Parliamentary General Election 2015: Interim Report

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Profile of Major Incidents

At the end of the campaign on August 14th, 2015, CMEV received 810 complaints of which 143 were classified as Major.  Of the latter category, Murder was recorded at 04, Hurt at 05, Grievous Hurt at 03, Assaults at 46, Threat and Intimidation at 08, Misuse of State Resources at 47, Robbery at 01, Arson at 16, Abduction at 02, Damage to Property at 10 and an incident of Bribery. In 12 incidents the use of firearms was recorded. Of the latter, the UNP was identified as the alleged perpetrator in 03 incidents, the SLMC in 01 and in the rest, the alleged perpetrator has not been identified.

Of the Major Incidents, 07 occurred in the Batticaloa Polling Division, 05 in Mannar, 05 in Jaffna and 05 in Minuwangoda.  In the incidents where the perpetrator has been identified, the UPFA has been named in 49 incidents, the UNP in 38, ITAK in 08, EPDP in 06, the SLMC in 08 and the AITC in 01.


Four (04) Murders have marred the election campaign, which has otherwise recorded incidents of violence of a relatively low scale and intensity in comparison to the past.  As shown in the graph below the percentage proportion of Major Incidents of the total of those reported throughout the campaign is 17% as opposed to 45%, 56% and 54% in the 2010 Presidential and General Election campaigns and the 2015 Presidential Election campaign, respectively.


CMEV monitors have reported on the enabling political environment for campaigning and political discussion and about the space and freedom for action without interference on the part of the Election Commissioner and the Police. Both have acted to ensure adherence to the election laws, though there have been complaints about the lack of clarity and consistency with regard to implementation and in some cases the ad hoc nature of such.  CMEV notes too that the strict adherence to existing election laws in respect of posters, could in practice work to the disadvantage of first time candidates and those with less resources to resort to advertisements on the electronic media.  According to the Police, 790 suspects have been arrested with regard to election violence and violations of election laws. CMEV has details of 382 arrests as follows:

District No. of Arrested Persons Police Division No. of Arrested Persons
Colombo 40 Galle 33
Kaluthara 32 Matara 20
Gampaha 26 Hambantota 10
Mahanuwara 05 Monaragala 01
Matale 05 Badulla 31
Nuwaraeliya 08 Digamadulla 30
Ratnapura 18 Batticaloa 03
Kegalle 19 Trincomalee 08
Anuradapura 11 Jaffna 05
Polonnaruwa 20 Vanni 02
Kurunegala 21 Puttalam 34

*Kurunegala Police Division did not revealed information related to arrests

Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 08

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16th August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

16th August 2015 – Murder, Hiniduma Electorate, Neluwa, Galle District

It was reported to CMEV that a dead body was found at Lellwala, Neluwa area, Hiniduma electorate in the Galle District around 7.00 am on the 16th of August 2015. According to the report, the victim has been identified as Mr. Chandradasa Wickramasinghe, 63 years old, a UPFA supporter who maintained a party office in support of UPFA Gall District candidate Mr. Piyasena Gamage.

When contacted, Mr.Chandradasa’s brother Mr. Gunapala Wickramasinghe, informed CMEV that he cannot suspect anyone in this regard and further noted that the victim, a father of two did not have any enemies in his private life too.

CMEV contacted UPFA Galle District Candidate Mr. Piyasena Gamage who said that the victim was a key supporter and that he did not have any suspects at this point.

When contacted the Vice Chairman of Neluwa Pradeshiya Sabha, Mr. Piyarathna Gamage, he stated that it was difficult to comment on this incident and as to whether it is linked to the election.

However, the report further stated that a UNP party office is also located around 75 meters away from the place of the incident and it was revealed that the victim used to visit the said UNP party office regularly to play cards. When CMEV contacted Mr. Venura Gunawardane, a person at the said UNP party office, he informed CMEV that the victim Mr. Chandradasa has left around 9.30 pm on 15th August (yesterday).

A complaint has been lodged with the Neluwa Police Station, under CIB 352/13.When contacted the Neluwa Police Station, OIC Mr. Panawela (IP) informed that this incident is suspected to be the result of a personal conflict and not related to the election. However, he further stated that the magisterial investigation is underway and that a sharp tool used in this murder has been taken for further investigation to identify perpetrators.

15th August 2015 – Murder, Oddamavadi, Valachenai, Batticaloa District

An incident where Mr. Ameen, a UNP supporter has been shot dead by two unidentified persons on a motor bike at around 12.00 noon on 15th August 2015 at Savana Hajjiar Junction in Oddamavadi, Batticaloa was reported to CMEV. According to the report, the victim, Mr. Ameen, is said to be one of the main supporters of Batticaloa District UNP candidate Mr. Amir Ali.

Mr. Amir Ali, speaking to CMEV stated that this shooting can be considered as a continuation of the assault of the previous day (14th August 2015), in which UNP supporters were allegedly assaulted by SLMC supporters. Mr. Amir Ali further stated that he suspects the SLMC as the perpetrators of this murder and SLMC Batticaloa District Candidate Mr. Rialdeen in particular. CMEV has a video record of Mr. Amir Ali in relation to this allegation.

In the absence of the OIC, an officer of the Vallachenai Police Station confirmed this incident. The Police further stated that no suspect has so far been taken in to custody in this regard and that investigations are underway.

CMEV contacted Mr. Rialdeen, SLMC Candidate who categorically rejected these allegations against him and his party supporters.

Clarifications from Nimalka Fernando and Sudharshana Gunewardene

CMEV received the following from Ms Nimalka Fernando and Mr Sudharshana Gunawardene respectively, in response to the CMEV report of 7th August 2015. CMEV publishes them below:

The following is from Ms Nimalka Fernando

It is regrettable to note that a complaint has been logged in your website with my name
as Executive of INFORM (including Sudarshana’s) as violating election laws.

a) Before this complaint was keyed into your complaint list a verification should have been
made re the details. Verification was not made.
b) I am NOT an Executive of INFORM
c) I am NOT a monitor(not in any list) nor am I a member of the Election Monitoring Committee of MDL and is representing MDL  for General Election 2015 monitoring process. We have our own internal rules in MDL re these matters and regulations.

d) The complainant obviously has given you a biased report. I did participate in a meeting convened by the Jathika NGO Sammenalaya as a member of the Advisory Council appointed by the Prime Minister to explain to NGO representatives re the removal of circular issued by the MOD and assure them of `freedom of assembly and association’ as per ensured in our Constitution.
f) I have also informed the Election Commissioner I am involved in field work promoting Yahapalanaya and not to panic about me violating election laws.

The following is from Mr. Sudharshana Gunewardene

I am also writing this with regard to the report appeared in your website. I regret that my name has been mentioned in the report without making an effort to make a clarification from me, as I have violated the election law by speaking at a meeting organized by the UNP.

I support the facts mentioned in the letter sent to you by Dr. Nimalka Fernando with regard to the nature of the meeting.

I also state that I have participated in the above mentioned meeting in my capacity as a member of the advisory committee to the National NGO secretariat appointed by the hon. Prime Minister who is also the minister of policy planning and economic affairs.

I further state that this was not a meeting organized by UNP or any other political party.

I further state that I deny the allegation that I have addressed the above mentioned meeting, let alone criticizing Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse.

Therefore, I would like to kindly request you that you make a correction to that report by stating your report was incorrect. If you still stand by on your report then I request an inquiry be held on this regard which I am willing to take part.

Thank you.

Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 07

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10th August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Below is a summary of the major cases of election related violence reported to CMEV from the 6tt of August to the 8th of August 2015.

06th August 2015- Preventing Election Monitoring, Trincomalee.

CMEV field monitor in the Trincomalee district was prevented from carrying out election monitoring activities by the Assistant Returning Officer and another elections officer when attempting to monitor the postal voting at the 6th Wijayaba Army Camp in Trincomalee.

This incident took place at about 1.45 P.M. after the monitor presented credentials and received permission from the officer in charge of the polling station Mr. A.M.P.A Chandrasekara (Major). However, when attempting to commence monitoring, the monitor was prevented by the Election Department officers who demanded that he present his credentials again. Thereafter, the monitor was questioned as to what CMEV was and as to what right Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Co-Convenor of CMEV, had to authorize the monitoring activity, was demanded of him.

As the monitor was under duress at the station, he had chosen to leave the station and report to another polling station to monitor the postal voting.

06th August 2015-Use of Fire Arms, Rathnapura

It was reported to CMEV that an unidentified group has shot at the residence of UNP supporter Mr. Janaka Pushpakumara at around 12.00 A.M. Mr. Pushpakumara had immediately called the police emergency services who had responded to the location in Dammusawana in Ratnapura.

CMEV can confirm that a complaint has been lodged at the Ratnapura Police station under EIB 319/48 and that investigations have commenced.


07th August 2015- Election Offence, Trincomalee

It was reported to CMEV that a supporter of the TNA has been arrested while in possession of forged ballot papers at around 11.30 A.M. Mr. Yogaiah Prabhakaran, the accused was arrested by the Sampur Police station after a tip off was received by police intelligence services

Mr. Prabhakaran, was produced before the Muttur Magistrate courts under M.C 31721/15 and was released after paying a personal bail of Rs.100, 000.

07th Election Offence, Colombo

It was reported to CMEV that a discussion has been organized by the UNP at the Solis Hotel in Kotte from 10 A.M to 2.00 P.M at which members of election violence monitoring bodies have spoken in a biased manner in support of the UNP. Those who spoke have been identified as Ms. Nimalka Fernando, executive at INFORM, Mr. Sudarshana Gunwardhene executive at ‘Rights Now Collective for Democracy’ and two other entities involved in monitoring election violence.

Those speaking at the event had criticized former president, Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse.

07th August 2015- Assault in Colombo

Colombo district candidate Ven. Wataraka Vijitha thero, of Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) was assaulted by an unidentified group near Keselwatta, Panadura Police station.  The thero was admitted to ward No: 72 in the Colombo National Hospital.

When CMEV contacted Vijitha thero, he said that the incident happened while he was engaging in propaganda activities in the Keselwatte area when he was attacked by 4 unidentified individuals who were clad in robes. Elaborating on what had since transpired the thero said that he had discharged himself from the National Hospital as more individuals clad in robes had come to threaten him.

Upon contacting the Keselwatte Police station Mr. J.K.S Jayanetti OIC, he said that there were inconsistencies in the statements made by Ven. Vijitha thero. He said the thero has engaged in canvassing with a group of Muslims near the Keselwatte temple and had acted in manner that incited racism.  Mr. J.K.S Jayanetti said that it was at this point the villagers had tried to assault the thero. Responding to the situation, the police officers had rescued the thero and dropped him near Peliyagoda Bridge. After this the thero had gone to a police patrol near the Victoria Bridge and claimed that an unidentified group was following him and requested protection. Subsequently, the police patrol had handed him over to Grandpass Police station.

When CMEV contacted Grandpass Police station OIC Mr. Vimal Shantha, he said that when they attempted to question Ven. Vijitha thero, he has refused to answer claiming that he was feeling hungry and traumatized. Subsequently, the police has offered him food and admitted him to Colombo National Hospital.

When CMEV contacted NSSP leader, Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne, he confirmed the claims made by the Ven. Thero.

08th August 2015- Attack on party office, Colombo

A UNP campaign office of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, at Abdul Hameed Mw, Colombo 12, was attacked by supporters of UNP candidate Mr. Mohommed Mujibur Rahuman. The incident occurred at around 3. 30 P.M. when about 150 individuals gathered in support of UNP candidate Mr. Rahuman whose campaign office is a short distance from Mr. Wickremesinghe’s office. The group was reported to have been drunk and to have lit fire crackers and yelled in front of the campaign office of Mr. Wickremesinghe.

Subsequently, the group has broken into Mr. Wickremesinghe’s office and damaged cut-outs, after which the two groups had confronted each other. Responding to the situation the Keselwatta Police had arrived at the location and fired into the air to dispel the crowd.

08th August 2015- Attack on party office, Hambanthota

A JVP campaign office at Thalagahahandiya, Polonnaaruwa was attacked and additionally, the cut-out set ablaze by a group of 4 unidentified individuals and at around 1.30 A.M.

An entry has been lodged with the Tangalle police station under EIB 127/33. A Police sergeant confirmed the incident and said that they have commenced investigations.

Complainant Mr. H.K Thilekeratne, said that he was unable to identify those involved in the attack but suspected the participation of villagers.

08th August 2015- Assault, Nuwara Eliya

An unidentified mob attacked Mr. Sellaiyah Vigneshwaran a supporter of the Citizen’s Front while canvassing in Pundalu Oya Watta.

Mr. N.P.M Suraweera OIC, of the Pundalu Oya Police station confirmed that a complaint had been lodged in under EIB 2/15. Elaborating on the incident he said that five perpetrators had arrived at the location in a van and assaulted the supporters. However, he confirmed that none of the victims had been hospitalized. He also said that investigation had commenced to locate the owner of the van and press charges.

When CMEV inquired with the Nuwaraeliya divisional election operational unit, they confirmed the claims made by Mr. N.P.M Suraweera. The complainant Mr. Vigneshwaran suspects that the perpetrators were supporters of UNF candidate Mr. Palani Digambaram. He also identified the driver of the van as Mr. Mylvaanagam Raja, and claimed the van was owned by Mr. Palaniwenna Vijitha.

Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 06

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9th August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Mentioned below are instances of the major cases of election related violence that were reported late to CMEV, which had occurred on the 5th and 6th of August. Additionally one major case which was reported on the 7th of August has also been included in this release.

05th August 2015- Threat, Intimidation and Assault, Kegalle

It was reported to CMEV that 2 unidentified individuals have forcefully entered a campaign office of JVP candidate Mr. Mohammed Hilmi in Beliganwana, Mawanella at around 7.15 P.M. The perpetrators had worn full-face helmets and had damaged cut-out that were in the office and order Mr. Hilmi to remove his remaining campaign material. The two individuals had also pushed Mr. Hilmi who had fallen and hit his head; he was admitted to Mawanella hospital with minor injuries.

A complaint has been lodged at the Mawanella Police station under EIB- 28/23 and according to Mr. Kodithuwakku IP, investigations had been commenced.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Hilmi, he said that he suspects both UNP and UPFA supporters of the area were linked to the attack.

05th August 2015- Arson Attack, Kegalle

It was reported to CMEV that a party office of candidate Mr. Kanaka Herath has been destroyed by a group of unknown individuals at around 6.30 A.M. The office was located near Hiriwadduna Bridge in Rambukkana had been burnt down and a can of petrol has been found at the location.

According to Mr. L. Gunaratne SI, a complaint has been received by the Rambukkana Police station under EIB 6/2015.

06th August 2015- Threat and Intimidation, Ratnapura

It has been reported to CMEV that a supporter of the UNP has threatened Mr. W.D Sirisena and his family. The perpetrator Mr. Jagath Jayashantha had arrived at Mr. Sirisena’s residence and said that he would burn the house should Mr. Sirisena vote for                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the UPFA.

CMEV found out that this type of incident had occurred before, however unlike in previous instances a complaint had been lodged at Kiriella Police station under CIB/01/193/46.  When CMEV contacted Mr. Gunasena SI, he confirmed the incident and the commencement of                                                                                                      investigations.

06th August, 2015- Election Offence, Trincomalee

It has been reported to CMEV that a group of independent candidates have been arrested by the Kantalai Police station while forging ballet papers. The accused Mr. Wickramaarachchi Nishantha Wickramaarachchi will be produced to Kantale magistrate courts under B-308-2015.

06th August 2015- Election Offence, Kandy

It was reported to CMEV that 2 supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Anuradha Jayarathne have been arrested while pasting posters by the Ankumbura Police at around 4.00 P.M. They have had 3813 posters with them and are to be produced to Kandy Magistrate court, under B-35267/15. Following the hearing the courts had assigned a personal bail or Rs. 100,000 to each of the perpetrators.

When CMEV contacted the Kandy election operational unit they confirmed that the 2 supporters Mr. Jayaratne has been arrested along with 3813 posters, 12 t-shirts, 08 caps and 36 boxes of matches which displayed the candidates image and the candidate number.

07th August 2015 Election Offence, Puttalam

It has been reported to CMEV that Mr. Thangarajah Thusitha Kumara supporter of UPFA candidate Mr. Chinthaka Amal Mayadunne has been arrested by a the Police Special Task Force while transporting campaign material in  a Lite Ace Van (52-2154) at around 1.00 A.M. The accused was produced beforeef  Puttalam Magistrate courts under B/16202 and has been released.

Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 05

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8th August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

05th August, 2015 Assault by UPFA in Ratnapura

Supporters of candidate Ms. Thalatha Athukorala of UNF were allegedly assaulted by supporters of the UPFA in Nivithigala. The incident occurred at around 11.30 P.M, at a brief meeting held with the participation of Ms. Athukorala. It is alleged that the perpetrators, Kumarage Don Monti Hassan, Ranasinghelage Wasantha Kumara and Kamakanange Vajira Maduranga assaulted the UNF supporters for participating in the event. The victims have been admitted to the Wathupitiya hospital with minor injuries

A complaint has been lodged at the Nivithigala police station under CIB03 23/45. Police Officer Herath said that the accused were arrested on the night of the incident.

05th August 2015. Hurt by SLMC in Batticaloa

A campaign meeting held at Kolikadai Road, Vaalachchenai led by UNF candidate Mr. Ameer Ali was stoned allegedly by supporters of the SLMC. The incident occurred around 9.40 A.M and SLMC supporter Mr. Abdul Fareed has been admitted to Valachchenai Base Hospiatal where he received 5 stitches on his face. Mr. Fareed said that he suspects Mr. Riyasdee Khan to be involved in this incident.

A complaint has been lodged with the Vaalachchenai Police station under entry No: 89/44. I.P K.A.D.D Kamarapillai said that nobody has been arrested so far.

05th August, 2015 Misuse of State resources by UNF in Mannar

It was reported to CMEV that the Export Development Board office in the Northern province located in Uppukulam, Mannar is being used by Minister Rishad Badiudeen for election purposes.

Although the Mannar Police have been informed no action has been taken.

CMEV tried unsuccessfully to contact Mr. Rishad Badiudeen. CMEV field monitor, E. Romildon confirmed the incident.

05th August 2015- Election Offence in Ratnapura

It was reported to CMEV that 3 people have been taken to custody by Ambilipitiya police station for election offences. The accused, W.A.C Athula Kumara, Sachintha Heshan and Weerakkuttige Sarath have been remanded for displaying UNP posters. The Ambilipitiya police station officers Jayantha and Asantha informed CMEV that the entry has been lodged under 23-24-25.

06th August, 2015-Attack on UNF party office in Kegalle

CMEV received a report that a campaign office of UNF candidate Mr. Sandith Samarasinghe (No: 12) has been attacked and vandalized between 12 A.M and 1.00 A.M. Police were contacted immediately through the 119 phone number UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member, Mr. Nuwan. Kegalle Police arrived at the incident around 4.00 A.M.

CMEV was unable to contact Kegalle police station to inquire as to whether a complaint had been lodged.

Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 02

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02nd August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka, at 1630 hrs

As of 2nd August 2015, CMEV has recorded a total of 402 incidents of election related violence and malpractices.  Of these, 71 have been classified as major including 5 incidents involving the use of fire -arms. Minor incidents have been recorded at 331. The highest numbers of major incidents have been reported from the Jaffna(10), Gampaha(7) and Digamadulla(5) Districts respectively.

Below are a sample of the major cases of election related violence reported to CMEV between the 27th and 30thof July 2015.

27th July, 2015- Arson Attack, Kurunegala

Campaign offices of the UPFA in Katugampala and Kurunegala were set fire to by UNP supporters. The perpetrators have been identified as Mr. D.M Anura Nuwan Kumara, Mr. D.A Dinesh Sampath Kumara and Mr. Padmakumara Premalal who had set fire to a cut-out of Mr. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse. Furthermore, it is reported that these perpetrators had assaulted an eye witness who has been admitted to Makadura hospital with minor injuries. The incident was reported to CMEV by UPFA Katugampala organizer Mr. Gamini Siriwardena.

A complaint has been lodged to the Pannala Police station, under EIB 3/9/288 and according to Mr. M.N Vijitha Kumara P.C, the accused have been arrested and will be produced before the Kurunegala Magistrate Courts under complaint B14/33.

28th July, 2015- Threat, Jaffna

A report was received alleging that the UPFA Jaffna district candidate and President of Teacher Association, Mr. Supramaniyam Subadeesan threatened and coerced the association teachers to participate in his meetings. It has been reported that he threatened the teachers with dismissal from their jobs if they did not comply. The complaint was reported to CMEV on the grounds of anonymity by a teacher who claims to have been threatened by Mr. Subadeesan.  The latter dismissed the allegation against him.

28th July 2015- Assault, Kandy.

It was reported to CMEV that Mr.  K.G Samantha Thilakarathne a supporter of UNP candidate Mr. R.G Samaranayake, had assaulted Mr. D.G Gayan Udaya at No.118 Bule Muhuna, Menikhinna, at around 7.30 pm on the 28th of July.  Mr.Gayan, told CMEV that the incident had occurred due to an argument between Mr. Gayan’s father and Mr. Thilakarathne.  Elaborating on the incident he said that the assault occurred due to Mr. Thilakarathne forcing Mr. Gayan’s father to transfer his support to Mr.Samaranayake.

CMEV contacted Mr. Gamini Herath, SI, of Menikhinna Police station who stated that Mr. Gayan had logged a complaint (EIB-41/8/2015) and that further investigations were under way to collect evidence.

28th July 2015-Assault, Batticaloa

Mr. K.M.A Irfan, election coordinator of UNP candidate Mr. Sifly Farook, of the Earavur electorate was allegedly assaulted by Mr. Naleem and Mr. Kaleem. The assault took place at Mr. K.M.A Irfan’s residence at No.25 Ayurweda Hospital Road, Michnaar Earavurat around 1 am.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Irfaan, he said the incident has occurred after Mr. Naleem and Mr.Kaleem had been refused the coordinators position that he currently holds, by Mr.Farook.

Mr.Farook speaking to CMEV said the incident was due to a personal financial dispute between both parties and not related to his election activities. By contacting Mr. Wijewickrama, OIC of Eravur Police station, CMEV was able to confirm Mr. Farook’s statement and receive confirmation of the complaint, CIB 92/282.

28th July, 2015- Assault, Digamadulla.

CMEV received a report that a supporter of UNP, Mr. M.A Saleem was assaulted by 8 UPFA supporters who were under the influence of alcohol. Of the 8 individuals, 3 have been identified as Mr.Nifras, Mr. Raswan and Mr. Rasool. The incident occurred at around 5.00 pm at Mr. M.A Saleem’s shop in Arasayadi, Akkaraipattu and a finger on the victim’s left hand was fractured in the assault.

After the incident, supporters of UNP candidate Mr. Daya Gamage had arrived at the location and directed Mr. M.A Saleem to lodge a complaint with the in Akkaraipattu police, case number EIB/49/73.  When CMEV contacted Mr. Ibrahim I.P, of the Akkaraipattu Police station, he said that the accused had not been apprehended and that a case had been filed with the Akkaraipattu Magistrate’s courts under B/8110.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Saleem, he said that he was assaulted by supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. A.L.M Athaullah.  However, when CMEV attempted to contact Mr. Athaullah, his coordinator Mr. Baheej responded by rejecting the allegation and stated that he was unaware of the incident. Furthermore, he said that Mr. Raswan, one of the accused, was an independent candidate with no connection to Mr. Athaullah.

28th July 2015- Threat and Intimidation, Puttalam.

UNP candidate Mr. Ashoka Priyantha was threatened with a sword by Mr. Harinda Lakmal Silva, a supporter of the same party. According to Mr. Priyantha, the incident occurred when he visited his campaign office after he was informed that his cutout near the premises had been vandalized by Mr. Lakmal.

When CMEV followed up with the Marawila Police station Mr. S.I Jayanath OIC, stated that Mr. Priyantha has lodged a complaint in this regard at around 2. 15 a.m. under EIB 37/66 and that Mr.Lakmal had been taken into custody.

29th July, 2015- Damage to Property, Senkadagala

CMEV has received reports that M. Saleem, supporter of UNP candidate Lakshaman Kiriella was attacked by an unidentified group at around 12.45 A.M at his residence in Divingama, Ampitiya. His house and shop were damaged in the attack and the losses are valued at around Rs. 50,000. According to the reports Mr. Saleem, promptly informed the incident to 119, however, the police officer to whom  CMEV spoke to said the victim was reluctant to lodge a complaint as he was unable to identify the perpetrators involved in the attack.

29th July, 2015- Assault, Diagamadulla

UNP supporter Mr. Simmi Marikkar Ameen was assaulted, allegedly, by 2 UPFA supporters, Mr. M.H Aslam Nusky and M.A Risky in Samanthurai, Digamadulla. The assailants had threatened Mr. Ameen, warned him to refrain from engaging in any campaign activities and said that should he persist he would face bodily harm.  A complaint has been lodged with the Akkaraipattu Police station under EIB/ 5480.When CMEV contacted Mr. Ibrahim I.P, Akkaraipattu Police station he said the alleged perpetrators were yet to be apprehended and further investigations would be carried out in order to find them. A case has been filed in Akkaraipattu Magistrate courts under B-43888 in relation to this incident.

30th July 2015- Abduction, Akuressa

A supporter of UNP candidate Mr. Sagala Rathnayake was allegedly abducted at around 3.30 a.m. by supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Manoj Sirisena while pasting posters in Akuressa, Diyalape. It is reported that the kidnapped is Mr. Chamara, the driver of the three-wheeler (QH-1812) and that two others who were passengers had escaped.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Niroshan Jeewantha, one of the individuals that fled the scene, he confirmed the incident and elaborated on what had happened. He said that while pasting posters they had seen a group of about 20 people approaching them in a double cab (PW-2969) and on 04 motor bikes and when Mr. Chamara was captured they had chosen to flee and go directly to the Akuressa Police station. Mr. Jeewantha said that by the time he reached the police station the police were about to leave for the location of the alleged kidnapping and that the police had been able to take 6 individuals into custody.

When CMEV contacted the Akuressa Police station, OIC Mr. Abeywickrama conformed Mr. Jeewantha’s claims and identified the perpetrators as Mr. S.P.L.S Madushanka, Mr. U.N Kumanayake, Mr. M.R.P.M Ranaweera, Mr. J.E Samarasingha, Mr. A.W.K Madushanka and Mr. A.W.A Buddhika, all of whom have been remanded.

In contacting Mr. Sirisena, he stated that the above incident was not related to him or his campaign and that it was due to a personal argument between both parties. These remarks were denied by Mr. Saagala Rathnayake.

30th July, 2015 Misuse of State Resource, Borella, Colombo

CMEV received a report of the construction of a stage at Ward Place obstructing the road to Borella, Colombo, by the UNP at 10 am on the 30th of July. The Borella junction had experienced a sever traffic block as a consequence and the road has also been damaged by the erection of iron poles.

When CMEV contacted the Borella Police station, OIC Mr. Prageeth Lakmina said that UNP Borella organizer Mr. Jayantha Silva has obtained permission to set up the stage. This was in addition to instructions issued by the Mayor of Colombo Mr. J.H Mussamil, who had informed the police in writing to grant permission for this propaganda activity. A complaint has been lodged with the Election Operations Unit and the Assistant Election Commissioner’s Office.

30th July, 2015- Misuse of State Resources, Puttlam

CMEV received a report that JVP candidates Mr. Samantha Korala Aarachchi and Mr. B.M Ranmanika have conducted a meeting for the minor staff and distributed fliers at Puttlam Hospital, despite the objections of Ms. Maari Stenant Dinusha Fernando, the medical superintendent of the hospital. Ms. Fernando has lodged a complaint with the Chilaw Police.

According to Chilaw Election Operations Unit OIC Mr. H. Amarasinghe, the accused have been arrested and produced in the Chilaw Magistrate court under B/744/15. The accused had posted bail of a Rs.100,000/= each, and are to be summoned to courts on the 27th of August 2015. When CMEV tried to contact JVP General Secretary Mr. Tilvin Silva’s office to clarify the information, he was unavailable for comment

Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 01

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01st August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) officially commenced monitoring of the incidence of election violence and malpractice in the 2015 General Election. Since the start of the nominations period on the 6th of July, CMEV has deployed around 200 field monitors including 22 district coordinators. Furthermore, CMEV has established 9 provincial desks operated from the CMEV head office in Colombo to collect and analyse the information that is in turn corroborated and made available to the public. Additionally, a group of around 30 foreign observers will be deployed a week prior to Election Day to work in partnership with local CMEV monitors.

A number of incidents have been reported to CMEV, in spite of the efforts by the Election Commissioner who has repeatedly informed candidates of the penalties to be faced if election laws are breached.

As of 31st July 2015, CMEV has recorded a total of 322 incidents of election related violence and malpractices.  Of these, 61 have been classified as major including 5 incidents involving the use of fire -arms. Minor incidents have been recorded at 261. The highest numbers of major incidents have been reported from the Jaffna (10), Gampaha (4) and Digamadulla (3) Districts respectively.

Details of some of major incidents reported to CMEV since end of nominations period are mentioned below.

27th July 2015- Use of Firearms, Paduwasnuwara, Kurunegala

Mr.J.A Dinesh Kumara, supporter of UNP Kurunegala district candidate Mr.Thushara Indunil, was threatened with firearms by Mr. Y.M Sapumal Ruwan Kumara and Mr. S.A Darshana Sampath, supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekara at around 12.30 am at Detiyamulla Junction, Hettipola. According to Mr. Dinesh Kumara, the incident happened while he was on his way to Mr. Thushara Indunil’s office. The vehicle he was travelling in was blocked by three other vehicles and it was then that Mr. Sapumal Kumara approached Mr. Dinesh Kumara’s vehicle with a gun and threatened him. Reacting, Mr. Dinesh Kumara said he had snatched the gun from Mr. Sapumal Ruwan Kumara’s hand and proceeded to the Hettipola police.

OIC Hettipola Police Mr. S.N. De Soyza IP, confirmed that Mr. Dinesh Kumara has lodged a complaint pertaining to this incident and had handed over the weapon to the police as evidence. Vehicles bearing number plate 53-6676 (Dolpin Van), 54-7133 (Double-Cab) and NWKC 7790 (Suzuki Swift) were reported to have been used in the incident and the two suspects have been produced before Hettipola Magistrate under B425/15 and were subsequently released on personal bail.

Attempts made by CMEV to contact Mr. M Sapumal Ruwan Kumara and Mr. S.A Darshana Sampath pertaining to these charges, were not successful.

26th July 2015- Coercion and Threat, Kekirawa, Anuradhapura

It was reported to CMEV that the wife and mother of Mr. Sapumal Senanayake, Coordinating Secretary of Anuradhapura District UNF candidate Mr. P. Harrison, were threatened and intimidated at his residence around 8.50 P.M at ‘Sri’ Aluthwewa, Galkiriyagama in Anuradhapura.  It is alleged that a group of 5 to 6 unidentified individuals arrived at Mr. Senanyake’s residence when he was not at home and demanded that they be permitted inside. When his wife and mother questioned them regarding their purpose the group had said that they had come to kill Mr. Sapumal. Moreover, when the ladies had refused them entry and asserted Mr. Sapumal was not at home, they had tried to break into the house, but were unsuccessful. Afterwards they allegedly damaged the property by throwing sand and mud at the walls.  Mrs. Senanayake believes the perpetrators were supporters of the North Central Provincial UNP Member, Mr. Chandima Gamage.

Ms. Niluka Nilmini Senanayake, wife of Sapumal phoned in the incident to Galkiriyagama Police and the police visited the location that night. However, OIC Galkiriyagama Police, Mr. Prasanna Welikala IP, told CMEV that they had not received a complaint with regard to this incident. He stated that Mr. Sapumal had however lodged a complaint regarding a threatening telephone call, which he had received on the 23rd July 2015, three days before this particular incident.  When CMEV inquired as to why a complaint had not been lodged regarding the incident on the 26th , Mr. Sapumal responded that he chose not to lodge a complaint with regard to this incident as he wished to refrain from making accusations that would taint either Mr. P. Harrison or Mr. Chaminda Gamage.

24th July 2015- Misuse of Public Property, Avissawella, Colombo.

It was reported to CMEV that the former UNP Seethawakapura Municipal Council Chairman Mr. Susil Premalal Pinthu has used physical and human resources belonging to the Municipal Council for campaign purposes on 24th July 2015. According to reports, he had conducted door -to -door canvassing with the aid of minor staff and industrial section staff belonging to the Municipal Council. Mr. Susil Premalal Pinthu was unavailable for comment on these allegations.

Ms. Shashika Devapriya, Secretary of Municipal Council confirmed to CMEV that 75 employees had not reported to work on the mentioned day and some had even taken leave. Furthermore, she said that the industrial section employees who are paid a daily wage would not be paid if they had not reported for work.

Mr. Geethanajan Gunawardena, the local organizer for the UPFA accepted that these allegations were most probably accurate. An eyewitness Mr. Anura Obeysinghe, an independent candidate, also confirmed these allegations to CMEV.

23rd July 2015- Assault, Illukwatha, Kandy

Democratic Party supporter Mr. Weerasinghe Mudiyansalage Saman Dissanayake of the Kandy district was allegedly attacked by an unidentified group of people around 11.00pm at Muruthalaw, Illukwatha. The CMEV monitor in the area said that Mr. Dissanayake was admitted to the Kandy General Hospital ward No. 10.  When CMEV spoke to Peradeniya head of election operations Mr. C.I Kanangara, he stated that they had received a complaint and that investigations were underway. When CMEV sent monitors to the hospital to inquire after Mr. Dissanayake, he was not present and attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.

22nd July, 2015- Assault, Kandy

An unidentified group broke into the main campaign office of the UNP candidate Mr. Rauf Hakeem at No. 258, Katugasthota Road, Kandy and assaulted Mr. Salaheer who is the candidate’s coordinating officer and Mr. Dananjaya Bandara a supporter of Mr. Hakeem around 7.30 pm on 22nd July 2015. Mr. Salaheer has received medical treatment for minor injuries from the Kandy Hospital. Speaking to CMEV he said the group had first damaged cut outs stored at the office and attacked Mr. Bandara and himself. CMEV was unable to contact Mr. Hakeem for comment.

Speaking to Mr. Kularathne IP, of the Katugasthota Police station; he stated that investigations were underway to collect further evidence pertaining to the identity of the perpetrators.

21st July 2015-Threat and intimidation, Medirigiriya, Polonnaruwa

Mr. W.P. Chaminda Kumara and his wife, Ms. G.G.S. Kumari, supporters of the UPFA, received death threats from a group of UNP supporters affiliated to Polonnaruwa District candidate Mr. Nalaka Kolonne. According to reports, the group was travelling in a white TATA Cab decorated with stickers of Mr. Kolonne around 1.30 am on 21st July 2015 and according to Ms. Kumari, they were under the influence of alcohol and armed with swords and batons. During the verbal confrontation that followed the death threats, the group had damaged the temporary campaign office next to the house of the UPFA supporters. When fleeing the scene, the group reportedly stole flag -poles from the campaign office.

One of perpetrators has been identified as Mr. Chinthaka and the complaint regarding the incident has been lodged at Medirigiriya Police under EIB 06/28. CMEV contacted Mr. N.P.S. Jayalath (IP) of the Medirigirya Police Station who confirmed the incident and stated that proof pertaining to the incident has been produced to Higurakgoda Magistrate under complaint B 594/15.

21st July 2015- Assault, Batticaloa

Mr. Selladurai Arasaratnam, UPFA candidate in Batticaloa was allegedly assaulted by Mr. Tharmarajah Pradeeban a supporter of TNA candidate Mr. Karunagaran. According to reports received by CMEV, the incident occurred at about 11 pm on the 21st of July 2015 at the residence of Mr. Selladurai Arasaratnam in the presence of his family and supporters.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Selladurai Arasaratnam, he stated that 4 individuals at 11.00 pm hurled verbal abuse at him and threw rocks at his home. When one of the perpetrators Mr. Pradeeban, attempted to scale the gate and enter the garden, he was restrained by supporters of Mr. Arasaratnam.  The latter, in turn, had contacted the police.

Mr. Karunagara, stated that his supporter had been kidnapped while travelling home with food, assaulted and then handed over to the police who had not realized that he was the victim as opposed to the perpetrator. When Mr. Pradeeban, was contacted by CMEV, he stated that he had lent his vehicle to Mr. Karunagara and after coming home he had been curious as to the noise coming from his neighbour’s home which happened to be Mr. Selladurai Arasaratnam and it was at this point that he was hit by a chain which rendered him unconscious prior to being apprehended by the police.

In speaking to the police to clarify these varying accounts, they confirmed that Mr. Pradeeban had been taken to hospital prior to being processed. They also confirmed that the Batticaloa Magistrate Court had assigned a personal bail of Rs. 100,000, which had been settled. Mr. Pradeeban was released from custody.

19th July 2015, Threat and Intimidation, Yatiyantota Electorate, Kegalle

Mr. Irajarathinam Isurajan of Ceylon Worker’s Congress (CWC) of Yatiyantota electorate and his sister, Ms. Irajarathinam Shiromi were awakened from their sleep, threatened and intimidated by Mr. Sanjeewa Abeykoon UNP opposition leader of Yatiyantota Pradeshiya Saba and three of his supporters. The incident occurred around 11.00 pm. Ms. Shiromi has identified Mr. Sanjeewa Abeykoon among the perpetrators.

A complaint was lodged at Seethawakapura Police division, under NCR 10/81-2015 by Ms. Shiromi.  Mr. Nishanka SI, officer in-charge of election affairs at Yatiyantota Police station confirmed that a complaint was received from Ms. Shiromi the following day. The police had informed both parties to be present at the police station at 12.30 pm for mediation the day after the incident. CMEV field officers were informed by the plaintiff, Mr. Isurajan, that Mr. Abeykoon had not been present for the mediation process, as per the directives of the police.

17th July 2015, Misuse of state resources, Kelaniya Electorate, Gampaha

It has been reported to CMEV that Gampaha district candidate Mr. Prasanna Ranaweera of UPFA has used public property for election campaigning and propaganda purposes. He has used the reception hall belonging to Kelaniya Pradeshiya Saba to conduct a meeting with his supporters at around 10.30 am on 16th July 2015. Furthermore, under the guise of the dengue eradication program he had conducted house-to-house visits the following day.  It has also been reported that he continues to use office stationery, appliances, and employees of the local authority for campaign activities in addition to the vehicles owned by the local authority.

When CMEV contacted Ms. Nelum Kumari, Secretary of Kelaniya Pradeshiya Saba she said that payment had been made for the use of the reception hall. However, she admitted that employees are participating in his campaign after office hours. When contacted by CMEV, Mr. Prasanna Ranaweera denied all allegations regarding the misuse of public property.


16th July, 2015- Threat and Intimidation in Kilinochchi, Jaffna

CMEV received a complaint by an independent group candidate Ms. Annaluxmi Wanasudan, affiliated to group 06 that she was threatened by a group of 3 individuals on three occasions. She said that they introduced themselves as CID officers and has tried taking a photograph of her. Further, when attempting to question her they had failed to produce any identification. Ms. Annaluxmi told CMEV that one of the individuals was known as Mr. Ramesh, who when contacted admitted that he is not a CID officer but an army officer. A complaint has not been lodged with the police regarding the incident.

14th July 2015, Assaulted, Mahiyangana Electorate, Badulla.

It was reported to CMEV that UPFA candidate, Uva Provincial Minister Mr. Anura Vidanagamage and his supporters assaulted Mr. Hemantha Warnasooriya, the brother of Mr. Nishantha Warnasooriya. He had clashed with Mr.Vidanagamage near a guest- house owned by Mr. Nishantha Warnasooriya` in Soraborawewa around 4.30 pm on 14th July 2015. Mr. Hemantha was admitted to Mahiyangana base hospital with minor injuries following the incident. He confirmed to CMEV that he lodged a complaint with the Mahiyangana Police who when contacted by CMEV stated that it was a private clash that had been successfully settled. Police refused to provide details of the complaint. CMEV was unable to contact Mr. Anura Vidanagamage for comment with regard to this incident.

14th July 2015, Assault, Damage to Property, Threat and Intimidation, Kalawana Electorate, Ratnapura

It has been reported to CMEV that UNP opposition leader of the Kalawana Pradeshiya Sabha, Mr. Shanaka Molligoda, has assaulted UPFA candidate, Mr. Priyantha Athukorala.  The dispute begun when Mr. Athukorala arrived at his campaign office at the Kalawana CTB bus stand – which has been confirmed to the CMEV as being illegal- after he was informed that his cutout were removed and destroyed by Mr. Molligoda and his supporters.  This occurred at around 10 pm and according to Mr. Athukorala it was at this point that he and his supporters were assaulted and shot at by the UNP supporters.  The shooting also damaged his vehicle.

According to Mr. Meril Rupus Silva, UNP supporter present during the incident, they were preparing the premises for a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe on the following day. He confirmed that it was UNP supporters who had removed Mr. Athukorala’s cut-out, as it was located in front of the stage which was being constructed.

Following a complaint made by Mr. Athukorala at Kalawana Police station, case CIB 02, the police had taken into custody Mr. Dasanayake Pathirana, a UNP supporter, who had been the main perpetrator in the assault on Mr. Athukorala.  According to Mr. Athukorala, UNP supporters had gone to the Kalawana police station and forcibly released Mr. Pathirana from custody. When CMEV contacted the Kalawana police to clarify the allegation they stated that this situation had arisen due to a private dispute and no individual had been arrested.

On being contacted by CMEV, Mr. Rohan Dias DIG, Sabaragmuwa Province he stated that three police officers including Mr. Gayan Buddhika OIC, were suspended as a result of this incident. CMEV was unable to contact Mr. Molligoda .


13th July, 2015- Threat at District Secretary Office, Matara Electorate, Matara

CMEV has received reported of an incident where Mr. Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, Mr. Dullas Alahapperuma and Mr. Chandrasiri Gajadeera have been allegedly threatened by Mr. Dikkuburage Suraweera a supporter of Minister Managala Samaraweera while they were leaving the Matara District Secretariat after handing over their nominations. The incident occurred around 10.30 am in front of Districts Secretaries Office. The incident was confirmed by the CMEV monitor who was at the scene. Mr. Dullas Alahapperuma has lodged a complaint against Mr. Dikkuburage Suraweera at the Matara police station (EIB 01)

11th July, 2015, Assault of UNP supporters, Galigamuwa Electorate, Kegalle

It was reported to CMEV that Rambukkana UPFA provincial council member Mr. Kanaka Herath and his supporters allegedly assaulted Mr. Janaka Bandara, a UNP supporter. The incident happened at around 7.00 p.m. on 11th July, 2015 at “NASEVANA” restaurant, Pindeniya in the Galigamuwa Electorate.

According to Mr. Bandara, the assault occurred after he was accused of covering all of Mr. Kanak Herath’s posters with the posters of Mr. Kabir Hashim. Mr. Bandara said that Herath supporter Kosala had attacked him and when he attempted to flee another supporter by the name of Kumara, had hit him with a pole across his left shoulder. He said after the incident he had lodged a complaint at the Pindeniya police station.

CMEV operations and output

CMEV has been involved in monitoring election related violence and malpractices in all national, provincial and majority of local government elections since 1997. Monitoring of election related violence and malpractices of General Election 2015 is also started with an improved data collection and information dissemination mechanism advanced with modern communication techniques.

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