnayake, Commissioner General, Election Commission, Election Secretariat, Sarana Road, Rajagiriya.
  • Mr. Suranga Ranashinghe, Assistant Election Commissioner, Election Commission, Election Secretariat, Sarana Road, Rajagiriya.