North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections – 23rd August 2008 2300 hrs- Media Communiqué No. 7

CMEV

North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections

23rd August 2008 – Media Communiqué No. 7

CMEV deployed stationary observers in 420 polling stations, 11 mobile teams and 28 field monitors in the two provinces. During the course of the day 976 polling stations were visited of the 1768 polling stations in both provinces.

CMEV notes that apart from a few serious incidents and in comparison with previous provincial elections, Polling Day of the elections to the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial Councils was relatively incident free.  The expectations of violence that were based on the incidence of violence in the last three days of the campaign in particular, were fortunately not met.  Accordingly, CMEV acknowledges the positive impact of the announcement by the Election Commissioner that he would order a re-poll in areas where violence and malpractice were confirmed to have occurred, as well as his decision to strengthen law enforcement in the areas that recorded high levels of violence throughout the campaign. Likewise, CMEV also acknowledges the positive impact of the actions of the police in those areas where its presence and commitment was reinforced.

As emphasized in its earlier communiqué of today (Communique 6, August 23, 2008), the effective disenfranchisement of voters on account of them not having the required identity documentation, is a cause for serious concern.  No citizen should be deprived of the fundamental right to exercise franchise. Be it because of a failure of communication or administrative delay, the resulting, effective disenfranchisement of voters has deprived citizens of the right to participate in the basic process of choice and change in a functioning democracy.  This needs to be addressed as a matter of priority.  CMEV strongly urges the Elections Commissioner to initiate an independent inquiry into what transpired and to hold to account officials found to be responsible for this.  We also strongly urge the authorities to take similar action in respect of local officials who are found to be similarly responsible.

CMEV has supported the mandatory use of the National Identity Card (NIC) for voter identification, but reiterated that its use for this purpose should not result in the deprivation of fundamental rights and to the disadvantage of citizens.  Consequently, we repeat our call for the expediting of the issue of NICs.  The prospect of further elections in the near future, underscores the importance and urgency of this.

In this context, CMEV also repeats it call for the full implementation of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution, which provides for the establishment of independent commissions for elections and the police – an issue which the constituent organizations of CMEV have, and continue to lobby and litigate on.

In the course of these elections, CMEV also monitored the media coverage of the election campaign.  We found that in the case of both the print and electronic media, state controlled media organs were comprehensively biased in favour of the ruling coalition.  The private print media organs were also found to exhibit partisan bias.  CMEV calls on the Commissioner, to issue guidelines to the media, even during provincial elections and reminds the state media in particular, of a primary obligation to serve the public interest. We call upon all media organs to observe internationally recognized guidelines for reporting during elections.

An illustrative sample of the incidents of violence and malpractice reported by CMEV monitors is provided below.

Assault of a polling agent and parliamentarian
At least four JVP supporters were assaulted near the Galthamburawa Junior School (Polling Station 92) in the Polonnaruwa Electorate.  One of the assaulted included JVP candidate Chandraratna Kumara.  JVP parliamentarian S.K Subasinghe who rushed to the scene was instructed to report to the nearest police station. While Mr. Subasinghe was enroute to the station, he was pulled over by a gang of UPFA supporters and attacked. Mr. Subasinghe and three of his supporters sustained injuries. They were all admitted to the hospital with injuries.  The JVP has alleged that the attackers were supporters of Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s brother, Chaminda Sirisena, a UPFA provincial council candidate for the North Central Province. This incident, which occurred at around 4.45 p.m, was reported to CMEV by the JVP.

Two children hurt in attack on UNP candidate
A vehicle belonging to UNP provincial candidate G.P.K Kumara Nelson was stoned near the Bandiweva Maha Vidyalaya (Polling Station 71), Jayanthipura, Polonnaruwa Electorate, Polomaruwa District. Two children who were by the road side were injured during the course of the attack and were admitted to the Polonnaruwa hospital. They alleged that UPFA persons had stoned the vehicle.

Election monitor assaulted in Kegalle
A monitor connected to the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) was assaulted by supporters of UPFA Chief Ministerial candidate Mahipala Herath near the Walpola Junior School (No. 15) in Rambukkana. The mob had used a T- 56 rifle to carry out their attack. The victim, Sampath Kumara, was admitted to the Kegalle Hospital.

Threat and intimidation of candidates, polling agents and supporters
Prabath Weerawansa, son of the UPFA former minister G. Weerawansa, had threatened to kill National People’s Party Polling Agent Senaka Chandana at the Polling Station at the Olambawa Community Hall (Polling Station 13), in the Kekirawa Electorate, in the Anuradhapura District. At the same Polling Station, Prabath Weerawansa and his supporters had also damaged the vehicle of Priyaranjana Rathnayake, a National People’s Party candidate.

In Wiyeyaramaya Polling Station (Polling Station 11) in Kalaweva Electorate, Anuradhapura District, a UPFA Rajangana Pradeshiya Sabha representative D.M. Wimarshana Prabath Vithana threatened a UNP supporter named P. Sampath Rajindra.

Voter intimidation
Two separate incidents of voter intimidation were reported from Wee-Oya Junior School (Polling Station 29) and Malalpola Maha Vidyalaya (Polling Station 18 ) both in the Yatiyantota Electorate, Kegalle District. In both incidents unidentified persons who drove in Defender Jeeps had shot into the air. CMEV was informed by the Senior Presiding Officers in both stations that they had not witnessed the incidents but had heard gunshots. CMEV was informed that other Polling Officers had witnessed the incidents. It was also reported that police officers were witnesses to the incident but had not taken any action.

A JVP supporter reported to the CMEV an incident at the Aralaganwila Ruhunagama Veeralanda Junior School (Polling Station 7), in Polonnaruwa Electorate, where UPFA supporters threatened JVP supporters.

In R/Udugala Vidyalaya (Polling Station 17) and R/Pimbura Vidyalaya (Polling Station 19) in the Kalawana Electorate in the Ratnapura District, UPFA candidate Lambert Bandara and his supporters threatened and intimidated voters.

Voter Impersonation
It was reported that 12 persons attempted to cast their votes at 9.40 a.m. at the A/Heambawewa Junior Secondary School (Polling Station 29), Anurdhapura West Electorate, Anurdhapura District using false identification.

At Sumanagala Vidyalaya (Polling Station 28 ) in the Anuradhapure West Electorate, a farmer named R.M Ratnayake was not allowed to vote as the SPO informed him that his vote had already been cast.  He was told that his vote had been cast via a postal vote by an army officer of the same name. The application to file this vote was requested by Maj. Gen. M.J.K Jayapriya, commander of the Kavachikkuda army camp.

Voter transportation in Mihintale

UNP provincial council candidate H.M Prasanna Sugath Herath transported voters to the A/Ganthiriyagama Maha Vidyalaya (Polling station 42), in the Mihintale Electorate, Anurdhapura District. He used a white Tipper vehicle bearing license plate number 48-5961 for this purpose.

Damage to property

Supporters of Chief Minister candidate of UPFA in Sabaragamuwa Province, Maheepala Herath who had arrived in seven vehicles and attacked a cab bearing the number plate 56-2218 belonging to the JVP in front of the in Pinnawala Central College (Polling Station  27), Rambukkana, Kegalle District.

Inability to vote due to lack of proper documentation

CMEV has reported that a number of voters both in the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces were deprived of their right to vote because of the lack of appropriate identity documents. CMEV spoke to the National Organiser of the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), Mr. Yogarajan who stated that out of approximate 95,000 Upcountry Tamils who are registered voters in the Sabaragamuwa Province 10% were unable to cast their vote because of this. CMEV has also received reports from its monitors and political parties of other incidents of this nature, suggesting that the overall figure in both provinces of those who were effectively disenfranchised could be high. As at the close of polls, CMEV had received reports of over 570 persons being so deprived in the areas of Dedigama, Deraniyagala, Eheliyagoda, Kegalle, Kolonna, Mawanella, Rambukkana, Ruwanwella and Yatiyantota in the Sabaragamuwa Province and Anuradhapura West, Horowapathana, Kekirawa, Medawachchiya, Polonnaruwa in the NCP.

According to a notice issued by the Election Commissioner on 16th July 2008, eight forms of identification were listed as accepted documentation for voting. A clear procedure was set out in the above notice which provides alternatives for those who lack any of the eight forms of identification.

Some of the incidents encountered were:

Sabaragamuwa

The majority of incidents reported to CMEV regarding the lack of proper documentation were made in the Kegalle District. In the Kegalle Electorate at the Hettimulla Bandaranaike M.V, 40 persons were not allowed to cast their votes as the SPO did not recognize the identification presented by the voters, which was authorized by the Grama Sevaka. A similar incident has been reported in the Ambuwangala Junior School (Polling Station  44) Rambukkana Electorate, Kegalle District.  10 persons were denied permission to vote in this instance. As the SPO was unable to recognize their IDs as valid, 15 persons were turned away from the Polling Station at the Hinguralakanda Maha Vidyalaya (Polling Station 36) in the Deraniyagala Electorate, Kegalle District. At Deewala Maha Vidyalala, Hall number 1 and 2 (Polling Stations 6 and 7) in the Kegalle Electorate, 36 voters were turned away due to ID issues. In the Kegalle District, in the Mawanella Electorate, 20 voters were turned away from Udamakadawara Junior School Hall Number 1 (Polling Station 20) as the SPO was unable to verify their identification. In two different polling stations in the Ruvanwella Electorate, Kegalle District voters were turned away. Also in the Ruvanwella Electorate, the Anguruwella Pre School (Polling Station 33) 3 persons were turned back at 7 45 am and at the Gonagala North Kanishta Vidyalala (Polling Station 24), 5 persons were turned back at 8 am.

CMEV received reports of differing standards being used in neighbouring polling stations. For example, there were reports of persons being able to vote without the requisite documentation in the Garagoda Muslim Vidayalaya (No 10) in Yatiyantota Electorate, Kegalle District. In contrast, persons were not allowed to vote in the nearby Panawatta Tamil Vidyalaya (No12) due to the lack of proper documentation.

CMEV monitors also received complaints from the Rathnapura Districts. In the Eheliyagoda Electorate of Ratnapura District at the Minnawa Sri Muchalindaramaya Polling Station (Polling Station 07), a large number of persons were turned away from the Polling booth due to the lack of National Identity cards.

North Central Province

There were a few incidents of voters not being allowed to vote in the North Central Province, particularly from Anurdhapura District. In the Anuradhapura Morahewa Vidyalaya (Polling Station 10), Horowpothana Electorate, Anuradhapura District, between 7:00am to 1:20 pm, CMEV monitor reported that about 100 voters were sent back by the SPO because they did not have a proper ID card and thus were unable to vote. In the Adampane Sudharshana Maha Vidyalaya (Polling Station 04), Anurahapura West Electorate, four voters had turned up without any of the eight forms of identification, but with the Grama Seveka certification. The Senior Presiding Office did not, however permit them to vote. Five persons have turned up without Identity Cards but with GS certification to vote at the Maha Bulankualama Vidyalaya Polling Station (Polling Station 54), Anuradhapura West Electorate, Anuradhapura District but the Senior Presiding Officer has not permitted them to vote. Eight persons were not allowed to cast their votes because the Senior Presiding Officer has refused them permission to vote because the IDs that they presented were a form of identification authorized only by the Grama Sevaka. This incident occurred in at the Anuradhapura Maha Bulankulama Vidyalaya (Polling Station 54), Anurdhapura West at 9.10am. Approximately 25 voters were sent back between 7:00am and 1:50pm,by the Senior Polling Officer at the Anuradhapura Moragahadigiliya Viduhala (Polling Station 07), Horowpothana Electorate, Anuradhapura District reportedly due lack of identity cards.

In Yodhaela Maha Vidayalaya (Polling Station 50) in Minneriya, Polonnaruwa District the JVP complained that persons were able to vote with a document attested by the GS. At the Yodhaela Maha Vidyalaya Polling station, Mineriya Electorate, Polannaruwa District, voters were allowed to use a letter issued by the GS as formal identification. However, at polling stations in some of the other polling stations, the Senior Polling Officers refused to recognize such a letter.

Continuation of campaigning on Election Day

In the Ruwanwella Electorate, Kegalle District, Kananthota Suleimaniya Muslim Vidyalaya (No.38)at 9 .05 am, supporters of Nihal Farook (UNP) had been seen  near the polling station  telling voters to vote for Nihal Farook.

A large numbers of leaflets and posters of UPFA Chief Minister Candidate Mahipala Herath were distributed at Polling stations Kalugala Rural Development Society Hall (Polling Station 1), Puwakdeniya Junior School (Polling Station 3), Beragala Junior School (Polling Station 22) and Paragammana Dharamapala Junior School (Polling Station 26) in the Kegalle Electorate, Kegalle District.

Supporters of UPFA Chief Minister candidate Bertie Premalal Dissanayake and UPFA candidate Udaya Nalin Wijeyaratne were seen distributing small cards bearing their names and candidate numbers to voters. This incident occurred around 10am within 200 metres of the Kidavarampulam Vidyalaya (Polling Station 50), in Madawachchiya in the Anuradhapura District.

The leaflets bearing the details of candidate no. 22, Dushmantha Mithrapala of UPFA, have been spotted near the polling station in Deraniyagala Junior School (Polling Station 22) in Deraniyagala Electorate, Kegalle District.

Distribution of election related materials

In the Pollonaruwa District, at the Sarvodaya District Center (Polling Station 83), in New Town Pollonnaruwa, UPFA candidate Peshala Jayaratne’s supporters distributed election related materials using a trishaw bearing number plate QC- 8870.

Restriction of access to the Polling Station

In the Dereniyagla Electorate of Kegelle District, Sabaragamuwa Province, near the Basnagala Polling Station (Polling Station 04), obstruction of road access to the polling station had been engineered by cutting and placing of two trees on the road.

Monitor obstructed from entry

A CMEV stationary monitor was denied entry into a polling station by the SPO at A/Ganthiriyagama Maha Vidyalaya (Polling Station 42), Mihinthale Electorate, Anuradhapura District. After speaking with the police, and a further delay of 15 minutes, the monitor was allowed inside.

CMEV monitor reprimanded by SPO

In the Anuradhapura East Electorate, at the D.S. Senanayake School (Polling Station 39), the CMEV stationary monitor was reprimanded by the SPO. The polling officer had also refused to sign the CMEV personnel’s monitoring sheet.

UPFA complains of bias

CMEV has received a complaint from the UPFA that at the Kadawathmaduwa Dharmapala Junior School (Polling Station 63), Polonnaruwa Electorate, that the SPO and his staff were biased toward the UNP supporters.

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UVINDU KURUKULASURIYA (CO-CONVENOR)

North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections – 23rd August 2008 18.30 hrs – Media Communiqué No 6

CMEV

North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections

23rd August 2008 – Media Communiqué No. 6

On Election Day CMEV has received 42 complaints of election related violence of which 27 have been classified as major incidents. These include seizing of polling cards, threat and intimidation of voters, shootings near polling centers, chasing away of polling agents, assault and threats to election monitors and party supporters.

Of particular concern are reports that a number of voters both in the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces were deprived of their right to vote because of the lack of appropriate identity documents. CMEV spoke to the National Organiser of the the CWC, Mr. Yogarajan who stated that out of approximate 95,000 Upcountry Tamils who are registered voters in the Sabaragamuwa Province 10% were unable to cast their vote because of this. CMEV has also received reports from its monitors and political parties of other incidents of this nature, suggesting that the overall figure in both provinces of those who were effectively disenfranchised could be high. As at the close of polls, CMEV had received reports of over 570 persons being so deprived in the areas of Dedigama, Deraniyagala, Eheliyagoda, Kegalle, Kolonna, Mawanella, Rambukkana, Ruwanwella and Yatiyantota in the Sabaragamuwa Province and Anuradhapura West, Horowapathana, Kekirawa, Medawachchiya, Polonnaruwa in the NCP.

According to a notice issued by the Election Commissioner on 16th July 2008, eight forms of identification were listed as accepted documentation for voting. A clear procedure was set out in the above notice which provides alternatives for those who lack any of the eight forms of identification.

Whilst CMEV has supported the use of national ID cards as mandatory for the purpose of voter identification, it has always maintained that this should not be implemented to the detriment of any voters. Whilst we recognize that interim measures were devised and publicized, the scale of effective disenfranchisement clearly demonstrate the need for more proactive dissemination of information amongst citizens and effective communication of these procedural requirements to the relevant government officials.

We therefore call upon the Election Commissioner to conduct an independent investigation in to what has transpired at these elections and to take all necessary steps to ensure that officials are aware of these requirements in the event that they have to be resorted to in the future. It is imperative that officials found responsible for what is clearly a violation of a fundamental right are held to account. We also strongly urge the authorities to expedite the issue of outstanding ID cards.

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UVINDU KURUKULASURIYA (CO-CONVENOR)

North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections – 23rd August 2008 09.30hrs – Media Communiqué No 5

CMEV

North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections

23rd August 2008 – Media Communiqué No. 5

CMEV monitors report tension on the ground in certain polling divisions in the two provinces.  Of particular concern are reports from monitors identifying government ministers engaging in voter intimidation.  CMEV condemns the involvement of Ministers in violation of the Elections law and calls upon the government to act immediately to stop this.

CMEV monitors report that the brother of UNP member Upul Bandara and a person named Roshan, have been assaulted by a group of people led by Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. The Minister and his retinue are currently in the vicinity of the Zahira College polling station (No.33 and 34) in the Mawanela electorate, Kegalle district, threatening and intimidating UNP voters. CMEV monitors further report that they are traveling in six vehicles, none of which have license plates.

In the Balangoda electorate of Sabaragamuwa, at No. 13 Balangoda CC M.V (Tamil), it is alleged that Minister Jagath Pushpakumara and his supporters have snatched the polling cards of JVP supporters. They are also allegedly threatening voters arriving at the polling station. This was reported to CMEV by its mobile team in Balangoda.

In the Polonnaruwa electorate, at the Nuwaragala Pihitigala polling station (No. 10), the chairman of the Dehiyattiyakanda Pradeshiya Sabha and Upali Rajakaruna representative of the Dimbulagala PS have been seen travelling around the town area intimidating UNP supporters and preventing them from voting.  Mr. Henrik Appuhamy, a former UNP PS representative, reported this to CMEV.

There are a number of other major incidents, which militate against the conduct of a free and fair election.

Inability to prove identity
It was reported to CMEV that 10 persons who came to vote have been sent away by the SPO of A/ Sinhala Kakulbendidigiliya (No.2) in Horowpathana electorate of Anuradhapura district at about 9.00am, because they could not prove their identity. These persons did not even have temporary identification documents.

In the Anuradhapura West electorate, at polling station number 04 Adampanai Sudharsha M.V, four persons have been prevented from exercising their franchise as the SPO refused to recognise their identity cards.

Fraudulent Voting

One incident of fraudulent voting is reported from Polonnaruwa electorate from R.K. Indrananda, the Group Leader of JVP in Polonnaruwa. A person named K. P. Kumarasiri has allegedly voted in two Polling Stations namely, Dharma Wijayarama Polling Station (No. 33) and Girithale Junior School (No.35).

Chasing away of voters

Mr. Thushara Karunaratne of JVP reported to CMEV monitor that the supporters of Mangala Master of UPFA, armed with guns, chased away the people who came to vote at about 0630 to  Palliyagodella Muslim Junior School (No.33) in Polonnaruwa.

Opposition Polling Agents chased away from Horowpathana polling Station
At 7.40 am today, in Horowpathana, Anuradhapura district, UNP polling agents were chased away from the A/Mukkarawewa Vidyalaya Polling Station (No.06) by the Horowpathan Pradeshiya Sabha chairman, A.R.M Hussein.  The incident was reported to CMEV by UNP leader P. Saheel.

Campaigning continues in Nadola although polling has begun
Posters bearing the numbers of two UPFA candidates were spotted within 500 metres of the Nadolakanda Vidyalaya (No 71) polling station, in the Ratnapura district. The two candidates concerned are UPFA candidates Ravindra Ranaveeraarachchi and Vijitha Punchihewa.

Posters and hoardings still displayed in Ratnapura
A similar incident has been reported nearby the Seevali Counting Centre in Ratnapura town where posters and hoardings of candidates from all parties are still seen prominently displayed.

In the Minneriya Electorate of Polonnaruwa, NC Prov, near Bakamuma Mahasen Central Collage, Lionel Samarasekara of JVP complained about the display of UPFA election posters and materials continuing on Election Day.

Field reports indicate that the supporters of Mr. Imitias Cader, candidate No.05 of UPFA were travelling around the polling station Beragala Junior School in Kegalle, in a white Caravan bearing the no. 52- 1995, pasting posters, at about 7.00 am.

CMEV monitor Herath reports that there were campaign leaflets of Mr. Maheepala Herath, the UPFA Chief Minister candidate to be seen around the polling station – Elengipitiya Junior School  in Aranayake at about 7.40 am.
CMEV draws attention to the above violations of election law.  The continuation of campaigning beyond midnight, August 20th is contrary to clause 70 of the PC Elections Act no 2 of 1988.  The use of violence and the abuse of state resources is a serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process.  CMEV calls on the authorities to call a halt to this, even at this late stage in the current electoral process.

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UVINDU KURUKULASURIYA (CO-CONVENOR)

North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections 22nd August 2008 – Media Communiqué No 4

North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections
22nd  August 2008 – Media Communiqué No 4

Prior to the commencement of polling on August 23rd, 2008, CMEV reports a tense situation prevailing in many areas in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces.

August 20, 2008
It has been alleged by the JVP that two vehicles, one belonging to the Presidential Secretariat and the other belonging to UPFA candidate Udayakantha Gunathileke, were seen carrying what seemed to be polling cards in Nelumdeniya area of the Dedigama electorate, Kegalle. Although the police had checked on this, “they have taken no action to date” said Mr. Mahinda Jayasinghe. CMEV received this complaint on the evening of August 22nd, 2008.

BREACH OF ELECTION LAWS
August 21, 2008

It was reported to the CMEV by the JVP team leader Mahinda Jayasinghe that he had complaint to Kegalle police that in the residence of Vijitha Yapa, of 72, Albert Seneviratne Mawatha in Kegalle, arms, weapons and fraudulent ballot papers were observed. It was stated that the presences of these papers were reported to the police by the JVP Kegalle District parliamentarian Anurudhdha Polgampola. The police had subsequently removed these items from the house.  It was further reported that in the areas of Rambukkana, Kegalle, Deraniyagala and Dedigama of the Sambaragamuwa Province, unofficial ballot papers have been distributed by alleged UPFA supporters. This incident also was reported to CMEV by the JVP team leader Mahinda Jayasinghe. When CMEV contacted Kegalle police regarding this incident they were informed that when the police arrived at the residence of Albert Seneviratne no such weapons and fraudulent ballot papers were found.

MISUSE OF STATE RESOURCES
August 22, 2008

It has been alleged that at about 2.00 am, 10 ballot boxes were transported to the offices of the former Chief Minister of the North Central Province and now UPFA candidate, Bertie Premalal Dissanayake. It has been alleged that he is continuing to use these premises for election campaigning. This complaint was made by UNP election candidate Major General Janaka Perera. He is reported to have also informed The Returning Officer- Anuradhapura, Deputy Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya and the Election Commissioner at the Election Secretariat in Rajagiriya. CMEV was unable to reach Assistant Election Commissioner Anuradhapura Saman Bandula Gunasena in order to verify this report.
In the Ruwanwella electorate, Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Athauda Seneviratne and his son, Parakrama Athauda was seen using double cabs belonging to the Ministry for campaigning purposes. The vehicle numbers were:  GJ-5818, a red colored cab and 57- 6598, an ash colored cab.

According to the CMEV Monitor, Dushmanthya Mithrapala, a UPFA candidate for the Sabaragamuwa province was also seen using a cab belonging to the same Ministry. The number of the vehicle was WPGA- 8170. This particular vehicle was observed been used for election campaign purposes in the area of Bulathkohupitiya in the Yatiyanthota electorate.

At around 10.30 am, a vehicle belonging to UNP candidate Hasitha Samantha was alleged to have been damaged by members of the UPFA, who had arrived at the scene in two white HI-ACE vans, the two occupants of the UNP vehicle were on route to Rakwana town when their vehicle was supposed to have been blocked at Kalubangalawa. Both persons sustained minor injuries and were admitted to the Rakwana Hospital. The UPFA supporters who carried out the alleged attack were also injured and were then admitted to the Kahawatte Hospital. He was concerned about the fact that the police had taken his vehicle into custody, whereas the vehicle belonging to the governing party was released. He also claimed that shots were fired into the air during the “attack”. He further stated that hundreds of people who have not been seen before in Ratnapura district have amassed in various areas close to the town area. He fears that such unscrupulous persons may be used to intimidate citizens and impersonate voters at tomorrow’s elections.

In accordance with election regulations, the police in the Ratnapura town area were observed to be systematically tearing down any and all election related material including posters, banners and hoardings. Supporters of the JVP, meanwhile, continue to put up campaign posters even now, according to CMEV monitors. Supporters from all political parties have been seen riding around town on bicycles distributing leaflets bearing photographs and candidate numbers.  These leaflets have been dropped in front of polling stations and bus stands.

According to an eyewitness, Cyril Gamage, a Pradeshiya Sabha MP of UPFA from Kekirawa threw a burning stick at a local food outlet in the Madaatugama bazaar. This particular establishment was made out of cadjan and therefore was completely guttered in the fire. This incident occurred approximately at 1.30 this morning. The police investigation is ongoing.

The CMEV would like to draw attention the fact in the above instances that election law has been violated. Namely continuous campaigning when the campaigning period should have ceased by the 20th midnight, which is contrary to clause 70 of the PC Elections Act no 2 of 1988 and the misuse of state resources and also creates an imbalanced playing field where the governing party has access to more resources than the other political parties and independent groups.

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA (CO-CONVENOR)

MR. UVINDU KURUKULASURIYA (CO-CONVENOR)

CMEV Bulletin of 10th May 2008 – 3rd Release

 

Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence

Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008

10th May 2008 – 2030 hrs – Media Communiqué 3


CMEV has recorded 64 incidents of violence as at 6 pm today, 10 May.  Of these, 48 have been classified as Major Offences and 16 as Minor. The majority of the Major Offences – 28 -were committed in the Batticaloa District followed by Ampara (12) and Trincomalee (08). 

 

Of the Major Offences, systematic impersonation was the most widespread with a particular concentration in the Batticaloa District where 15 of the 22 such incidents occurred.

 

Areas of serious concern in respect of violence and malpractice in the province are Valaichchenai and Kathankudy in the Batticaloa District, the Pottuvil Polling Division in the Ampara District and Thiriyai in the Trincomalee District.

 

CMEV calls upon the Election Commissioner to order a re-poll in these areas.

 

 

AMPARA DISTRICT

 

VOTER IMPERSONATION AND ELECTION MALPRACTICE IN ALAYADIVEMBU AND THIRUKKOVIL IN THE POTTUVIL POLLING DIVISION

CMEV monitors observed a number of incidents of electoral malpractices and of voter impersonation in particular, in thirteen (13) Polling Stations in the Pottuvil Polling Division  Monitors observed children who looked as young as 13-15 years of age casting votes. They also observed that there was no proper procedure for the identification of voters, no designated officer to check the Identity Cards of voters and that only TMVP Polling Agents were present in these Polling Stations.

 

The Polling Stations in the Pottuvil Polling Division are :

 

42  Koraikalapu Shakthi Vidyalaya, Vinayagapuram

48 AK/Kalliyanthivu Wadivel Vidyalaya, Kalliyanthivu

49 World Vission Pre School, Thirukkovil 4

50 AK/Kanchirankuda Govt. Tamil Mixed School, Thirukkovil 4

51 AK/Thambiluvil Kalaimagal Vidyalaya, Thambiluvil (Hall No. 01)

52 AK/Thambiluvil Central College, Thambiluvil

53 AK/Thambiluvil Kalaimagal Vidyalaya, Thambiluvil (Hall No. 02)

54 AK/Thambiluvil Saraswathy Vidyalaya, Thambiluvil

70 AK/Alayadivembu Thirunavukarasu Vidyalaya, Alayadivembu

71 AK/Akkaraipattu Sri Ramakrishna Central College, Akkaraipattu Hall No.01

72 AK/Akkaraipattu Sri Ramakrishna Central College, Akkaraipattu Hall No.02

73 AK/Akkaraipattu Ramakrishna Mission School, Akkaraipattu

74 AK/Akkaraipattu As-Sipaya Vidyalaya, Jamath Alim Nagar

 

ASSAULT AND SNATCHING OF ID CARDS FROM VOTERS

UNP supporters claimed that they were assaulted and their national ID Cards snatched in close proximity to Galode Vidyalaya (Polling Station 51) and Miriswatte Vidyalaya (Polling Station 45) this morning. The Padiyathalaawa Police when contacted by CMEV, confirmed that they had received a complaint from the UNP supporters. The Police said they would reinvestigate and have summoned the complainants for this purpose. 

 

INTIMIDATION

 

CMEV monitors reported that at 3.20 pm, a number of vehicles including jeeps and pick-ups were observed moving around Ampara Town. Some of these vehicles did not have license plates and in some of them, there were individuals dressed in civilian clothes carrying arms.
  

 

BATTICALOA DISTRICT

IMPERSONATION IN KATHANKUDY

CMEV was informed of alleged voter impersonation taking place at Polling Station 112 BT Japiathul Arabic Collage, Kattankudy, Batticaloa Polling Division at around noon. Farook Majeed Deputy Chairman, SLMC reported that a group of people standing in front of the Polling Station were distributing false ID cards to voters who were then being sent in to vote. The group continued to stay nearby, even up to midday.

 

Grama Sevaka Mr Mohamed Jaroof complained that he was threatened by UPFA supporters following an attempted impersonation of a voter. The Senior Polling Officer in Polling Station 114 Meera Balika Maha Vidyalaya reportedly called and inquired into the validity of a certified identity card (a replacement for the national ID) from the GS as the details on the card did not tally with the voting list. The GS denied that he had issued the certified National Identity Card. This had reportedly led to the GS being intimidated by UPFA supporters.

 

ASSAULT OF POLLING AGENT

An UNP Polling Agent, M. Siyath, was assaulted allegedly by supporters of M.L.A. Hisbullah outside the Polling Station 110 Hiluriya Vidyalaya, Kattankudy at 10 a.m this morning.

 

INTIMIDATION AT POLLING STATION IN KALKUDA

In Polling Station 24 and 25 BT Murakkoddanchenai Ramakrishna Mission Tamil Mixed School, Kalkuda Polling Division unidentified individuals in civilian clothing were observed obtaining information from Police Officers and making inquiries as to how many people had voted. The Police Officers were observed as having passing on this information. 

 

TRINCOMALEE DISTRICT

 

BALLOT STUFFING IN THIRIYAI

An eye witness, who refuses to be named for reasons of his personal security, informed CMEV monitors of incidents of ballot stuffing in Polling Stations in Thiriyai – namely. Thiriyai  M.V. Hall 2 (B 86), Thiriyai MV Hall 3 (B 87) and Al –Nooriya MV Hall 2 (B 83).  He claims that by 7am this morning people transported in a bus and several vans entered the Polling Stations and stuffed the ballot boxes.  In Polling Station, Thiriyai MV Hall 1 ( B84) the SPO and Police resisted and prevented ballot stuffing.

 

VOTER IMPERSONATION IN TRINCOMALEE

In the Trincomalee Polling Division, as reported to the Trincomalee Police and confirmed by CMEV monitors, unidentified persons, arriving in a Dolphin van 51-4198, an Intercooler 64-9347 and an Indian Jeep bearing the number WP HH 7288, had assaulted UNP MP Sarath Chandra Rajakaruna and his team and forcibly taken their camera. The incident  took place at around 11.30 a.m. When contacted by CMEV, the Trincomalee Police Station stated that they could not confirm this incident.  

 

VOTER IMPERSONATION IN KINNIYA

At 11am, CMEV monitors observed attempted voter impersonation at Polling Station 90 Naduoooththu Government Muslim School, Kinniya. Persons attempting to vote had to be turned away as their NICs did not tally with the Voter list. The area around the Polling Station was noted to be tense.

 

 

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 non-partisan organization to monitor the incidence of election related violence. It is currently constituted by CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

                                                                     

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU               MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA               MS. SEETHA RANJANI      

CO – CONVENOR                                                      CO – CONVENOR                                          CO – CONVENOR

 

Click here to download PDF Version

CMEV Bulletin of 10th May 2008 – 2nd Release

 

Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence

Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008

10th May 2008 – 1430 hrs – Media Communiqué 2

 

CMEV has received 25 complaints of election related violence, today 10 May 2008, polling day in the Eastern Provincial Council Election.  Of these, eighteen (18 ) fall into the category of Major Offences. The offences in the latter category include Murder, Attempted Murder, Assault, Threat and Intimidation, Impersonation and Ballot Stuffing.  Of the Major Offences, 13 were reported from Batticaloa, 03 from Ampara and 02 from Trincomalee.

CMEV is concerned that the fears expressed by political parties and monitors regarding an upsurge of violence and malpractice on polling day are being confirmed by accounts of systematic impersonation, ballot stuffing, the chasing way of Polling Agents and the intimidatory presence of armed groups in the vicinity of Polling Stations.  The nature and extent of the violence is such that we call upon the Elections Commissioner to annul the poll in Polling Stations identified below. The context of violence in which this election is taking place has also been reinforced by the sinking of a Sri Lanka Navy logistics vessel inside the Ashraff jetty in the Trincomalee Harbour this morning.  This has been attributed to the LTTE. 

CMEV calls upon all political parties and armed actors to desist from violence and malpractice which endangers human security and the integrity of the electoral process.

AMPARA DISTRICT

SYSTEMATIC IMPERSONATION IN THAMBUVIL, TIRUKOVIL
TMVP supporters at Polling Station 52, AK/Thambiluvil Central Collage were seen removing voter ink from their fingers and returning to vote repeatedly with new Polling cards at around 9.15 a.m. The TMVP office is located right next to the Polling Station. A CMEV monitor reported that there are no Polling Agents of the other political parties inside the Polling Station. A PAFFREL monitor and a Police Officer were present at the Polling Station.  It is also reported that a TMVP supporter was seen in front of the Polling Station carrying a T-56 Weapon. CMEV Colombo office reported this to the SSP Ampara who was unaware of this and said he would investigate.

In 51 AK Thambiluvil Kaleimagal Vidyalaya, Thambiluvil, TMVP members were observed distributing Polling Cards at the entrance to the Polling Station and impersonating voters.  Here too, no Polling Agents from other parties were present in the Polling Station and the Voters List given by the Gramasevaka has reportedly, not been updated.  The distribution of Polling Cards and voter impersonation was observed by CMEV monitors from 10am this morning. When contacted by CMEV, TMVP Ampara Office (0773 971201) stated that no such incident had taken place and that if anyone has lodged such a complaint that the TMVP would investigate it. 

Given the systematic impersonation of voters, CMEV calls for the voting in Polling Stations 51 and 52 to be annulled.

MORTAR ATTACK CLOSE TO POLLING STATIONS
Two Polling Stations – Sri Sudharashanaramaya 2 – C Village and Pannalagama Vidyalaya, Pannalagama, came under mortar attack at approximately 7am this morning. The mortar fell on houses close to the Polling Station. Four people sustained injuries including three women and a child who was grievously hurt. It has been reported in the media that the mortar attack was carried out by the LTTE. The Polling Stations were subsequently re-opened. The police is carrying out investigations. 

Given the violent disruption of the poll that has occurred, CMEV calls upon the Commissioner of Elections to order a re -poll in that Station.

INTIMIDATION AT DEHIATTAKANDIYA
The CMEV monitor in Dehiaththakandiya observed three vehicles (WP KD – 3784 Maruti Alto, 32-3381 Pajero, JF – 3114 Double Cab) in the vicinity of Wevumedagama and Diyawiddagama this morning. CMEV monitors also reported that two people in these vehicles were bearing arms and that they stopped a Land Master tractor carrying voters and snatched their Polling Cards. These voters reported the incident to the CMEV monitor.

Police Officers headed by S.P Samarasinghe and accompanied by STF personnel have arrested the group of armed people traveling in the three vehicles and informed CMEV of the action they had taken. Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara who came to the Police Station claimed that the arrested persons with arms were in his security detail and that he was traveling with them when the reported incident took place. He claimed that the people in the tractor ran away when his vehicle stopped by them, and denies taking their Polling Cards. The Police have released the individuals. No complaints or statements have been recorded.

BATTICALOA

IMPERSONATION IN VALACHCHENAI
CMEV monitors report that voting in Polling Station numbers 58, 59, 60, 68, 69, 72, 73, 75 and 76 has been marred by systematic impersonation including the use of false ID cards and by violence and intimidatory presence in the vicinity of the Polling Stations. CMEV calls upon the Commissioner to order a re -poll in these Polling Stations.

ASSAULT OF PARTY MEMBERS
Two cadres from the EPDP, Siva and Arasaratnam Kalamohan, were allegedly attacked by the organizer for TMVP in Arapattu, Shanthan (Sasi) and his cadres at 1.10 pm today. According to Navaratnam Navam of the EPDP Batticaloa Office, the TMVP were intimidating voters.   Batticaloa Hospital confirmed to CMEV that the two individuals had been admitted.    

OPPOSITION POLLING AGENTS DENIED ACCESS TO POLLING STATION KATHANKUDY
CMEV Monitors report that Polling Agents of Opposition Parties have been denied access to the Polling Stations by TMVP cadres from 7 a.m. this morning at Palamunai Aliyar Vidyalaya Hall No. 2, Kathankudy, Batticaloa.  There are further reports that because of violence by the TMVP against them, no Polling Agents from the other political parties are present in Polling Stations in the area.  CMEV calls upon the opposition political parties in particular, to urge the Commissioner to annul the poll in the area, on account of this.   

ASSAULT OF CANDIDATE IN KATTANKUDY
Farook Majeed of SLMC complained to CMEV that Mr. Mohammed Nilam Candidate No 10 of Independent Group was assaulted near the Polling Booth by alleged UPFA supporters when he was trying to enter the polling booth at 110 Hiluriya Vidyalaya Kattankudy 03  at 9 am. According to Majeed he was admitted to the Kattankudy Hospital. The hospital stated that there was no such case, but Mr. Majeed insists that he was injured, received treatment and left the hospital. No Police complaint has been made as of noon.

UNTOWARD INFLUENCE 
CMEV Monitors report that UNP and SLMC supporters were using the PA system of the Mosque near Mavadichchennai at 8 a.m. to dissuade voters from supporting  the UPFA. They are reported as saying that those who do will “Face Consequences” and that they, the SLMC and UNP supporters will not “guarantee the safety of such voters.” 

TRINCOMALEE

ASSAULT AND OBSTRUCTION OF VOTING
At Tiriyaya Maha Vidyalaya, Kuchchaveli a large group of people allegedly assaulted voters at 7 am. According SLMC Leader, Rauf Hakeem, the thugs were both inside and outside the Polling Station and that they were preventing people from casting their vote. He claimed that this continued and was on going, at 8.30 am. The OIC confirmed that people had been prevented from voting.

CMEV calls upon the Commissioner to order a re – poll in this Polling Station.

CMEV MONITORS NOT PERMITTED TO MONITOR POLLING IN PALATHOPPUR
CMEV monitors were not permitted to visit polling stations in Palathoppur and were detained at a check point at around 10.40 a.m. today. They were taken in for questioning to the Muttur Police Station and as of noon, they have been released and allowed to continue with their monitoring work.

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 non-partisan organization to monitor the incidence of election related violence. It is currently constituted by CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

                                                                     

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU               MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA               MS. SEETHA RANJANI      

CO – CONVENOR                                                      CO – CONVENOR                                          CO – CONVENOR

 

Click here to download PDF Version

CMEV Bulletin of 10th May 2008 -2.00 am – 1st Release

 

Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence

Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008

10th May 2008 – 2.00 am – Media Communiqué 1

 

Batticaloa District

Intimidation of voters in Padirippu
Armed TMVP cadres reportedly intimidated voters in a number of houses in Kaludawali Village, Padirippu, late evening. The TMVP cadres had taken the polling cards of the voters.

CMEV contacted Kalawanchikudi Police Station who informed us that a complaint had been made and that mobile teams were investigating the incident. PLOTE Leader Sidharthan confirmed that the TMVP cadres had been involved in taking polling cards from Kaludaweli Villagers last evening. 

Intimidation of SPO at Kalladi
A Senior Polling Officer from the Kalladi area informed CMEV that the TMVP had called him at midnight on the 8th and told him that no voters should be allowed into the polling station after twelve noon on polling day. 

Intimidation in Valaichennai
The occupants of seven houses have been subject to intimidation from around 6.30 pm last evening. The occupants of the houses in Ottamavadi (2 houses), Meeravodini (3 houses) and Valaichennai (2 houses) were reportedly SLMC supporters who were threatened by thugs.

One of the houses that was attacked in Ottamavadi belonged to Mr  S.M.L. Haniffa, former provincial council member. Mr Haniffa told CMEV  that the thugs came in a white van at 7.50 p.m. with a police constable seated in front who did not get down, They threatened the Haniffa family members and told them not to vote. They broke some of the  windows in the house. The thugs were dressed in black with black masks.

CMEV was also informed that Kalkuda F.M (96.1) is broadcasting propaganda for the UPFA. It is alleged that the radio operates from Minister Ameer Ali’s house. 

Minister Ameer Ali contacted CMEV to make a complaint about being threatened on the phone. He claimed that the phone number from which the call was made is 071 491 0458. When CMEV tried this number, the phone was not connected. Minister Ameer Ali also denied that he was involved in any of the violence and stated that the radio station stopped broadcasting on the 8th night. 

When contacted, the Valaichennai Police they said that there had been some minor incidents and complaints regarding the stoning of houses. Mobile Police teams had been directed to conduct investigations. Mr Haniffa, one of the victims who was threatened, informed CMEV that an A.S.P. had come to his house to conduct an inquiry. The OIC Valaichennai, I.P. Kodisinghe informed CMEV that the Police had requested the army to help maintain law and order.

Ampara District

Assault and Attack in Padiyatallawa
UNP supporter, Mr Dayaratne was attacked in his house in Kiriwana, Padiyatallawa last night and the windows of his house broken. He sustained injuries in the attack, but they are reported to not be of a serious nature. When contacted by CMEV, the Police in Padiyatallawa said that they have received a complaint and have visited the site of the incident. According to the Police, the victim claimed that he was unable to identify the assailants.

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 non-partisan organization to monitor the incidence of election related violence. It is currently constituted by CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

                                                                     

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU               MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA               MS. SEETHA RANJANI      

CO – CONVENOR                                                      CO – CONVENOR                                          CO – CONVENOR

 

Click here to download PDF Version

CMEV Bulletin of 9th May 2008 -2200hrs -1st Release

 

 

Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence

Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008

9th May 2008 – 2200 hrs – Media Communiqué 1

The major incidents of election violence reported to CMEV are highlighted below. Other complaints alleging the misuse of State resources, distribution of state benefits, intimidation of party workers and other civilians were also reported to CMEV.

Ampara District

Explosion in Ampara
An explosion took place at City Café, Main Street, Ampara Town at 5.40 pm this evening. CMEV was at the scene of the incident. The Ampara General Hospital told CMEV that 12 people have been killed in the blast and 30 have been injured, some seriously. The identity of perpetrators is unknown. Investigations are on going.

Assault and Intimidation in Dehiattakandiya
UNP Polling Agent and Branch Chairman of Dambunnaruwa party office, Dehiattakandiya, K.Amarasiriwardena was  assaulted by supporters of Minister Mervyn Silva on May 9 at approximately 11 a.m in the morning. One of the thugs allegedly stuffed posters into Amarasiriwardena’s mouth. Amarasiriwardena alleges that they came in eight vehicles and  that ‘Kudu Lal’was one of the thugs. 

A complaint was made by the UNP to the Dehiattakandiya Police. According to the UNP the police failed to take timely action. The UNP also claims that there have been other incidents of this nature where the police have failed to take action. The UNP organized a protest opposite the police station this afternoon.

When contacted by CMEV, the police stated that a complaint had been made and that  investigations  are on going.

UNP Branch Chairman, Linton Hewage  was assaulted by thugs at his house which was being used as the UNP office in Bakmeedeniya on May 8 at 6.30 p.m. The thugs reportedly came in three vehicles (NA – 8284, 252 – 7323, 57 – 7768). A complaint has been lodged with the Dehiattakandiya Police (CIB/192/62).

An office clerk of the Dehiattakandiya UNP Branch Office, Mr A.M. Abeyratne was assaulted by the thugs who came in the three vehicles listed above at about 3.30 pm today. A complaint has been lodged with the Dehiattakandiya Police (CIB/194/62).

Mr H. K. Ranjith (candidate number 16 of the Independent Group Number 11) was assaulted this afternoon by the thugs who came in the three vehicles referred to above at the Independent Party Office in Sandunpura. It was reported that office equipment was damaged.   

It was also reported that a gun was fired this afternoon near the Serupitiya Office of the UNP. The group which carried out the attack arrived in a Pajero number (SH – 5576). Media Coordinator of the UNP in Dehiattakandiya, Mr A.R.K. Bandara made the complaint to CMEV.   

CMEV also observed that UPFA candidates’ posters are still being displayed in Dehiattakandiya. Police informed CMEV that they would be removed tomorrow.

Batticaloa District

Arson in Kathankudy
Five houses owned by Usuf Lebbe Fatuma, Katch Umma, Siddique, Faleel and Iqbal in Kathankudi were set on fire between 4 a.m- 4.30 a.m on 9th May . The house owners are SLMC supporters. The attackers were  identified by Mr Farouk Majeed, Deputy Chairman of the SLMC as Amirali Durgam Moodil, M. Anwer and M. Hussain, UPFA supporters of candidate M. Hisbullah.  

A police complaint was lodged with the Kathankudi Police (E1B 249/35). Following the incident, the Kathankudy Police confirmed that three people were taken into custody.

Allegations against Minister Ameer Ali
CMEV monitors reported a clash between UPFA supporters of Minister Ameer Ali and UNP supporters in Oddamavadi this evening.  The clash was subsequently resolved by the intervention of the OIC Police of the area.  No one was injured in the clash.

CMEV spoke to the minister who denied any involvement in the violence.  Minister Ameer Ali also confirmed to CMEV that he had shut down the Kalkudah FM radio station which had  been  broadcasting from his son’s house.

Trincomalee District

Police Transfer
ASP of Mutur, Premasiri Nawagamuwa was transferred to Trincomalee Police Station on May 8 2008.  S.P Vaas Gunawardena has been appointed as a replacement.

Batticaloa District

Potential Misuse of State Resources
CMEV has reports of a number of CTB buses parked in front of the TMVP office in Batticaloa town. No one at the location could provide CMEV with an explanation for the presence of the buses at this location.

Suspension of Mobile Telephone Communication  
CMEV is gravely concerned by reports that mobile telecommunication access to and from the east will be suspended from tomorrow, polling day.  Were this to be the case, it would be an arbitrary restriction on the access and right to information of all citizens and of citizens in the east, in particular, on the day of their provincial polls.  Given that political parties and monitors have expressed their fears about the freeness and fairness of the provincial poll, such a restriction, if imposed, would only serve to reinforce these fears and undermine the credibility of the poll.

Accordingly, CMEV calls upon the Election Commissioner to take the speedy action necessary to ensure that such a violation of democratic rights does not take place.

 

                                                                     

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU               MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA               MS. SEETHA RANJANI      

CO – CONVENOR                                                      CO – CONVENOR                                          CO – CONVENOR

 

 

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CMEV Bulletin of 8th May 2008 – 1st Release

Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence

Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008

8th May 2008 – 16.30 – Media Communiqué 1

CMEV has been informed that journalists for the Associated Press were refused entry into Batticaloa town at the Valaichinnai military check point and they were also told that they had to leave the Eastern Province. They were informed that they needed permission from the Ministry of Defence to remain in the Eastern Province.  

CMEV was also informed that the requirement of Ministry of Defence permission to remain in the Eastern Province was confirmed to them by General Palitha Fernando at the Minstry of Defence. Subsequently they were informed that they could remain.

 

CMEV spoke to Gen Fernando who stated that there was no restriction on journalists with Department of Information accreditation entering the Eastern Province and that for reasons relating to their security, restrictions would only apply to foreign tourists and visitors entering the Eastern Province over the next three days.

 

CMEV calls upon the authorities to facilitate the fullest media coverage to accredited journalists to cover the Eastern Provincial Council election and to ensure that this is clearly communicated to authorities in the three districts of the Eastern Province.  We further call upon the Elections Commissioner and his officials to ensure this.

                                                                     

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU               MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA               MS. SEETHA RANJANI      

CO – CONVENOR                                                      CO – CONVENOR                                          CO – CONVENOR

 

Click here to download PDF Version

CMEV Bulletin of 7th May 2008 – 1st Release

 

Media Communiqué on Election-related Violence

Eastern Provincial Council Election – 2008

7th May 2008 – Media Communiqué 1

 

 

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) will be monitoring the Eastern Provincial Council Election on 10 May 2008.  CMEV is currently constituted by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) the Free Media Movement (FMM) and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre. Set up in 1997, CMEV has monitored every election since then.  It observed the elections to local government authorities in the Batticaloa District in April 2008.

CMEV will be deploying 330 stationary monitors within selected polling centres across the Eastern Province and an additional 49 Mobile Teams.

CMEV’s focus on election day as opposed to the entire campaign as well, has been  necessitated by financial constraints.  CMEV will issue reports on Election Day and a consolidated final report.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION
Colombo Office Telephone Numbers Fax Numbers
Ampara District 0115621886 0114714460
Baticaloa District 0112375263 0112375263           
Trincomalee District 0115621904 0112375239
Emergency 0112375012  

 

District Office Telephone Numbers
Ampara 0632223735               
Batticaloa 0602144140  
Trincomalee 0779081956  
     
District Coordinators
Ampara Mr.Lakshman Perera 0773158281
Batticaloa Mr. Satheek 0776623467
Trincomalee Mr Karunaratne 0779690356
     
Field Coordinators
Ampara Mr. Dissanayake 0716809730
Batticaloa Mr. Rasika Perera 0777312079
Trincomalee Mr. Udaya Kalupathirana 0773112628

 

                                                                                              

DR.PAIKIASOTHY SARAVANAMUTTU          MR. UDAYA KALUPATHIRANA        MS. SEETHA RANJANI          CO – CONVENOR                                                             CO – CONVENOR                                          CO – CONVENOR

Click here to download PDF Version

Launch of CMEV blog

CMEV

This blog will be updated soon with information gathered by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) leading up to and on the day of the elections in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka on 10th May 2008.

In addition to our incident reports, we hope to give live updates on maps and through Twitter, from which you can get them on your mobiles wherever you are in the world.