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.

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 04

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08th August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka

Below is a summary of the major cases of election related violence reported to CMEV from the 1st of August to the 4th of August 2015.

01st August, 2015- Threat and Intimidation, Matale

It was reported to CMEV that JVP candidate Mr. Gamagedara Diassanayake was threatened by supporters of the UPFA. The incident occurred at around 5.00 P.M when Mr. Chathura, Mr. Ishara and MR. Kumara from the UPFA allegedly disconnected the electricity supply to a JVP meeting at Galewela, Makulugas Wewa.

When CMEV contacted the Galewela Police station they confirmed that a complaint had been lodged under CIB/1/392/13 by station OIC Mr. K.A.G.L Dilruk. However, contrary to the report received, the officer stated that it was the Three-wheeler Association of the area, which maintained the shrine that had disconnected the supply, as electricity was taken without their permission.

In contacting Mr. Dissanayake, he asserted that he was assaulted by the UPFA supporters,  however these claims could not be confirmed. 

02nd August, 2015 Damage to Property, Galle

It was reported to CMEV that a campaign office of UNP candidate Mr. Sunil Senanayake, in Hiniduma has been allegedly attacked by Mr. Supun, Mr. Priyantha and Mr. Daminda along with 2 other supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Piyasena Gamage at around 2.00 A.M. According to reports the attack had occurred in the vicinity of the primary school in Habarakada, Ela Ihalagala. The losses resulting from the attack have been valued at between Rs.35, 000 – Rs.40,000. The complainant Mr. Thilak Senanayake stated that the police had failed to commence investigations even though the perpetrators had been identified by the police.

In contacting Mr. Harsha Senanayake the son of Mr. Sunil Senanayake’s, he accused the police of not taking the complaint seriously. He stated that it had taken 1 hour to simply lodge the complaint. Elaborating on the incident Mr. Harsha Senanayake, said that Police had even requested him to withdraw the complaint.

When CMEV contacted Hiniduma Police station to clarify these accusations they confirmed that a complaint had been lodged under ECIB 4/2 and that no perpetrators have been arrested. However, when Mr. Harsha Senanayake’s accusations were conveyed to the police they dismissed the allegations.

CMEV was able to conform the incident by contacting Mr Jayarathne P.C, of the Galle district elections operations unit. However, when CMEV contacted Mr. K.D Wickremesinghe, campaign coordinator of Mr. Piyasena Gamage, he said that he was not aware of the matter.

03rd August 2015, Misuse of State Resources, Kalutara

It was reported to CMEV by Mr. Nimal Devapriya of the UPFA, that UNF Kalutara district candidate Mr. Rajitha Senaratne had conducted a  campaign meeting for health staff at Kalutara Base Hospital and that government vehicles, cab (PD-4435) owned by the Ministry of Health and an ambulance (LW-0741)  owned by Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s Hospital, Peradeniya were used in the event. The meeting was conducted at Garden Beach Hotel, Kalutara from 10.30 am to 2.30 pm.

When CMEV contacted Dr. Nihal Weerasinghe, Deputy Director of Peradeniya Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s Hospital, he said that the ambulance was sent to the Kalutara Base Hospital with drugs for patients in critical condition. He said that as he had no further details and he would follow up on the matter.

CMEV’s was unable to contact Dr. Rajitha Senaratne for remarks.

03rd August, 2015 Threat and Intimidation, Vanni

It has been reported to CMEV that development officer Mr. Sendil Kumaran was threatened by a supporter of Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen in Nedankery, Chenaipilavu, Vauvuniya. The incident occurred when the supporter attempted to paste a poster on the parapet wall of Mr. Kumaran’s residence against his wishes. However, the supporter of Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen had gone ahead in defiance of the objections.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Sendil Kumaran, he confirmed the incident and said that he did not lodge a complaint with the Police, as he is a government officer and was afraid of losing his job should Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen be re-elected and become a member of the government.

CMEV’s was unable to contact Mr. Bathiudeen for remarks.

04Th August, 2015- Misuse of State Resources, Kekirawa

It was reported to CMEV that employees of Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha have been used to set up a stage and decorate the location for a meeting which was to be used by UPFA candidate Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse.

When CMEV contacted Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha, an individual who was reluctant to identify themselves said that employees of the Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha were on leave on 4th of August.

04th August 2015- Assault, Kegalle

It has been reported to CMEV that 2 supporters of UNP candidate Mr. Lilan Amarakoon of the Kegalle district were assaulted by supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Lalith Dissanayake at around 8.30 P.M. The incident occurred during a meeting organized by supporters of Mr. Lilan Amarakoon in Parapitiya, Aranayaka.  Those assaulted were admitted to Aranayaka district hospital with minor injuries.

A complaint has been lodged with the Aranayaka Police station under EIB- Aranayaka electorate 1/2015. CMEV was able to confirm this entry when speaking to OIC of the Aranayaka Police station Mr. P.R.S.K Gunathilleke, who said that the alleged perpetrators Mr. P.D, Asoka and Mr. Charles have not been arrested as they had fled Aranayaka.

Meanwhile, the nurse in charge of Ward No: 1 of the Aranayaka, Hospital reported that the two victims were being provided treatment. When CMEV spoke to the victims they said they were assaulted with poles.  These claims were supported by Mr. Amarakoon.

04th August, 2015- Assault, Jaffna

It was reported to CMEV that Chairman of the Union of the Disappeared, Mr. Sahadevan, was assaulted by a supporter of UPFA candidate Mr. Angajan. The perpetrator Ms. P. Kaushi had assaulted Mr. Sahadevan during a campaign meeting organized by the supporters of Mr. Angajan for the relatives of those who had disappeared at the Green Grass Hotel, Jaffna. The incident had occurred when Mr. Sahadevan accused Mr. Angajan of exploiting the grieving victims to fulfill his election agenda.

When CMEV contacted Jaffna Police station, they confirmed that a complaint had been lodged under CIB-111353/35 and that investigation was underway. CMEV was unable to contact Ms. P. Kaushi for remarks.

04th August 2015-Arson Attack, Kandy

It has been reported to CMEV that a campaign office of UNP candidate Mr. Samantha Arunakumara has been attacked by an unidentified group on the night of the 4th of August. The group had set fire to the campaign office in addition to setting fire to a cut out of Mr. Samantha Arunakumara.

CMEV can confirm that a complaint has been lodged at the Gampola Police station under EIB 2/2015 and its officer in charge, said that investigations have been commenced.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Samantha Arunakumara, he confirmed that a complaint had been lodged. However, he stated that in the first instance, the police were reluctant to log the incident.