CMEV’s statement on the violation of people’s democratic rights

February 19, 2023

Colombo, Sri Lanka.

CMEV’s statement on the violation of people’s democratic rights

CMEV strongly condemns the blatant violation of the people’s democratic rights by the Election Commission, Treasury, Executive, Government Printer and senior officers of the Sri Lanka Police. Examining each of these public authorities and officials in turn, reveals how they have worked together to totally disrupt the Local Government Elections.

Election Commission – The intentional delays by the Election Commission to issue notice declaring the Local Government Elections until the very last possible moment legally, has laid the foundation for creating the present election turmoil. The Election Commission was entitled to declare the elections on September 21, 2022, under the Local Government Election Ordinance, but it delayed this until January 4, 2023. This left only 6 weeks and 5 days for the election date. It also left only 11 days until the end of the present local authorities’ official terms, after the election date.? Both have left the Election Commission with very little room to maneuver. Meanwhile, as reported by the media, the Executive President had summoned the members of the Election Commission twice for meetings before and after the declaration of the election. The Election Commission has not been accountable to voters by clarifying the objective and context of those discussions. Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Treasury had met the Chairperson of the Election Commission yesterday ( 17 February 2023) to inform him that the Treasury is not in a position to release funds for the Local Government Elections.  

Treasury/Executive – Following the declaration, the Secretary of the Treasury issued Budget Circular No. 02/2023 on February 02, 2023 referring to Cabinet Decision No. 23/0201/604/018 on January 30, 2023. This Circular was a blatant violation of Parliament’s financial powers by the Executive as it was imposing restrictions on already approved government expenses. The ultimate motivation of the Circular was to disrupt the electoral process by suspending the printing of ballots. However, the Circular cannot be considered as applying to the Government Printer since it gives permission to continue already agreed-upon service agreements between both government and private institutions. As the Government Printer herself has accepted (in her press statement on February 17, 2023), the official communication about the printing of ballots was made between her and the Election Commission on January 23, 2023. The agreement to print ballot papers therefore occurred prior to the Treasury Circular. Government Printer – According to the Election Commission, the Government Printer gave assurances to deliver the required number of postal vote ballot papers and other materials by February 14, 2023 and accordingly had scheduled the issue of postal vote ballots and materials to District Returning Officers on February 15, 2023. The Government Printer then sent the sudden letter to the Election Commission on February 13, 2023, requesting further advice on payment of the advance. This is what prompted the Election Commission to announce the difficulty in holding the postal vote as scheduled. The Government Printer’s arbitrary decisions and vague explanations create the reasonable suspicion that she was intent on disrupting the Local Government Election process.

Sri Lanka Police – According to the Government Printer’s press statement of February 17, 2023, the Sri Lanka Police neglected their duty to provide the required security, even after repeated requests by phone and in writing. Later, the Government Printer revealed to the media that she had started ballot paper printing but without the required police security. The Commissioner General of the Election Commission also confirmed that they requested the IGP to provide the required Police security for ballot printing on January 23, 2023, and that the IGP had instructed the relevant officers, including the Senior Inspector General of Police, Western Province, Deshabandu Tennakoon, to provide the required security. Meanwhile, the Police Media spokesperson Nihal Thalduwa informed the media yesterday that the Police had not provided security since they had no information that ballot paper printing was starting, and that security will be provided when ballot printing started. This information confirms that the relevant Senior Police Officers intentionally violated their constitutional duty to facilitate the election process by first agreeing to  and then failing to provide the required security for ballot paper printing. CMEV is of the view that all the above public authorities and senior government officials have violated their constitutional duties and the fundamental rights of the people. CMEV urges the government to take accountability for these violations by taking all necessary disciplinary and legal action against them. CMEV further urges Parliament to initiate a Parliamentary Inquiry into the disruption of the Local Government Elections process, and to recommend action.

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Statement on Disruptions to the Local Government Elections 2023

CMEV expresses its deep concern about the indefinite postponement of the postal voting for the Local
Government Election 2023. It has been reported that this is due to the Government Printer’s refusal to
submit the printed postal voting ballot papers on time to the Election Commission.

CMEV learnt that the Government Printer sent a letter to the Election Commission yesterday, February
13, 2023, informing it that it is unable to process the printing of ballot papers until the full cost for the
printing is made by the Commission. This was in line with the President’s recent direction on January 31,
2023, to heads of government authorities to not purchase services on a credit basis.

CMEV believes that the disruption of the postal voting could impact holding the Local Government
Election 2023 as scheduled on March 9, 2023. The Government’s actions have created immense
uncertainty for voters regarding the Local Government Election, and this is a direct violation of the right
to vote that is guaranteed for all citizens under the Constitution of Sri Lanka. CMEV highlights it is the
responsibility of the Executive to create an enabling environment for conducting the Local Government
Elections, as per the Constitution.

The conduct of the Government Printer is specifically a violation of Article 104B(2) of the Constitution
which states that it is the duty of all authorities of the State to co-operate with the Election Commission
to enforce all laws relating to holding elections. Refusal or failure to carry out this duty is a criminal offence
under Article 104GG of the Constitution. CMEV specifically urges the Election Commission to exercise its
powers under this Article to take action against the Government Printer and any other public authority
disrupting the election process.

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Statement on death threats received to two members of the Election Commission

CMEV learnt that it is alleged that two members of the Election Commission, Mr. K.P.P. Pathirana and Mr. S.B. Divaratna were threatened with death if they did not resign from the Commission, last evening via WhatsApp. CMEV vehemently condemns such undemocratic and violent actions and calls for complete transparency in investigations which have already been commenced by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the Police.

CMEV also expresses its concern over several efforts taken by different parties to postpone scheduled Local Government elections and the possibility of this incident being associated with these efforts. Therefore, we urge the government to ensure a peaceable and secure environment for all the actors including election officials to conduct the election without any undue influence and within the period of time stipulated in the Local Government Elections Ordinance.

CMEV also urges the Election Commission to ensure that any such deplorable incidents will not cause further delays in Local Government Elections.

CMEV was formed in 1997 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Coalition against Political Violence as an independent and nonpartisan organization to monitor the incidence of election-related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up of CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu – Co – Convenor

Mr. Lasantha De Silva – Co-Convenor,

Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana – Co-Convenor

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Press Statement on the Unconstitutional move of the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Governments

CMEV express its deep concern about the letter issued by Neil Bandara Hapuhinna, the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Governments instructing District Secretaries to refrain from accepting deposits from candidates expecting to contest in upcoming Local Government Elections on January 10, 2023, as mentioned in the letter, according to a cabinet decision taken on January 09, 2023. According to the Sri Lankan Electoral Legal framework, District Secretaries are appointed as Returning Officers and as the signatory authority for all administrative affairs in respect of upcoming Local Government Elections, by a gazette notification, after the Election Commission issues the notice of elections. The Election Commission appointed District Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers by the extraordinary gazette bearing No.2311/26 and dated December 21, 2022. CMEV maintains that undue influence made by the cabinet against District Returning Officers who now serve as heads of the District Election Operations, is a clear threat to the democratic electoral process.

CMEV appreciates the prompt move of the Commissioner General of Election to elaborate on the responsibility of the District Returning Officers following the appointments according to Section 4(1) of the Local Government Elections Ordinance and the gazette the extraordinary gazette bearing No.2311/26. CMEV is also cites Article 104F of the Sri Lankan constitution to emphasize their constitutional duty.

104 F (1) ) “The Commission shall from time to time by notice published in the Gazette appoint by name or by office a person to be a Returning Officer to each electoral district, and may appoint by name or by office one or more persons to assist the Returning Officer in the performance of his duties.”

104 F (2) “Every Officer appointed under paragraph (1) shall in the performance and discharge of such duties and functions as are assigned to him, be subject to such directions as may be issued by the Commission and shall be responsible and answerable to the Commission therefor.”

According to the above provisions in the constitution, the directives issued by the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Council and Local Governments are unconstitutional and obeying such directives constitutes a violation of the constitution.[1]

CMEV notes the decision of the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration to revoke the letter immediately, following objections from all concerned parties. We urge the government and all the actors responsible for ensuring the democratic governance of the country to refrain from making any efforts that violate the fundamental right of the people to exercise their franchise.

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu – Co – Convenor

Mr. Lasantha De Silva – Co-Convenor,

Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana – Co-Convenor

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CMEV’s Statement on Current Crisis Situation in Sri Lanka

May 25, 2022.

CMEV’s Statement on Current Crisis Situation in Sri Lanka

CMEV expresses its deep concern about the rapid deterioration of democrasscy and the rule of law in the country. Following the devastating violence in many parts of the country on May 09, 2022, CMEV has reports that the police investigations and arrests of perpetrators are taking place under political influence. It has been reported to CMEV that some of the suspects were arrested without clear evidence of their connections to the violence. In one case, a 16 years old boy sitting for the O/L examination had been arrested and only granted bail on the afternoon of Monday, May 23, just for being in a photograph of a large crowd gathered in the Eravur area. 

CMEV has also observed the reluctance of police to arrest people who initiated violence at the ‘Maina Go Gama’ and ‘Gota Go Gama’ on May 9, 2022, even though video and other evidence is available. It was reported to CMEV that the Attorney General’s Department had obtained an order suspending the foreign travel of Fr. Jeewantha Peiris and many others, who have lodged complainants and been eyewitnesses of the ‘Gota Go Gama’ attack. They all are active supporters of non-partisan peoples’ struggles. 

CMEV urges all law implementing agencies to act independently and accountably to ensure law and order and the rule of law in society. CMEV was shocked to learn that 182 OICs out of 184 appointed during the period from 01.01.2011 to 03.11.2021 do not possess the required qualification for the post according to the letter dated 06.12.2021 by the Mr C.D. Wickramaratne, IGP. This is now available online. The political bias of OICs toward ruling party politicians in the area is well-known. CMEV urges the Police Commission and the Ministry of Public Security to rectify the situation immediately. CMEV also reiterates the need for disciplinary action against officers who have allegedly responded illegally against public protests, violating the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights to peaceful assembly and to the freedom of expression. 

CMEV believes that the present political crisis will not be resolved unless the public gets an opportunity to elect a new government. The majority of the current members of parliament have lost the public’s trust. As the President has no constitutional power to dissolve parliament till February 20, 2023, CMEV urges MPs of all parties to respect the values of representative democracy by passing a motion to request the Executive President to dissolve the parliament and move to a general election at the earliest.  This would enable constituents to elect representatives who have their trust and confidence, to handle the present crisis. 

CMEV was formed in 1997 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Coalition against Political Violence as an independent and nonpartisan organization to monitor the incidence of election-related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up of CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu – Co – Convenor

Mr. Lasantha De Silva – Co-Convenor,

Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana – Co-Convenor


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On 1 February, the armed forces of Myanmar (Tatmadaw), ostensibly acting on allegations of voter fraud in the general elections of 8 November 2020, detained numerous government officials, including State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and Union Election Commission (UEC) Chair U Hla Thein, as well as pro-democracy activists and politicians from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) and other parties.

The Tatmadaw subsequently announced that it would seize power, declare a one-year state of emergency, and install Vice-President and retired general U Myint Swe as acting president. It was also announced that new elections would be held after the state of emergency under a new election commission, which was later appointed on the night of 2 February.

The undersigned election or human rights monitoring organizations condemn the military coup in Myanmar and call for the immediate release of all detained politicians, government officials, and activists. The Tatmadaw must restore power to the civilian-led government, and seek redress of election-related complaints through the due process of law established under the 2008 Constitution.

Indeed, Myanmar’s Constitution and election laws provide a mechanism to resolve disputes in the form of election tribunals. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which has repeatedly made claims of vote-rigging and irregularities in the recent general elections, has like any other stakeholder the legal right to formally contest election results. It certainly has done so, filing 174 complaints out of the 287 received by the UEC.

Election observers were looking forward to seeing all election-related complaints and potential evidence presented and addressed in tribunal proceedings. According to our information, the UEC was about to proceed with the appointment of election tribunals when the military intervened. Election dispute resolution is an integral part of any electoral process, which rests on the fundamental premise that all sides act in good faith.

Therefore, the Tatmadaw must back down from its coup attempt and instead engage in a peaceful and transparent election dispute resolution process. The road to a fully realized democracy is long and arduous, but it is important that all stakeholders commit to upholding and protecting democratic norms. A repeat of what transpired after the 1990 general elections would mark a stark return to authoritarianism and will not be accepted by the people of Myanmar and the international community.

More Information follow the link

Code of Conduct for candidates and Media Guidelines for election gazetted

An extraordinary gazette notification containing the Code of Conduct for contesting political parties, independent groups and candidates of the elections has been published.

The Election Commission said the relevant Code of Conduct is issued in terms of Section 8(8) of the Parliamentary Elections Act, No. 1 of 1981 as amended by the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Act, No. 58 of 2009.

Download Code of Conduct for Contesting Political Parties/Independent Groups And Candidates of the Elections in Sinhala / Tamil / English

Download Media Guidelines in Sinhala / Tamil / English

CMEV Letter to Election Commission on Department of Samurdhi Development Misusing Voter List

Complaint letter CMEV lodged with the Election Commission about the Director-General of Department of Samurdhi Development misusing voter lists released for COVID-19 relief programmes to campaign illegally. CMEV is still awaiting a response.

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CMEV Calls for Postponement of General Election 2020

CMEV Calls for Postponement of General Election 2020

March 17, 2020 – The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) is urging the Election Commission to postpone General Election 2020 scheduled for April 25, 2020, in light of the escalating CORVID-19 pandemic.

Many activities required for holding the election bring many people into close contact with each other, thereby posing significant risks of viral transmission. This includes thousands of election officers, party officials, Police officers and election observers being in close proximity to each other at the thousands of polling stations and counting centres across the country; physical contact between election officers and voters as voters are marked with indelible ink and handed ballot papers; and the handling of the same ballot paper by numerous election officials for vote counting purposes. All election campaigning activities, including public rallies and meetings, also bring many people into close contact with each other.

CMEV notes that the ongoing spread of the CORVID-19 pandemic and government measures to combat it (including closures of schools and other public venues, restrictions on mass gatherings and travel restrictions) are likely to have a significant impact on voter turnout on Election Day, and that many voters would be discouraged from voting due to fears of being in close proximity to many others at polling stations. This also broadly impacts voters’ right to freely exercise their vote, and the ability to hold a free and fair election.

CMEV also notes that elections scheduled to be held during the months of March to May have been postponed in many countries including the United Kingdom, France, India and Spain due to the escalating CORVID-19 pandemic.

In terms of postponement, the Election Commission can formally request the President to withdraw Extraordinary Gazette 2165/8, which would have the effect of reversing the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of an election. The Election Commission can alternately, under the gazette with the notice of poll it will issue after the close of nominations, postpone the election unilaterally under the powers it will acquire thereafter.

CMEV is prepared to offer any assistance it can and work with the Election Commission to ensure that General Election 2020 can be held under conditions where Sri Lankans are able to exercise their right to vote in a truly free and fair manner.

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

March 06, 2020

Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya,
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:
  • 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,

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.


Letter to Election Commission

Dear Commission,


It has been brought to our notice, by reliable persons who have been unfairly penalized, that certain Grama Niladharis, especially in the Colombo District, have arbitrarily removed the names of long-standing residents from their respective voter lists. Since these householders have duly completed the voter registration forms for 2018 accurately and in time, and since they have been on the voter lists at the same residential address for many years and have voted in all of the elections during the past decade and more, they were shocked and dismayed to learn that their names had been deleted from the relevant registered voter list for the residence they have occupied uninterrupted for many years. On inquiry they were informed that there is nothing that can be done at this stage, even though they were not provided with any reasons for the deletion of their names. This unacceptable situation is further exacerbated by the fact that the online voter list on your official website is not currently functioning.

Individual voters have lodged complaints with the Elections Commission, and we request you to make a formal public response to the allegations that they have made. Specifically, it is incumbent on you to publicly clarify the following in order to mitigate the lack of credibility in the system that this has generated, especially among older voters who are unable to visit the Elections Secretariat to verify if their names are still on the list:

  1. Provide an explanation for the exclusion of these names from the relevant voter lists, and make sure that there is a redress mechanism that will permit them to vote on the 16th.
  2. Explain the due process by which errant Grama Niladharis are to be held accountable for these deliberate omissions.
  3. Ensure that the online voter registration list is operational with immediate effect

Given the urgency of the situation and the need for immediate redress to ensure that the affected persons are not deprived of their franchise, we urge you to inform the general public as well by way of extensive publicity in all the appropriate channels.

Thank you.


Co-Conveners CMEV

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Presidential Election 2019 -MEDIA COMMUNIQUE 29th October 2019

Presidential Election 2019 Media Communiqué, 29th October 2019

Colombo, Sri Lanka

In the 40 days since the announcement of the 2019 Presidential Election, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has recorded 534 verified incidents of election law violations. The following trends have been particularly observable recently:

Using minors for political promotions

The election period has seen the continued use of minors in various ways to promote the presidential candidates. The National Child Protection Authority has already made it clear that it is wrong to use minors for political promotion.

In the following cases and instances, the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP) and the New Democracy Front (NDF) have directly violated these legal provisions:

  1. Use of minors in school uniform for a propaganda advertisement of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the presidential candidate of SLPP.
  2. Use of a school uniformed minor for the newspaper advertisement of SLPP.
  3. Use of minors in the the photograph of Mangala Samaraweera, Minister and representative of the NDF election campaign, and circulating that picture on social media.
  4. Use of a child with body paint for political promotion at a SLPP rally in Uva Paranagama on 25th October 2019.
  5. Use of minors’ pictures in the website of SLPP candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

CMEV has already made a written complaint to the National Child Protection Authority regarding these matters.

Using Government School Premises for Election Campaigns

CMEV was informed that the SLPP attempted to use the Galenbindunu Wewa primary school ground for a public rally with the direct intervention of the North Central Province Governor. This is despite there being numerous available places for holding public rallies in the Anuradhapura Gallenbindunu Wewa town.

The use of government school premises for campaign purposes and the intervention of high level public officials sets entirely the wrong precedent.

Not displaying election candidate and symbol during campaigning

The SLPP reportedly did not display its candidate and its ballot symbol in the pandol (thoarana) which was built in Minuwangoda town along the road, but photographs of the party leader and other regional organisers have been displayed. According to election law, it is illegal to display the pictures of the candidate and symbol.

Engaging in election campaigns that disturbed to religious and national reconciliation

During the election period, a number of campaign activities, especially by the Podu Jana Eksath Peramuna, demonstrate extremist national and religious views in various forms. For example, a female councilor in Kandy was arrested while spreading leaflets with extremist opinions. That leaflet was a violation of section 85 of the Presidential Election Act, No. 15 of 1981 meaning that the leaflet did not display the publisher and printer.

Thank you


Manjula Gajanyake,
National Co-ordinator,

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Presidential Election 2019 -MEDIA COMMUNIQUE 20th October 2019


12 hours, 20th October 2019, Colombo, Sri Lanka – Assault on supporters of the New Democratic Front, Western Province, Kaluthara District, Panadaura Electorate.

As reported to CMEV last night, on 19th October 2019 an SLPP supporter has assaulted two supporters of New Democratic Front. It was further reported to CMEV that the aforesaid supporter has intimidated those two supporters of NDF by showing a light fire arm in his possession.

This is the first instance of intimidation in the presidential election where a light fire arm has been used, following the submission of nominations on 7th of October.

The two NDF supporters, M.S. Nihalsinghe and Nawarathna Banda, were intimidated by the show of a light fire arm while passing the Wadduwa cemetery by Sisira Mendis, a supporter of  Sri Lanka Pudujana Peramuna.  As reported to CMEV he has arrived at the scene by a Pajero bearing the number plate CAA 1544. As disclosed to CMEV by Nihalsinghe who had been subjected to the assault, Sisira Mendis has been under the influence of alcohol at the time in which the assault took place.

Furthermore M.S. Nihalsinghe, who was assaulted has made a complaint to Wadduwa Police station regarding this incident under CIB 2’27/153. There is a possibility of suspicions arising due to this incident not being reported as an election related complaint in spite of the conclusive evidence of its affiliation with elections.

It has been further reported to CMEV that although this incident involves an intimidation carried out using light fire arm, the suspect has been bailed out shortly without any difficulty.

While making a statement to CMEV, Nihalsinghe mentioned that Sisira Mendis who has been accused for the assault is a strong supporter of SLPP SLPP and the fact that he clearly mentioned the involvement of the light fire arm in the said incident during his statement given to the police. Upon further probing the matter further with this regard, however, CMEV learnt from the OIC of Wadduwa police station that M.S. Nihalinghe had not mentioned the involvement of the light fire arm in his statement given to the police.

It is the view of CMEV that the perpetuation of violence and assault by the supporters of different political parties in various locations should not be treated as isolated incidents in a context where a decrease can be seen with regard to the election related violence in Sri Lanka. CMEV wishes to emphasise that political leaders as well as regional politicians must extend their fullest support towards the concerted efforts of the Election Commission and Sri Lanka Police in order to ensure a free and fair election.

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Presidential Election 2019: Candidates contesting the Presidential Election 2019, violating the Code of Ethics announced by the Election Commission by using statements made by military officers.

Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya,Chairman, Election Commission of Sri Lanka, President Council Mr. Naleen Abeysekara, Member of Election Commission of Sri Lanka Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole, Member of Election Commission of Sri Lanka,
Election Commission of Sri Lanka,
Election Secretariat,
Sarana Rd,
13 / 10 / 2019

Presidential Election 2019: Candidates contesting the Presidential Election 2019, violating the Code of Ethics announced by the Election Commission by using statements made by military officers.

Despite the requirement of every candidate contesting the Presidential Election to abide by the Code of Ethics set out by the Election Commission when conducting their election campaigns, the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) wishes to draw the attention of the Election Commission to a violation of the Code of Ethics, as appeared in a paper advertisement.
Three newspapers due for the distribution on 13 / 10 / 2019 (today) carried full-page advertisements which featured statements made by former Triforce Commanders about Presidential Candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
One example that stands out is the statement made by the present Army Commander, Lt. Gen Shavendra Silva on the 28th of December 2009. Lt. General Silva is still the Army Commander on active duty (please refer to the attached advertisement for evidence) and the use of his statement compromises the integrity of civil-military relations in Sri Lanka. We further believe that the integrity of the election would be severely compromised if other candidates also adopted this practice.
We recommend that suitable measures be taken in response to this and greatly appreciate it if you notify us about the measures taken in relation to this matter.
Please be assured of out cooperation
Look forward to your response

Thank you,

Manjula Gajanayake
National Co-ordinator


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