Presidential Election 2015: Media Communique 5

Download PDF of this statement here. Download this in Sinhala here.

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On 27th December 2014 at 7.00 pm:

Offering letter to offer permanent jobs at Civil Security Department during the period of Presidential Election – 2015

CMEV received a complaint from a Civil Security Officer that many employees at the Civil Security Department (CSD) have been given permanent jobs effective from 19th Dec 2014. He repeatedly asked CMEV not to reveal his identity, as he believed that his job would be in jeopardy.   Further he said that thousands of civil security officers have been given letters making them permanent, after many years as temporary employees. According to him thousands of CSD officers are being used for President Mahinda Rajapaksha ‘s election campaign by making their temporary jobs permanent .

According provision no 7 of the circular issued by Department of Election on 2nd Dec 2014, no person can be offered a job in the government sector after the declaration of the Presidential Election. In the letter, a copy of which CMEV received from the complainant and is attached, it is clearly stated that this officer will come under the category of a permanent government servant effective from 19th Dec 2014. This is a serious violation of Election Law.

Letter to Elections Commissioner regarding current floods and the impact on the exercise of franchise

Download a PDF of this letter here. Download as a JPG here.

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Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya,
Commissioner of Elections,
Election Secretariats,
Sarana Road,
Rajagiriya,

27th December 2014

Dear Sir,

I am writing to you with regard to the current floods and the impact it will have on the exercise of the franchise, especially in the North Central and Eastern provinces. I understand that approximately 400,000 or more persons have been displaced on account of the floods. I am writing in particular to ascertain from you as to what special arrangements are being contemplated with regards to the exercise of their franchise. My concerns relate to them being displaced from areas in which their polling stations are located, including the loss of polling cards and other identification documents.

Please do seriously consider special arrangements for the exercise of the franchise by these recently displaced persons as a matter of priority.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. P. Saravanamuttu
Co – Convener

Presidential Election 2015: Media Communique 4

Download this press release as a PDF here. Download it in Sinhala here.

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6th December, Beruwala town, Kaluthara District

CMEV monitor reported that supporters of United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had attacked former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Provincial Councilor Ms. Hirunika Premachandra at about 10.00pm. After a rally in Beruwala town, President Kumaratunga and Ms Premachandara had gone to dinner at Provincial Councilor Mohammed Jemine Marikar Mohammed Isthikar’s house , some 350m from Beruwala town(Peenawala). During the dinner a group of people had hooted and stoned the house. President Kumaratunga and Ms Premachandra had managed to leave the house with the support of their security and supporters of the common opposition candidate. According to the CMEV monitor, the Police and Special Task Force had run for cover.

Subsequently, a fight ensued involving both parties resulting in damages to property including President Kumaratunga’s vehicle. A supporter of common opposition candidate, former opposition Urban Council leader Mohammed Mansoor Dalhan was taken to Beruwala base hospital but refused admittance by the hospital.

The Special Task force and Beruwala Police were able to disperse crowd.

According to the Out Patient Department (OPD) doctor, Ms Samarasinghe, the police had issued instructions to not admit any casualties to the hospital.

Mr. Mohammed told CMEV that Beruwala Police OIC Duminda Rajapaksha refused to provide the former president with security from the outset. However, the OIC told CMEV that he had provided a 40 -man squad for this purpose.

Ms Premachandra confirmed the above incident and blamed it on the inactivity of the Police and Special Task Force.

Presidential Election 2015: Postal Voting Communiqué 03

Download as PDF here. Download the press release in Sinhala here.

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24th December 2014 Colombo, Sri Lanka: Second day of the postal voting continued today with a few incidents reported. At present 61 incidents have been reported with 27 Major Incidents and 34 Minor Incidents. Major Incidents include assault, threat and intimidation, misuse of state resources, incidents related to election officers and the intimidating presence of party activists and supporters. Minor Incidents relate to election offences.

The day commenced with a clash at Sirikotha, headquarters of the United National Party (UNP). CMEV was informed that a group of about 1000 persons had protested in front of Sirikotha at about 10.45 in the morning, demanding information on the alleged secret pact between the Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. At the time of the protest, around 1500 people were at Sirikotha attending a workshop for teachers.

CMEV was informed by Mr. Ivan Silva, Assistant to Mr. Rajiv Senavirathne who is the Chief of Operation Room at Sirikotha, that the protest was organised by the National Freedom Front and backed by its leader Wimal Weerawansa. According to Mr. Silva, persons suspected with ties to the NFF namely Mr. Jeewantha Jayathissa, Mr Mahinda Samarathunga, Mr. D.M. Senavirathene, Mr. Anura Atapattu, Dr. Wasantha Bandara, and the husband of UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha Member, Mrs. Priyanka Kothalawala were present during this protest. It was reported by an eye -witness that the above mentioned persons arrived at the scene in vehicle number GI8272.

CMEV was informed by Mr.Prasad Manju, Media Secretary to Mr. Weerawansa that the protest was organised by Dr. Wasantha Bandara representing the Jathika Sanwidana Ekamuthwa.

The Anti-riot Squad and officers from Mirihana Police Station were bought in to disperse the gathering and control the crowd. The fight between the two groups had resulted in damage to property including a Buddha statue located in the premises. According to Dr. Bandara about seven or eight persons were taken to Colombo South Teaching Hospital in Kalubowila.

Several other incidents were reported on the 2nd day of postal voting-

24th December, Mullaitivu Regiment, Civil Security Department Vishwamadu, Mullaitivu District

A CMEV monitor reported that people were unaware as to how to vote and had given their ballot papers to Mr. A. Sundaramurthy, ARO (Assistant Returning Officer) to vote on their behalf. CMEV monitor observed the ARO casting three votes during this period. Lt Colonel J.P Ganegoda is the certifying officer who was present during this period. CMEV monitor reported that 477 had already cast their vote with 931 names being in the list. CMEV monitor further reported a general lack of awareness among voters in the area.

24th December, Sri Lanka Army Camp, Puthukuduirrupu, Mullaitivu District

CMEV monitor reported a discrepancy in the list of voters in the centre where 254 persons had registered to vote. A list with 367 names was with Mr. P.D.L.D. Alwis, Second Commanding Officer, the certifying officer.

24th December, Anamaduwa, Puttalam District

CMEV was informed that two newly opened election offices of the UNP in Adigama and Palama Serukale were attacked around 9.30pm yesterday (23rd December). The CMEV monitor observed the destruction of election material, furniture and offices. Mr. Range Bandara, MP informed CMEV that the office was opened last morning and that the attack was carried out by group of supporters of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) North Western Provincial Councilor Mr Sanath Nishantha.

24th December, Kollannawa Umagiliya Playground, Colombo District

A stage and meeting area that were in the process of being prepared for a rally of the Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirirsena was attacked by a group of people at 12 40 a.m. on the 24th. CMEV was informed that around 8-10 persons were preparing the stage and surrounding area for a meeting that was to be held on the following morning (24th). There had also been more people around the playground and on the roads leading to it. Two jeeps and one van displaying posters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had arrived and parked next to a jeep belonging to the Wellampitiya Police Station. One armed individual had got down from one of the vehicles and shot about 17 rounds from the firearm in the direction of the stage and its roof. Sub Inspector of the Wellampitiya Police Station Mr. Tennakoon and nine other police officers along with the group of people who were preparing the stage had to run for cover.

The Manager of Y FM, Mr Sajith Nandana Rathnayake, who was at the location described the vehicles as one white van plated J.G. 7783 and two jeeps with unmarked red plates and tinted windows. He also noted that the vehicles had soon thereafter fled the scene towards Dematagoda. Mr Prasanna Solangaarachchi, Kotikawatta–Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha Chiairmani informed CMEV that the police officers at the location did not do anything to stop the incident.

CMEV is informed that further investigations are being carried out by the Chief Inspector Amarabandu of the Wellampitiya Police Station.

Presidential Election 2015: Postal Voting Communiqué 02

Download this press release as a PDF here, and in Tamil here. Download it in Sinhala here.

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23rd December 2014 Colombo, Sri Lanka: The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) monitored the first day of postal votes across Sri Lanka and at the end of the day reported47 incidents with 20 major incidents and 27 minor incidents. Major incidents include assault, threat and intimidation, misuse of state resources, incidents related to election officers and intimidatory presence. Minor incidents all related to election offences.

Process of Applications

CMEV notes a total of 541,831 voters are eligible for postal voting on the 23rd, 24th, 26th and 30th. CMEV noted several incidents on the day of the first postal vote raising concerns regarding the process used for registering postal voters that can impact the integrity of elections. At the outset, CMEV raises concerns with the applications for postal voting as the present practice entails the respective head of department sending the applications forms of all within his/her department for postal voting. Any delays and/or discrepancies from this particular individual can lead to a significant population being unable to vote. CMEV has been informed that a large number of the near 85,000 rejected postal votes are attributable to the delay in the application. A particular case reported to CMEV was at the Puttalm Zonal Education Office where 140 applications were made and 30 rejected citing delays. CMEV is concerned with the present process that entails a heavy reliance on one individual that may lead to the disenfranchisement of a significant number of citizens and calls for a review of the present process.

CMEV is also informed of several votes being unaccounted for in the present process. In the Mahawa Deport, Kurunagala, 56 applications were made with 39 being received and 4 rejected. 13 votes were unaccounted for. Similarly in the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha, Anuradhapura, 10 applications were made with 1 received and 1 rejected. 8 votes were unaccounted. CMEV raised this issue with the relevant district election officers who were unable to provide a satisfactory answer in terms of accounting for the missing votes and CMEV urges the Elections Commissioner to take immediate steps to look into this matter.

Factors Impacting Franchise

On the basis of incidents reported at the time of issuing this communiqué, CMEV is concerned with the role played by the military in some of the postal voting centres. Incidents reported below and in Communique 1 highlight incidents in Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts that can impact the integrity of the vote.

CMEV is also informed of the low voter turnout today due to the bad weather in parts of Sri Lanka. Reports from the Eastern province and Mannar district indicate heavy rains and floods impacting voter turnout. If there is a continuation of the bad weather for the remainder of postal voting and possibly affecting election day, CMEV urges the Elections Commissioner to take necessary steps to ensure that voters are not deprived of their right to franchise.

In addition to the broader issues raised above, several incidents from the first day of postal votes are below-

23 December 2014, Kurunegala South SLTB Bus Depot, Kurunegala District

CMEV was informed that a group of people wearing T shirts with the slogan ‘Nil Balakaya’ were seen walking around at 10.45am in the premises outside the polling centre.

23 December 2014, Ceylon Electricity Board Head office – Sir Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo 02, Colombo District

A CMEV monitor was not allowed to enter the voting centre by the security officer on duty at the entrance. The security officer had informed the monitor that there is no voting in the premises. Upon CMEV contacting authorities at the Ceylon Electricity Board, the CMEV observer was permitted access.

23 December 2014, Gangawata Korale Divisional Secretariat – Kandy, Kandy District

A complaint was filed by a CMEV monitor of a large poster of President Mahinda Rajapaksa being displayed on the building near the polling station. This building belongs to the National Housing Development Authority and directly faces the polling station at the Division Secretariat Office.

23 December 2014, SLTB Depot, Vavuniya

A CMEV monitor reported that posters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa were displayed within the SLTB Depot premises which is a polling station.

23 December 2014, SLTB Depot Nawalapitiya, Kandy District

CMEV was informed that at the above location, voters had to mark their ballot and show it to the Senior Polling Officer before sealing it. CMEV contacted the Deputy Elections Commissioner – Kandy regarding this incident. The Deputy Elections Commissioner denied the allegation stating that his representative was present at the said polling station and that no such incident took place.

23 December 2014, SLTB Depot Katharagama, Monaragala District

A CMEV mobile monitor reported that at the polling station mentioned above, polling agents (both UNP and UPFA) had an argument with the voters who had arrived to cast their vote using the identification document issued by the SLTB instead of their NICs. The UNP polling agents have said that voters can use the identification document issued by the SLTB while the UPFA agents argued that the NIC is compulsory. Two police officers were called in to settle the dispute. 

23 December 2014, Nittambuwa Divisional Secretariat, Gampaha District

It was reported to CMEV that Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardana with two other persons had entered the above premises and made inquiries about the number of postal votes cast at the polling centre from the polling officer. 

23 December 2014, District Hospital Mawathagama, Kurunegala District

The speech made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the launch of his election manifesto and aired on the Independent Television Network (ITN) was broadcast on the first floor of the District Hospital Mawathagama when voting was taking place on the second floor of the same building.

23 December 2014, Gampola SLTB Depot

The posters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa displayed on the walls in the vicinity of the above location which is a polling station have not been removed as directed by the Election Commission.

23 December 2014, Kirillavala Zonal Education Office, Gampaha District

A CMEV reporter noted a 15 foot billboard of President Mahinda Rajapaksa fixed in the premises of the above location which is a polling station.

23 December 2014, Civil Defence Zonal Office Trincomalee, Trincomalee District

It was reported by a CMEV monitor that two buses belonging to the Trincomalee depot provided transport for Civil Defence Officers to cast their vote at the Zonal
Civil Defence Office (the registration of one bus is NA3647). These buses had promotional material of President Mahinda Rajapaksa displayed on the sides. When the CMEV monitor inquired from the depot about these two buses, he was told that no buses had been released for such a purpose. Our monitor was also told that the manager of the depot was Mr Vijitha Dharmasiri who is a local council member representing the UPFA.

23 December 2014, Zonal Education Office – Kabithigollawa, Anuradhapura District

The CMEV monitor assigned to this centre was not permitted to enter until the District Election Commissioner informed the police officers at the entrance granting permission for the monitor to enter.

23 December, Zonal Educational office, Ambalangoda – Kalutara District

CMEV mobile monitor reported that a banner (1.5 x 2 feet) of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is prominently displayed within the premises of Ambalangoda zonal educational office which is a polling station. The CMEV monitor who raised this issue with Mrs. S.E Chandrawathi, zonal education director, was informed that it is the responsibility of the police to remove such banners and that no action can be taken by the zonal education office.

23rd December, The 591st Battalion Headquarters of the Sinha regiment Sri Lanka Army, Alampil – Mullativu District.

A CMEV mobile monitor reported that the designated place for voting within this polling station is not secure as the Government officials have a clear view of each ballot that is being marked. The CMEV monitor has taken up this issue with the certifying officer and officers from the elections department.

The CMEV monitor had also made a written complaint to the representatives of the Elections commission. Upon inquiry the certifying officer had informed the CMEV monitor that the arrangements were made as he needed a clear view of the voter. Alternative arrangements were subsequently made to rectify the situation. However at this point 154 of the 391 registered votes had already been cast.

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 organisation to monitor the incidence of election related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up of CPA and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

All CMEV reports and communiqués can be accessed online at www.cmev.org.

Presidential Election 2015: Postal Voting Communiqué 01

23rd December 2014 Colombo, Sri Lanka – Postal voting for the Presidential Election scheduled for 8th January 2015 commenced this morning at 7.30 a.m. A total of 541,831 voters are eligible to cast postal votes on the 23rd, 24th, 26th and 30th of December 2014. According to media reports of the 626,953 applications received for postal voters, nearly 85,000 (14%) applications were rejected.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa launched his election manifesto today (23rd) and his speech was aired live by the Independent Television Network (ITN) and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting co-operation (SLBC) from 9.00 a.m. onwards. Whilst the airing of this election activity is a violation of the Election Commissioner’s directives on the use of state media and state resources, CMEV received several complaints of this speech being played loudly in government buildings which operate as polling stations for the postal vote.

CMEV received complaints that the telecast of the speech could be seen and /or heard by voters en route to casting their postal votes in the Divisional Secretariat premises in Passara, Karachchi, Ambagamuwa, Ududumbara and Lunugala.

Divisional Secretariat – Gomarankadawala, Trincomalee District.

Postal voting was temporary suspended due to a clash between M.K.D.S Gunawardana, MP (NDP), and Mr. Sadun Hemantha, a Member of Gomarankdawala Pradeshiya Sabha (UPFA), at around 9.10 a.m. According to a CMEV monitor, Mr. Gunawardana’s driver had assaulted Mr. Hemantha following a heated argument between Mr. Hemantha and Mr. Gunawardana. Mr. Hemantha has been taken to Gomarankadawala Rural Hospital with minor head injuries.

Voting re- commenced at 10.00 a.m after the Assistant Returning Officer of the Trincomalee District arrived at the scene.

Sri Lanka Army 68th Battalion Headquarters – Pudukuduirippu, Mullativu District.

A CMEV mobile monitor reported that the designated place for voting within this polling station does not allow for a secret vote as the Certifying Officer of the polling center has a clear view of each ballot that is being marked. CMEV was informed that 301 voters are registered to vote at the said polling station at the time the CMEV mobile monitor inspected the premises with 97 votes cast.

The CMEV monitor had taken up this issue with the Certifying officer Lt. Col. T.M.K.C Amarakoon who stated that they were unable to make alternative arrangements. CMEV has made a written complaint to the certifying officer in this regard.

Special Task Force camp- 3rd Mile Post, Siyabalanduwa, Monaragala District.

CMEV monitor reported that at around 7.30 a.m. R.P Herath, Commanding Officer of the camp informed him that voting was closed for the day after only about 5 votes were cast during the period the monitor was present. The Commanding Officer had further informed the CMEV monitor that the balance votes would be cast tomorrow. A total of 154 postal votes were registered at this camp.

When contacted by CMEV, Assistant Elections Commissioner for the Monaragala District, stated that the said closure was contrary to the directions provided by his office and that they will investigate into the matter.

Southern Provincial Council Building – Galle

CMEV monitor reported that hand bills were being distributed in front of the Southern Provincial Council Building in Galle. Chief Minister of the Southern Provincial Council, Mr. Shan Wijayalal Silva was also among the group distributing handbills.

Six polling stations are located within the premises of the Southern Provincial Council building with a total of 284 postal voters registered to cast their vote.

Labor Department Head office– Narahenpita

The CMEV polling station observer for the Labor Department was not granted access until 8.30 a.m to monitor the postal vote. The Certifying Officer Mr. Anura Muthumanna, a Labor Commissioner refused to allow access until a specific letter addressed to him, was produced stating that the specific observer should be given access. Following communications made with Assistant Election Commissioner Colombo, the CMEV observer was granted access to monitor the polling station. CMEV notes that this incident took place despite the monitor possessing a letter of authorization signed by the Commissioner of Elections authorising him to enter and monitor a polling station.

It was further reported by the monitor that a group of people were distributing handbills in front of the premises where the postal vote was being conducted.

Navy Camp – Welisara, Gampaha District

CMEV monitor was not permitted to enter the premises of the Navy camp by the security at the gate. The security informed our monitor that they were not aware of CMEV and therefore could not permit a representative of the organisation to enter the camp.

Again CMEV notes that this incident took place despite the monitor possessing a letter of authorisation signed by the Commissioner of Elections authorising him to enter and monitor a polling station.

The monitor was permitted to enter the camp to monitor postal voting at about 9.45 a.m after CMEV informed the Assistant Election Commissioner, Gampaha.

S.L.T.B Depot – Uppuveli, Trincomalee District.

A Jeep (registration number 30 – 0018) bearing a poster of President Mahinda Rajapaksa is parked in front of the polling station within the premises of the Depot. The CMEV polling station observer reported that the Jeep belonged to R.M.G Vijitha Dharmasiri Depot Manager of the Uppuveli Depot.

Furthermore a poster of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was prominently displayed within the premises of the Depot.

S.L.T.B Depot – Uppuveli, Trincomalee District 1 S.L.T.B Depot – Uppuveli, Trincomalee District 2

S.L.T.B Depot – Gampola, Kandy District

Posters of President of Mahinda Rajapaksa are prominently displayed within the premises of the Depot. The said posters have been present for at least two weeks and no steps have been taken remove them.

Headquarters of The Civil Security Department of Sri Lanka – Kilinochchi, Kilinochchi District.

A CMEV Mobile Monitor reported that officers of the Civil Security Department (CSD) were collecting information from civilian workers attached to the CSD as they left the polling station. Information collected included name, NIC number and time of voting.

The CMEV monitor had observed workers attached to the farms maintained by the CSD being separated into groups based on their work location and the information being collected accordingly.

When contacted by CMEV Major Sagara Weerasinghe, the Certifying Officer of the polling station, stated that such information was collected to ascertain the details of persons who had cast their postal votes today in order to facilitate internal administration of the farms. Major Weerasinghe stated that they needed this information to arrange transportation for tomorrow and to prepare work rosters so persons who had not cast their vote could be released from work tomorrow.

This conduct is particularly problematic in light of the serious allegations made against the CSD during the Northern Provincial Council election in September 2013. The Assistant Election Commissioner – Kilinochchi District is presently on location investigating the CMEV complaint.

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Download this press release in Sinhala here.

CMEV Contact Numbers: Presidential Election 2015

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

Our contact details are for the Presidential Election 2015 are:

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Co-Convenor-CMEV
(+94) 777731458 (direct)

Mr. Manjula Gajanayake Coordinator
(+94) 772298565

Mr. Mani Maran Field Coordinator
(+94) 77247608

Contact Numbers CMEV

Contact us CMEV

CMEV & Groundviews updates over your mobile

Groundviews, together with the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), both institutionally located at the Centre for Policy Alternatives, are now publishing key updates via WhatsApp as well as through a new Instagram account, launched today.

Screenshot_2014-12-22-16-32-25

If you have WhatsApp installed, save +94 72 777 2810 as a new contact in your address book and send us a message (e.g. Hi! Please subscribe me) to add yourself to our distribution list.

WhatsApp is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia smartphones. Using the app, CMEV and Groundviews will send information via text, photos, videos and audio recordings in real-time.

Sending and receiving content on WhatsApp, from anywhere in the world, across any mobile network and over any compatible smartphone, is free.

Screenshot_2014-12-22-16-32-35

Groundviews and CMEV are also now on Instagram. Follow us via @groundviews for updates.

Presidential Election 2015: Media Communique 03

22st December 2014 at 2.00 p.m. Download as a PDF here.

Attack in Kotte

CMEV received a complaint from Dr. Harsha De Silva, UNP organizer, Kotte, that a group of supporters of Maithreepala Sirisena was attacked by a group headed by Manjuala Budhhadasa. Mr Buddhadasa is a Member of the Western Provincial Council and the son of Mayor G.H. Buddhadasa, Kaduwela Municipal Council. Dr. De Silva asked CMEV to contact Harshani Sandaruwani, one of the victims of the attack, for further information. Harshani Sandaruwani is the leader of the group in charge of leaflet distribution for the New Democratic Front in the Nawala area.

Ms. Sandaruwan told CMEV that when they were distributing leaflets of the Common Opposition Candidate Maithreepala Sirisena at the Nawala- Koswattha Junction, a group of people arrived in a white colour cab (WP KV9902) and approached a MSD policeman who summoned them. Manjula Buddhadasa also got down from the vehicle and slapped a male person. He also snatched all the posters and threw them away. He further removed green coloured cap from a person and threatened the group that if they came to these areas again, he will kill them. According to Harshani Sandaruwani this incident happened at around 2.15 PM on 20th Dec 2014. Further she said that two policemen were present at the incident but did not take any action regarding it.

Hambantota Incident

An assault not directly related to the presidential election campaign of any candidate but one which has a bearing on the current political climate and is reflective of it, was reported to CMEV on Sunday 21 st December. Mr Sampath Samarakoon, told CMEV that when a group of street drama and human rights activists were to perform a street drama at the Hambantota bus stand on the theme ‘Veedi Virodaya’, they were attacked by Hambantota Urban Council Chairman Eraj Frenando.

Mr. Ayub Khan, the Opposition Leader , Hambantota Urban Council was one of the victims of this attack. When CMEV contacted him, he said that the group was brutally attacked with sticks. He also said that they had informed the Police regarding their street drama and further, that the Police had not taken any statement from the victims.

When CMEV contacted Mr.Eraj Fernanado, he said that at around 9.45 AM he had gone to the Hambantota town and that whilst he was waiting for his secretary he had encountered Mr. Khan and inquired from him as to whether permission had been obtained form the Urban Council for the street drama. Mr. Khan had replied in the affirmative. According to Mr. Fernando, the attack was perpetrated by the general public. He further stated that Police had asked him to leave the scene of the attack. He complied and said that he had made a Police complaint in the interests of his future security.

When CMEV contacted Hambantota Police OIC , CI Buddhika at around 1 PM ,he said that they did not receive any complaint about this incident. He further said that this drama group had not informed the Police regarding this and that it was the public at the bus stand who had disrupted the street drama. He also said the he will conduct an inquiry into the incident.

When CMEV contacted Mr Sumith Disaanayaka, a human right activist he said that although they had performed this drama in several places across the country, they did not face any problems. Mr Sumith Dissanayaka also informed CMEV that the Inspector General of Police had been informed of the incident in writing.

When CMEV contacted the main UNP office in Hambantota, the secretary of MP Sajith Premadsa, Mr Samarasinge said that the group led by Eraj Fernanado had attacked the street drama group with the intention of sabotaging Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena’s election campaign.

Presidential Election 2015: Media Communiqué No. 02

On 21st December 2014 at 09.12 pm:

Use of Civil Defense Officers for election campaign activities in Ampara District

CMEV received a complaint from a civil defense officer who wishes to remain anonymous. The complaint is that Civil Defense officers are being used for election activities in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksha. Further he said that new recruitments are being made
during this period by Deputy Minister of Labor and Labor Relations, Hon Sarath Weerasekera . According to the complainant Civil Defenc officers have been threatened that if they do not get involved in the Rajapaksha campaign, their jobs will be in jeopardy.

It is important to note that these officers have been forced to engage in campaign activities, based at the Minister’s office located near the market in Dehiatthakkandiya town.   He noted that these officers have been assigned the tasks of making and pasting posters, cutouts and distributing leaflets of President Rajapaksha.

When CMEV contacted Dehiatthakkandiya Poilce Station, we were informed that many young persons had come to the Police Stations last month to obtain a police report in order to get a job with the Civil Defense Force.

When CMEV contacted Minister Sarath Weerasekera, he completely denied these allegations. Moreover he said that the Civil Defence Officers were free to engage in political activities after 4.30 PM since they are paid on a daily basis. He further said that he could not reject them when they offered their services voluntarily for political activities.   He also said that since he is former Director of the Civil Defence Unit (CDU) he does not have any connection with the CDU at present.

The Minister maintains that the CDU has not been engaged in new recruitment since the end of the war in 2009. Nevertheless, he did say that the CDU has selected individuals with vocational qualifications for recruitment after 8th January 2015. According to him this impending recruitment is crucial since a lot of construction work has to be completed. Finally, he stressed that if CDU officers get involved in political activities during their working hours, this would be a violation of both labour and election laws. However, he continued to maintain that in the Ampara district CDU officers had only engaged in political activities after working hours and were therefore not violating the election law.

CMEV was unable to speak to Mr Pathmawansa, Commanding Officer, CDU, Dehiatthakkandiya but spoke with an officer, Mr Shriyantha who said that according to his knowledge officers in his office were not being used for political activities. He further said that they could not engage in political activities in support of any candidate even after working hours, since they are government servants.

CMEV subsequently spoke with an officer in the office of the Additional Election Commissioner in Ampara, who informed CMEV that his office had received many complaints about CDU officers being engaged in political activity in support of the incumbent President. He directed CMEV to Mr Jayasekara, the officer in charge of election complaints. Mr. Jayasekera was not contactable.

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 organisation to monitor the incidence of election related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up of CPA and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

Download this statement as a PDF here.

Civilians attacked

CMEV received a complaint from Rev Ampitiye Sumanaratna Thero that a group of civilians protested that their voting rights should be ensured. They attempted to submit a petition to the President in this regard and allege that they were attacked by the Police at around 6.30 p.m. on the 19th December 2014 in front of the Batticaloa Police Station.

A group of Buddhist priests led by Rev Ampitiye Sumanaratna Thero and group of Sinhalese resettled in Keviliyamaduwa village in Batticaloa District had tried to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksha after the meeting held at Hindu College in Batticaloa on the 19th of December with the purpose of submitting a petition demanding their voting rights and a few other basic facilities. They have repeatedly requested permission to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksha. According to Rev Ampitiye Sumanaratne Thero, a request that was rejected by the police. When they tried to reach the location, irrespective of Police permission they were attacked brutally. One of the members of the group had been stripped naked and a few others have been attacked by the Police. Four members including a pregnant women have been admitted to the Teaching Hospital in Batticaloa according to the report made by Sumanaratne Thero to CMEV.

Ven Sumanaratna Thero said to CMEV that they are not in a position to make any complaint at any Police Station as the perpetrators are Police officers themselves. He further said that they are very helpless at this time and do not know what to do next.

Download a PDF of this press release here.

Uva Provincial Council Elections 2014: Communiqué on Post-Election Violence

Download this PR as a PDF here.

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25 September 2014: The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has been informed of 9 incidents of violence after the conclusion of the Uva Provincial Council elections held on 20th September 2014. The incidents reported to CMEV include incidents where UPFA supporters were involved in making threats to and/or damaging property of opposition candidates (particularly JVP and UNP). CMEV is concerned with the ongoing violence and the lack of accountability for it, which denotes the prevailing culture of impunity.

Although the Department of Police claimed to have a strict security apparatus to deal with post-election violence, these measures have been insufficient to deal with the violence that has erupted. Subsequent to the outbreak of post-election violence, the Police took action to deploy additional officers to neutralise the situation. It is evident that due to this action further violence was prevented and communities who feared an escalation of violence, reassured that this would not be the case. These incidents highlight the need for pre-empting post-election violence and taking necessary measures to prevent such situations.

CMEV is especially concerned by the incidents that transpired in Mahiyanganaya. A significant number of incidents were reported from the day of nominations to the post-election period. All three independent election observer organisations: CMEV, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), issued a joint statement highlighting these concerns.  Following pre-election violence that transpired in Mahiyanganaya, the Election Commissioner, at a meeting held on the 10th September requested that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) takes necessary measures to respond to the situation and to take pre-emptive measures against any outbreak of violence. The IGP thereafter deployed 30 STF personnel to the area. CMEV learns that the STF personnel were withdrawn a day prior to the election redeployed on Election Day and withdrawn once more soon after the election. These measures are contrary to what the IGP agreed to at the meeting convened by the Election Commissioner on 10th September where he gave an undertaking that the Uva province DIG would provide security to opposition parties and take steps to prevent violence in the remainder of the campaign, on Election day and the post – election period. CMEV condemns continuing violence and urges all law enforcement agencies and political party leaders to take necessary measures to prevent further violence and to take action against those who are involved in and complicit in such violence.

Following are some of the incidents recorded by CMEV in the post-election period: 

Attack on the residence of JVP Provincial Council candidate

The residence of JVP Uva Provincial Council candidate P. P. G. Wijesiri was attacked by an unidentified group at 12.30 a.m on the 22nd September. The said residence is located at Singhasiripura, Madurukatiya, Kumbukkana in Moneragala District. Subsequent to switching off street lights, the attackers shattered three windows and partially damaged a room. Mr. Wijesiri has lodged a complaint (No. 51) regarding the incident with the Moneragala Police. When contacted by CMEV, the Moneragala Police Division- Election Operation Centre confirmed that the incident was recorded.

Attack on UNP Provincial Council candidate

Roy Kalinga, former opposition leader of Wellawaya Pradeshiya Sabha and candidate of the UNP for the Uva Provincial Council, was assaulted by an unidentified group using clubs at his residence in Athili-wewa, Dambarawa, Wellawaya on the 22nd September. The group arrived in 2 white defender vehicles at 2 a.m and also attacked his vehicles. He was subsequently admitted to the Sirigala hospital in Moneragala and is being treated at ward No. 02 (photos available).  The hospital confirmed that 2 persons were admitted and the condition of Mr. Kalinga is not serious. Mr. Kalinga’s spouse lodged a complaint (No. 52) on the incident with the Wellawaya police. When contacted, Moneragala Police Division- Election Operation Centre confirmed that the incident was recorded.

Attack on the residence of JVP Provincial Council candidate’s father

The residence belonging to the father of JVP Provincial Council candidate W. M. A. K Wickramasinghe Bandara was attacked by an identified group at 12.45 a.m on the 22nd September. The residence is located at Obbegoda, Dambagalla, in Moneragala District. When contacted by CMEV, Mr. Bandara claimed that the attack was due to his father’s involvement in his election campaign. The Moneragala Police Division- Election Operation Centre confirmed that the incident was recorded as complaint No. 53.

Attack on UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member

UNP member of Hali-Ela Pradeshiya Sabha, Chandana Ranmuthugala was assaulted allegedly by UPFA supporters, identified by Mr. Ranmuthugala as Nihal and Jayaweredana. The incident occurred on the 20th September when Mr. Ranmuthugala was on his way to the Badulla counting center close to the Lunugalla polling center. Mr. Ranmuthugala was admitted to ward No. 9 in Badulla hospital. A complaint regarding the incident has been made to the Badulla Police.

Attack on UNP supporter

R.M. Gunathilaka, supporter of UNP Provincial Council candidate Harin Fernando, was assaulted at his residence at midnight  on the 20th September subsequent to threats made at 7 p.m allegedly by a group of persons led by vice chairman (UPFA) of Badulla Pradeshiya Sabha. A complaint regarding the incident has been made to the Badulla Police.

Attack on the vehicle of UNP Provincial Council candidate

Following news that the UNP party office in Hali Ela was set on fire, UNP Provincial Council candidate Harin Fernando and supporters were rushing to the area when an armed, unidentified group stoned the vehicle convoy. The incident took place around 5 p.m on 22nd September when the convoy was passing Hali Ela junction. 3 vehicles were damaged in the incident but no casualties were reported. A spokesperson for Mr. Fernando claimed that the Badulla Police took almost 2 hours to take the complaint.

The situation subsided without further violence or damage caused by the sharp weapons that were carried by the mob, due to the Police being deployed to disperse the mob. The incident took place in an area with a heavy Muslim population. The community was apprehensive about the violence. Mr. Fernando has informed CMEV that the mob blamed villagers of Hali Ela for UPFA electorate’s defeat. Mr. Fernando further informed CMEV that UPFA Badulla district MP Dilan Perera was amongst the mob. CMEV could not reach Mr. Perera for a statement.

During the incident, a journalist from the Lankadeepa newspaper, Chandana Kuruppuarachchi, was attacked by the mob. He claimed that the mob chased him for a distance of almost 1km and pelted stones at him. He was admitted to the Badulla hospital with a few broken teeth.

Attack against the Supporter of UNP Mahiyanganaya Organizer

CMEV received reports both from the field as well as through a complaint made by Upali Senaratne, UNP organizer for Mahiyangana electorate, that politicians were threatening opposition supporters in the Mahinaganaya area.

One incident was recorded at 7 p.m from Adaulpatha, Redeemaliyadda, Mahiyanganaya, where the driver of Mr. Senaratne’s, Chaminda Sampath, was allegedly attacked by supporters of UPFA MP for Badulla district, Thenuka Vidanagamage. He was later admitted to the Badulla hospital.

Another incident was recorded from the same area. Mr. Senaratne alleged that a three-wheeler belonging to Priyantha Kumara, one of his supporters, was damaged by UPFA supporters on the 22nd September.     

A further incident was reported from the Mahiyangana police station, when Mr. Senaratne and his supporters were attempting to make a complaint to the Police officer in charge of elections. Mr. Senaratne and his supporters alleged that they were threatened and beaten by supporters of UPFA Provincial Council candidate Anura Vidanagama. Mr. Vidanagama himself had at the Police station threatened Mr. Senaratne and supporters. This incident took place in the presence of ASP S. Wedamulla from the Mahiyangana Police division. When contacted by CMEV, Mr. Vidanagama claimed that these were false allegations. He directed any further inquiries to the Mahiyangana Police who he claimed was conducting an impartial investigation into the complaints.

Uva Provincial Council Elections 2014 Election Day Communiqué No. 3

Download this report in Tamil here.

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20 September 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Election day saw a high number of voters in both the Badulla and  Moneragala districts. News reports quoting election officers reported voter turnout at 50% in the Badulla district and 44% in the Moneragala district at midday. In the 2009 Uva Provincial Council election, 70.03% of the registered votes were polled. Although official confirmation of the final voter turnout of today’s poll is not available at the time of writing, mid-day news reports indicate participation could be at similar levels.

The following table highlights incidents as reported by the Police on Election Day.

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The day was marked with 6 major incidents, which included assault, threats and intimidation. These included the use of firearms and dangerous weapons. One incident occurred within the premises of the Bandarawela police station. There were however no reported arrests at the time of writing.

It has to be noted that there were no reports of incidents of murder or grievous hurt on Election Day. However there was widespread abuse of state resources and violation of election law that occurred in the lead up to the polls and on Election Day.

CMEV was concerned about issues related to the presentation of identification documents that could impact the exercise of the franchise. As a result, CMEV responded positively to the request by the Elections Commissioner to support mobile clinics organized by the Department of Elections to issue special identity cards in the Badulla district.

Some key trends from polling day include:

  • The heavy presence of politicians across parties and their supporters from outside of the Uva Province, was evident in both the Badulla and Moneragala districts. Several serious incidents reported allegedly involved UPFA politicians and their supporters from outside the Uva province.
  • The overwhelming majority of ‘major incidents’ on polling day were reported from the Badulla District.
  • A majority of election law violations, including transporting voters to polling stations were reported from the Moneragala district.
  • All physical attacks reported to CMEV were attacks against politicians and party cadre.
  • Intimidation and pressuring of voters was used to either influence or prevent voting.
  • Illegal campaigning (graffiti/posters and other propaganda material/vehicles bearing names and/or preference numbers of candidates) was regularly seen near polling stations as well as elsewhere, despite the 13,000 police personnel deployed.
  • Voters were not allowed to cast their ballot on account of non-possession of polling cards.

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Methodology: CMEV records incidents of murder, attempted murder, assault, abduction, arson, robbery, grievous hurt and threats and intimidation and ‘major’ incidents while damage to property, threats, mischief and violation of election law are recorded as ‘minor’ incidents.

Uva Provincial Council Elections 2014 Election Day Communiqué No. 2

20 September 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Voting in the Uva Provincial Council election closed at 4 p.m. Further incidents reported during the polling period are detailed below.

Download this as a PDF here. Sinhala version here and Tamil version here.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla district, Bandarawela Polling division.  According to UNP MP Harsha De Silva a group of UNP supporters were travelling from Diyatalawa to Bandarawela when a group of people had disembarked from a white van that had blocked their path. The Coordinating Secretary of UNP Candidate Harin Fernando, Mr. Premasiri was assaulted by Southern Provincial Council Minister D.V Upul using the blunt side of a sword. Eyewitnesses also allege that the attackers fired several shots into the air.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Wellawaya, Athili Wewa Maha Viduhala. UPFA Moneragala election operation unit lodged a complaint with CMEV that UNP candidate Roy Kalinga contesting under the preference number 17, together with about 25 of his supporters, threatened a UPFA supporter not to cast his vote. The UPFA alleged that the Police refused to accept the complaint. However when contacted by CMEV, Wellawaya Police stated that the complaint was accepted as Complaint number 48 at 9.15 a.m

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla district, Hali-Ela, St. James Tamil Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported voter Padmanathan Yogaratnam was assaulted with a knife, approximately 200 meters from the polling station when he arrived to cast his vote. The perpetrator – allegedly a JVP supporter according to the victim’s brother- was identified as Shanmuganathan and was allegedly involved in an altercation with the injured on the previous day. The injured was admitted to the Badulla Base Hospital. Upon inquiries from the hospital, CMEV was informed that a person with the name Pathmanathan Yogaratnam was admitted to ward 8. The hospital however refused to divulge any further information. The CMEV field monitor’s attempts to contact the hospital director for more details were unsuccessful. The Badulla base hospital police informed CMEV that this incident was a personal dispute, unrelated to election violence.  CMEV has been informed by the injured person’s brother that this is an election related incident.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla district, Wellassa. A hotel owned by H. A. Dushan who maintained a UNP party office opposite the Wellassa Jathika Pasala, was attacked by about 30 individuals who arrived in 5 vehicles. CMEV field monitors visited the location and were informed by witnesses that an unidentified group stormed into the hotel and assaulted 3 individuals including the aforementioned. Eye-witnesses alleged that the attackers fled the scene upon arrival of the Police.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Bibile, Moneragala Mariarawa Maha Viduhala Polling Station. A complaint has been lodged by the UPFA Party Office with CMEV that two UPFA representatives at the Mariarawa polling station were denied access to the premises.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla district, Haputalle, Pitarathmala, Bandarewela/ Junior Tamil School Polling Station. A CMEV field monitor reported that at about 2 p.m a three – wheeler -bearing registration number UP. VK 3519 depicting the preference number of Mr. Agalan Sendil Thondaman (No. 02) and UPFA election symbol, was parked 50 meters from the polling station for a significant period of time. When the CMEV field monitor made inquiries from the three -wheeler driver, he revealed that in the lead up to the election date he was paid Rs. 1000 per day by the supporters of Mr. Sendil Thondaman for displaying the sticker and Rs. 1500 was offered for today (20th of September) by the same people. The three-wheeler driver further stated that similar offers were made to many other vehicles.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Wellawaya, Okkampitiya Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station.  CMEV field monitors reported that campaign material was scattered outside Okkampitiya Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station (centre 26/27) depicting the number 15 and the betel leaf symbol – the preference number of Mr. Manamendra Patabedige Leelasena (photographic evidence is available) and the UPFA symbol, respectively.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Wellawaya, Okkampitiya Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported a vehicle bearing stickers with number 9 in yellow on a blue background, parked outside the polling station with the registration plate number WP KH-3434 (photographic evidence is available).

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla district, Hali-Ela, District Vocational Training Centre Rockhill Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported propaganda material including preference numbers 17, 9 and 7 and the UPFA election symbol were discovered on the ground close to the polling station. The above preference numbers refer to UPFA candidates Manel Rathnayake, R. M. Nimal Rathnayake, and Arther Chamara Sampath Dasanayake Don respectively.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla district, Hali-Ela, Wewalginna Vidyalaya polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported a group of about 5 youths were speaking to the voters within a radius of 100 meters from the polling station telling them to vote for UPFA candidate Mr. Ajith Deshapriya contesting under the preference number 03.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Bibile, Bibile Nagala, Moneragala Nagala Piyarathana Kanitu Viduhala. A complaint was lodged by the UPFA Party Office with CMEV that the Senior Polling Officer has notified disabled persons that they will not be afforded the opportunity to cast their vote. The UPFA Party Office is reported to have made a complaint to the Elections Commissioner.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Wellawaya, Kiri-ibban Wewa Bandaranayake Secondary School.  A complaint was lodged by the UPFA Party Office with CMEV that a group of persons used a white van to transport voters to the Kiribath wewa Bandaranayake secondary school polling center, close to Kiri-ibban Ara Mawara Bridge. They further alleged that the persons in the van were waving red flags.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Bibile, Mada Gama, Moneragala Bibilamulla Kanitu Viduhala Polling Station. A complaint was lodged by the UPFA Party Office with the CMEV field monitor, reporting that the Senior Polling Officer did not make necessary arrangements for disabled persons to cast their vote.

On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala district, Siyambalanduwa, Kumbukgeyaya Eksath Paropakara Samithi Shalawa, Athimale Wawe Polling Station. A Complaint was lodged by the UPFA Party Office with the CMEV that a police officer Karunamuni (63245) deployed for election duties was seen intimidating voters by informing them not to cast their vote.

Uva Provincial Council Elections 2014 Election Day Communiqué No. 1

20 September 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka: Voting in the Uva Provincial Council election commenced today, 20th September 2014. This election is the latest in the current cycle of Provincial Council elections held in four phases over two years. In total 942,730 registered voters are registered to vote at 834 polling stations in the 3 polling divisions of the Moneragala district and the 9 in the Badulla District.

Download this update in Sinhala here, and in Tamil here.

Turnout

Voting began at 7 a.m. By 1.00 p.m in the Badulla district voter turnout was recorded at 50% and in the Moneragala district at 45% by noon. During the previous Provincial Council election in 2009, the total voter turnout was 68.69% and 70.73% in the Moneragala and Badulla districts, respectively.

Incidents

  • On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Passara, Gonagala Maha Vidyalaya, Gonagala Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that a graffiti depicting the number 18 and the betel leaf symbol had been drawn on the road in front of the polling station. It is noted that the graffiti indicated the election symbol of the UPFA and the preference number of Mr. Vadivel Suresh, who is the organizer for the Passara electorate. (Photographic evidence is available)
  • On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Moneragala District, Moneragala, Horambuwa, Moneragala Horambuwa Kanitu Viduhala Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that from around 7 a.m, a bus bearing registration number ND-6622 was used to transport voters to the Horambuwa Kanitu Viduhala polling station. Furthermore the bus was used to provide transport to employees of the Moneragala Pradeshiya Sabha. CMEV field monitors report that UPFA Moneragala District candidate Shashindra Rajapaksa’s name was displayed prominently on the said bus. This narration of the incident was corroborated by an employee of the Pradeshiya Sabha, who was a passenger on the bus.
  • On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Haputale, Glananor Tamil Kanishta Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that a group of about 15 UPFA (CWC) supporters approached voters and  asked them to cast their vote according to a model ballot paper that had marked numbers 2, 11, and 12 against the UPFA election symbol. The incident is reported to have taken place within a 100 meter radius of the polling station and the group had exerted particular pressure on women voters in this regard.
  • On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Mahiyanganaya, Dehigolla Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that a group of people wearing blue t-shirts were distributing refreshments to the public on a by-road located within a 500 meter radius of the Dehigolla Maha Vidyalaya polling station.
  • On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Bandarawela, Bandarawela polling Division, polling Station Numbers 60 and 61. CMEV field monitors reported that two police officers turned away voters from the polling station who did not possess polling cards. Based on eyewitness accounts, CMEV field monitors estimated that by 11 a.m, almost 20 voters had been turned away.
  • On 20th September 2014 UVA Province, Badulla District, Passara, Namunukula Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that the senior presiding officer attached to Namunukula Vidyalaya polling station was under the influence of alcohol while he was on duty. Furthermore when the CMEV field monitor approached the senior presiding officer to sign the CMEV observation form, he refused to do so. CMEV has reported this incident to the Elections Commissioner.
  • On 20th September UVA Province, Badulla District, Passara, Yuri Estate Tamil Vidyalaya Polling Station. CMEV field monitors reported that around 1.05 p.m, a group of persons approached voters who were proceeding to the polling station and pressured them to vote for UPFA candidate Mr. Vadivel Suresh (No. 18 ). This incident is reported to have taken place within a 50 meter radius of the polling station.
  • On 20th September 2014 Uva Province, Badulla District, Bandarawela, Bandarawela Police Station. Police Communique issued by the Deputy O.I.C of the Bandarawela Police stated that at 10.20 a.m, Mayor of the Bandarawela Municipal council Mr. Chaminda Wijesiri with five other supporters visited the Bandarawela Police Station to lodge a complaint regarding UNP supporters being threatened and assaulted.  At about 10.40 a.m UPFA Member of Bandarawela Pradeshiya Sabha, Mr. Heenkenda and the Deputy Minister of Trade and his supporters (who arrived a short while after Mr. Heenkenda), entered the Police Station and had an altercation with the Mayor of the Bandarawela and his supporters.
  • CMEV field monitors reported that the Mayor of Bandarawela was admitted to the Diyathalawa hospital and had reportedly suffered bruising as a result of the altercation. He has been transferred to the Badulla base hospital.