Presidential Election 2015: Election Communiqué 2

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CMEV notes that polling has been brisk but a few major incidents have been reported. Three explosions have so far been reported on the day of polls. The first was in Point Pedro reported in Communiqué 1. A second incident involved an explosion from Beruwala targeting a house of a Muslim businessman. No injuries were reported. The third incident from Vavuniya is provided below.

CMEV also notes several incidents of assault, threat and intimidation allegedly by ruling party politicians and their supporters. Some incidents are as follows –

Grenade explosion outside Vavuniya polling station

A grenade explosion took place near Nelukkulam Kalaimagal Maha Vidyalaya, Polling Station 32-33-34, Vavuniya at 2.30 pm. The explosion took place 50m near to the gate of the polling station. No injuries were reported. The police are investigating.

Two women struck by UPFA Deputy Minister in the Attanagalla Electorate, Gamapaha District

A report has been received by CMEV that UPFA Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardana and a group of supporters have hit two women, near the Yatiyana Junior School (Polling Centre no: 51) at approximately 1.00 pm on the 8th of January. It was also reported that Deputy Minster Gunawardana and his group of supporters have been travelling in 7 vehicles in and around the area. CMEV is yet to receive further information regarding this assault.

Assault near Mihintale Polling Station

CMEV received a report that North Central Minister S.M. Ranjith, his supporter Sumith and others had assaulted Wimalasiri A.H.M. and a few other people the culprits were seen with wooden rods and guns. The victim, Wimalasiri A.H.M. has been admitted to the Senapura Hospital. No complaint has been lodged.

Minister R.M. Ajantha Kumara Jayasinghe intimidating voters in Kalawewa Anuradhapura

CMEV received a complaint that Minister R.M. Ajantha Kumara Jayasinghe was intimidating voters and asking them to vote for President Rajapaksa near the Thambuttegama Community Hall in Kalawewa, Anuradhapura.

SLMC member assaulted and threatened.

CMEV received a report that supporters of Minister A.L.M. Athaula’s (National Congress) have assaulted and threatened a Sri Lanka Muslim Congress member, Mr. Thalha in Akkaraipattu. Mr. Thalha has made a police complaint regarding this.

Allegations of Iniya Bharathi entering Polling Centre in Thirukovil

Eyewitnesses informed CMEV of SLFP organizer, Iniya Bharathi, entering Sri Ramakrishna Vidyalayam Polling Station (number 79) at 11.45 am in Thirukovil and allege that he carried with him extra ballot papers which he stuffed into the ballot boxes. CMEV monitor at the centre confirms Iniya Bharathi entering the polling centre but no other information is presently known. The Commissioner of Elections has been informed by CMEV and is presently investigating the situation.

CMEV received a couple of incidents where continuing campaigning and other violations were committed by the EPDP.

Voters escorted to the polling station by EPDP members

CMEV received a complaint at 8.55 am that Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) local council member Iyathurai Sri Rangeswaran and escorted a few voters from the KKS electorate, polling division C in Jaffna to the Tellipalai Mahajana College (polling station number 32) to vote.

Campaigning in front of polling stations in Kilinochchi

CMEV monitor in Kilinochchi reported at 10.15 am that one EPDP member and one member of the Pradeshiya Sabha, along with some Samurdhi Development Officers, are present at the entrance of the polling station at Punnalneeravi Government Tamil Mixed School (Polling Station 57), urging voters to vote for President Rajapaksa.

Intimidating the voters in Puttalam

CMEV received a report at 9.15 am from the Palaviya Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya, No.42 polling station, the SPO was standing near the polling booth and inspecting in how people are casting their votes. When the CMEV monitor had inquired, he has stated that he was monitoring whether the ballot papers were being taken out of the polling station.

Voters picked up by a private bus and taken to polling stations

It was reported to the CMEV at 8.05 a.m. that ten persons comprising of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporters and civil defence forces picked up voters along the route to Kiribbanwewa Vidyalaya (No.87), a polling station for people of the Mullaitivu area. They had been picked up by a private bus bearing the license plate number HT6173 by people wearing red t-shirts. CMEV monitors have photographic evidence.

Army Officer standing outside polling station in Visvamadu, Mullaitivu

CMEV has received a report around 8.35 am of an Army officer standing outside the Bharathy Vidyalaya, Visuwamadu – Hall No. 2 polling station (No. 54) in the polling division “C” Mullaitivu, of the Vanni Electorate of the Mullaitivu District.

Election Day Communiqué 1

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


Polling for the Presidential Election 2015 commenced at 7am. One incident of an explosion was reported during this period from Point Pedro, Jaffna. CMEV was informed that the explosion was caused due to a hand grenade with no injuries reported.

CMEV received a report of voters being prevented from voting as more than 200 of them living in Nagavillu and Huseniya, Puttalam whose polling stations are in Mannar, are unable to travel there as the buses are blocked by Puttalam Urban Council Chairman, Mr K.A. Baiz and his supporters. From last night, Baiz and his supporters threatened the CTB and private bus drivers and prevented them from going to these villages.

CMEV is concerned that voters are being prevented from exercising their franchise and urge the authorities to take immediate action. CMEV has raised the issue with the Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya urging immediate action. He informed CMEV that he is aware of the situation.

CMEV received a number of incidents where attempts have been made to intimidate of voters. Between 7.30 – 8.30am UPFA supporters at Arafa Primary School, Polling Station 5, Weligama, Matara attempted to force voters to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

CMEV also notes several areas where there was no privacy in the voting booths in the polling centers and where voting is visible to persons in the polling station and outside. Areas where this has been reported included Matara (Polling centres 40-41), Pottuvil (Polling centre 64) and Mullaitivu areas (Polling centre 77).

CMEV is continuing to receive reports of campaigning on Election Day despite it being forbidden under electoral law. Some of the reports received include unsolicited SMS messages being circulated and distribution of campaign material in and around polling stations. CMEV received a number of such complaints all against the UPFA including:

  • A mass SMS message circulated in Sinhala from the number +94766887347 urging recipients to vote for the betel leaf. CMEV attempted to contact the user of the phone, however no one responded.
  • A mass SMS message in Tamil calling for a boycott of the election from the number +778313850. CMEV also received reports of SMS messages in Tamil calling for a rejection of candidate Maithripala Sirisena sent via numbers +775478817 and +770217836.
  • Canvassing for the UPFA candidate around the Deraniyagala Kanishta Vidyalaya polling station 23, Deraniyagala, Kegalle at around 8.00 am.
  • UPFA leaflets were distributed near the Allepola Maha Vidyalaya polling station 10 in Balangoda, Ratnapura at 7:05 am.
  • An unknown party distributed leaflets instructing voters to cast their vote for the betel leaf (UPFA) on the road leading to the Ahaliyagoda polling station 40, Ratnapura at 8:30 am.
  • A small group of people had arrived in a three-wheeler (NW AH 3788) at the Bogawalana polling station, No 36, Dambadeniya, Puttalam and distributed printed cards in support of the UPFA.
  • About 100 meters away from the Weuda Kanishta Vidhyalaya, No 04 polling station, Kurunegala, group of persons have distributed UPFA cards with the betel symbol.
  • From around 7am onwards fake ballot papers marked in favour of President Rajapakse were handed out to voters within 500 meters of the polling station Number 75, Al- Hamra Muslim Maha Vidyalayam, Irakkakandy, Trincomalee. Similar reports were received near Soranathota Primary School (Polling Center No. 14), in the Viyaluwa electorate in the Badulla district.

8th January – voters transported by a private bus to polling stations

CMEV was informed at 8.05 a.m. that ten persons comprising of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporters and civil defense forces picked up voters along the route to Kiribbanwewa Vidyalaya (Polling Center No. 87), Mullaitivu. They were picked up by a private bus bearing the license plate number HT6173.

Presidential Election 2015: Media Communique 15

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7th January

The day prior to polling witnessed the first fatality of the Presidential Election of 2015. Mr Shantha Dodagangoda who was critically injured in a shooting incident at Kahawatte, Ratnapura on the morning of Monday 5th January, died at 3.05 pm today at the Ratnapura hospital. Although the Pelmadulla Magistrates Court issued an arrest warrant for Deputy Minister of Power & Energy, Premalal Jayasekera, Minister Nilantha Jayakodi and Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Vajira Dharshana de Silva on 5th January, no arrests had taken place as of the 7th.

CMEV is extremely concerned by the rise in election-related violence and violations a day prior to polls including a death threat to a CMEV monitor by a Pradeshiya Sabha Minister and continuous death threats faced by human rights defenders (HRDs). These violations demonstrate an inability among officials within the present system to take necessary steps to address the culture of impunity. CMEV urges the authorities to take all steps to ensure the integrity of the poll.

CMEV received two reports of attempts to pay for identification documents from two different districts. In Akkaraichennai, Muttur in Trincomlee District, CMEV received a complaint stating that National Identity Cards and Drivers Licenses, have been collected in exchange for approximately Rs. 1000, by unknown persons. CMEV was informed by TNA Northern Provincial Council member Mr. Janadharan that he suspects UPFA supporters are involved in this incident. In Beruwela, Kalutara District, CMEV monitor had witnessed an incident where a UPFA supporter and former Organiser of the Urban Council, Mr. Mohamed Marjan, handing out Rs. 5000 each in exchange for National Identity Cards.

After the close of the campaign, CMEV has received a number of reports of the distribution of campaign material and other propaganda activities. A poster of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been given out with the “Tharuni” newspaper on the 7th of January at Bibile. Complaints have also been received regarding an article signed by Minister Nimal Siripala Silva with content against Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, being distributed by supporters of the Minister at Lower Street in Badulla at approximately 4.45 pm on the 7th of January. Copies of “Litha” (charts of auspicious times) with the picture of President Rajapaksa, have been distributed in the Wellawaya area by supporters of the Wellawaya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Mr. Rohana Wanniarachchi.

Another area of concern has been attempts to influence voters through misinformation circulated to confuse and discourage voters. CMEV was informed of a specific handbill that was circulated in Kilinochchi on the 6th of January. According to the complaint, the handbill discourages voters from casting their vote, with content against Common Presidential Candidate Maithirpala Sirisena and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The handbill is printed under the name of the ‘Independent Group of the Tamil National Alliance’. The TNA has denied involvement with the issuing of such a statement.

CMEV wishes to reiterate its concern about the presence of the military adversely impacting voter turnout especially in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Throughout the 6th & 7th January, CMEV has received many expressions of concern and allegations of the intimidatory presence of the military and therefore raises this issue yet again as one of serious concern.

Incidents Reported on 7 January

7th January – Death threat to CMEV monitor in Kalaweva, Anuradhapura District

CMEV Monitor R.S.S. Doragamuwa was threatened via a phone call by UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha Minister Nimalsiri who threatened to break his arms, legs, and to murder him on the 9th of January. The threat was attributed to the CMEV monitor not supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and also because of his involvement in Election Monitoring.

7th January – Military officials in possession of ballot box and ballot papers in Upparu, Muttur, Trincomalee District

CMEV received reports in the morning of Navy officials at the Koganna Navy Camp in Upparu, Kinniya, Trincomalee being in possession of a ballot box and ballot papers.  CMEV has notified the Commissioner of Elections regarding this matter.

CMEV also previously communicated to the Commissioner of Elections and the Assistant Commissioner for Trincomalee District that approximately 100 ballot boxes were being filled at approximately 1.00pm by two high level naval officers at the Sober Island Resort, Trincomalee, which can only be accessed via boats departing from the Trincomalee Naval Base. The Assistant Commissioner subsequently informed CMEV at 4.00pm that he had sent personnel to the Sober Island Resort to check on the allegation and found it to be false.

7th January – Ballot papers and a ballot box held by Navy in the Koganna Camp, Kinniya, Trincomalee District

CMEV was informed of an incident where the Sri Lanka Navy is allegedly to be in possession of a ballot box and ballot papers, which is reportedly being kept at the Koganna camp, in Upparu, Kinniya, under the protection of Senior Navy officials. This incident too was reported by CMEV to the Election Commissioner.

7th January – Text message circulated in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu

CMEV received complaints regarding a text message, which has been circulated in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu from a blocked number, asking the recipients to vote for President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

7th January – Message to Nalanda College Old Boys’ Association

An email sent from President Mahinda Rajapapaksa on the 7th of January to the Old Boys’ Association of Nalanda College was forwarded to CMEV. The message focuses on the shared Nalanda connection between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the recipients in a general appeal to alumni to fight for the security of the nation that was won in the civil war, by supporting President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Election.

7th January – Blockage on Road leading to Polling Center

CMEV received a report of a road blockade impeding accesss to a Polling Center, in Baddegama in the Galle District. The Polling Center, Mabotuwana Nawala Kanishta Vidyalya (Polling Center No 25) is currently not accessible by a vehicle due to the presence large stones left on the road leading to the center by the Vanduramba Pradeshiya Sabha, with the explanation that it is in the process of tarring the road. An alternate route to the Polling Center would take more time. The stones are effectively blocking access by Polling Center Officials and monitors.

7th January – Fake Ballot papers distributed in Arasadithivu, Kokkadicholai, in the Batticaloa District
CMEV received a complaint regarding an incident where supporters of Mr. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, better known as Karuna Amman, have distributed fake Ballot Papers, where Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s symbol has been changed from a Swan to a Three Wheeler, on the 7th of January.

7th January – Message against Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena circulated via SMS in Kattankudy, Batticaloa

CMEV received a report regarding the circulation of a text message with content going against Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, being sent and circulated by number 0768385917, in Kattankudy, Batticaloa. According to reports, a text message stating that Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena was Deputy Defense Minister when 50,000 Tamils were killed in 2009, and therefore advising the public not to vote for him, was circulated.

7th January – Bribery at Dehiaththakandiya, Ampara District.

CMEV received a complaint regarding an incident where a relative of Parliamentarian Mrs. Sriyani Wijewickrama was distributing money in exchange for the promise that citizens will vote for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to the complaint, the money was distributed to a number of people at No. 31, Gurugammanaya, Dehiaththakandiya. When CMEV contacted ASP Mr. Chandrapala regarding the incident, he stated that it was a meeting for officials of the Polling Center, and no bribery had taken place.

7th January – A market declared open in Gampala, in the Kandy District

A complaint has been received by CMEV regarding an opening of a public market near the New Road, in Gampala. According to the complaint, Prime Minister Dimu Jayaratne, along with his son, Parliament Minister Anuradha Jayaratne has been present and had declared the market open. During the campaign period CMEV highlighted the use of development projects to carry out election propaganda, and it is an issue of concern that this is continuing even after the campaign period has ended.

7th January – Gathering of information for state assistance in Handapanagala, Wellawaya, Monaragala District

CMEV received a complaint regarding an incident in Handapanagala, Wellawaya , Monaragala District on the 7th of January, 2014 where Mr. Sepala, a Samurdhi Officer had been distributing forms which were issued by the Divi Neguma Department of the Ministry of Economic Development, to Three Wheeler owners of the Handapanagala area. The Samurdhi Officer had reportedly stated that the information was required by the Divi Neguma department of the Ministry of Economic Development, under the Budget of 2015, proposed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, so as to provide life Insurance and a pension scheme for three wheel drivers in the future. CMEV is currently attempting to obtain a copy of the distributed form.

7th January – Kiribath (Milk Rice) Dansala to be held on the 8th of January opposite a Polling Center in Bibile, in the Monaragala District

CMEV received a complaint regarding a Kiribath Dansala which is scheduled to take place on the morning of the Presidential Election, opposite the Badullagammana Vidyalaya (Polling Center No17) in Bibile, a Polling Center in the District of Monaragala. CMEV was informed that the Bibile Pradeshiya Sabha Minister Buddhika Seneviratne, has been the main organiser of this Dansala which is to take place at the Cooperative Society Building, opposite the Polling Center.

7th January – No security at Polling Center in Linganagar, in the Trincomalee District.

CMEV monitor in the Trincomalee District reported that at Konalingam Maha Vidyalay (Polling Center 31) apart from the Senior Presiding Officer and two Junior Presiding Officers, there was no Police or any form of security available for the Polling Center. The CMEV monitor noted a small gathering of unidentified persons within 50 meters of the polling center.

Several major incidents were reported from 6th of January including attacks

6th January – UNP supporter’s business place attacked in Hali Ela, Badulla
CMEV received a complaint with regard to an incident where the business place of a UNP supporter, Mr. Muthubandara was attacked on the 6th of January, at Hali Ela, Badulla. According to the victim, the perpetrators had attacked “Anuradha Hotel” twice. Following the first attack, he had seen the attackers leaving the premises in a white Defender vehicle. The second attack was approximately 30 minutes after the first. The victim had identified the vehicle number plate as WP KB – 6570. The attackers had struck the victim with an iron pole and fired shots. According to Mr. Muthubandara, the perpetrators are supporters of Minister Dilan Perera. He had received treatment at the Ettampitiya Hospital. A complaint was lodged at the Ettampitiya Police station under the complaint number EIB 48/16.

6th January – UNP Supporter’s house attacked in Ettampitiya, Badulla District

CMEV received a complaint regarding an attack on the house of a UNP supporter, Mr. V. Weerasinghe. According to the complaint, the house, which is situated in Ettampitiya, was attacked during the early hours on the 6th of January, damaging the windows, walls and the roof of the house. According to the victim, the suspects are alleged to be employees working under Minister Dilan Perera at the Foreign Employment Bureau. A complaint has been lodged at the Ettampitiya Police.

6th January – Family member of UNP supporter attacked in Mahiyanganya, Moneragala District

A complaint was received by CMEV regarding an incident of threat and intimidation of a UNP supporter, Mr. Janaka Abeyratne, on the 6th of January at approximately 6.00 pm when a mob came in search of him. Mr. Abeyratne alleged that the attackers had been unable to find him but instead found his father, Mr. D.M. Abeyratne. The seniour Mr Abeyratne claims that the mob included UPFA Mahiyangana Lead Organiser and Uva Provincial Council Agricultural Minister Anura Vidanagamage along with Parliament member Mr. Thenuka Vidanagamage and UPFA supporters who had allegedly threatened to kill his son and had struck him in the abdomen with a gun. When speaking to CMEV, the victim stated that he had explained the situation in detail to the OIC of the Mahiyanganaya Police Mr. C.I. Wickremasinghe. However, speaking to CMEV, the OIC stated that the victim had informed the Police that he did not know who the attackers were.  No complaint has been lodged with the Police.

6th January – House of Beliatta UNP Communications Secretary attacked in Beliatta, in the Hambantota District

CMEV received a complaint pertaining to an incident where the house of the Secretary of the Beliatta UNP Communications Department, Mr. S.H. Kamalsiri, was attacked on the 6th of January at approximately 11.45 pm. According to the complaint, shots had been fired and had hit the walls, as well as a three- wheeler, which was parked on the premises. Mr. Kamalsiri had made a phone call to the 119 emergency hotline when the incident took place, to which they responded by advising them to stay indoors until help was sent. The Police had arrived 20 minutes later but had been unable to apprehend or identify the attackers. A complaint was lodged at the Police under the entry number EIB 224/147.

On the 6th of January, UPFA supporters were seen openly holding political meetings in the Batticaloa District, including a meeting held at 4.30pm at the Pentacostal Church located on the Polonnaruwa-Batticaloa Road, where armed military personnel and vehicles were visibly in attendance.

Presidential Election 2015: Media Communiqué 14

Download this press release as a PDF in English here.


7th January 2015

Since the completion of campaigning, CMEV received several major incidents involving assault, threat and intimidation, damage to property, and misuse of state resources. All incidents reported to CMEV are instances where opposition party members and supporters were attacked, threatened and property damaged.

CMEV is concerned at the scale of violence less than two days before the commencement of polls. Threat and intimidation and the use of firearms are major incidents that can, if not addressed, create fear among the public and impact voter turnout. CMEV urges that the police take immediate steps to investigate these incidents and to hold to account perpetrators. Quick action in this regard can provide confidence among voters that perpetrators of violence will be held to account and thereby addressing the culture of impunity. It also provides a clear message that violence of any nature is unacceptable during elections in Sri Lanka.

CMEV has also received several instances of continued electioneering by UPFA ministers, members and supporters despite the campaign period ending at midnight on 5 January. In some instances electioneering was done in the guise of providing assistance. CMEV received reports of such incidents from areas in Eppawala, Matale, Matara, Nawalapitiya, Ambalanthota, Kurunegala, Wellawaya, Batticaloa, Raththota, Jaffna, Akkaraipattu and Colombo and raised this issue with the Commissioner of Elections.

Major incidents of post campaign incidents:

6th January – Wife of UNP member beaten by UPFA Mahiyangana Lead Organiser at Mahiyangana, Badulla

CMEV received a complaint regarding an incident where the wife of UNP member Ruwan Arumapperuma was beaten and kicked by UPFA Mahiyangana Lead Organiser and Uva Provincial Council Agricultural Minister Anura Vidanagamage. According to the reports, Minister Vidanagamage himself had gone with UPFA supporters with the plan to confront Mr. Ruwan Arumapperuma of the UNP, but instead met his wife, and had kicked her when she stated that she did not know of her husband’s whereabouts.

Subsequently UPFA supporters had visited Mr. Arumapperuma’s wife and threatened harm to both of them. She was told that her husband had to visit Minister Vidanagamage and apologise for supporting the UNP, and vow to work for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. CMEV is following up on the nature of injuries received. Police investigations presently underway.

6th January – Shooting in Bammanna, Kurunegala damages houses of UNP supporters

CMEV received a complaint regarding a shooting by unidentified persons, which took place on the 6th of January at Bammanna, in the Kurunegala District. According to the complaint, the houses of UNP member Mr. Samantha Padmasiri and supporter Mohamed Ismail Mohamed Distham was shot at after stones were thrown during the early hours on the 6th of January resulting in damage to walls and windows. Both victims have lodged complaints at the Pannala Police station under the entry numbers EIB 105/41 for Mr. Padmasiri and EIB 105/42 for Mr. Mohamed Distham.

6th January – Former Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) members attacked by TMVP supporters in Batticaloa

CMEV received a complaint regarding former TMPV members Mr. Mayura, Mr. Sanjaya and Mr. Palkudi being attacked by current TMPV supporters. According to the complaint, the attack was caused as the three victims had removed posters of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. No police complaint was made.

CMEV also notes incidents of threat & intimidation and assault, which occurred on the last day of campaigning:

5th January – UNP member attacked in Chillaw, Puttlam

CMEV received a complaint pertaining to an incident where Mr. Vajira Manoj, a member of the United National Party, was attacked on 5th of January and subsequently hospitalised at the Chillaw Hospital. CMEV was informed by the hospital police that in his statement, Mr. Manoj states that he was attacked by the driver of the UPFA Arachchikattuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, near the Arachchikattuwa market. The perpetrator was identified as Mr. Dinesh Dhammika. Mr. Manoj’s both arms were badly hurt in the incident. The wife of the injured, Mrs. Nirmala, made a statement to the Police under the number 362/69, stating that Dinesh Dhammika had threatened both Mr. Manoj and his wife approximately 2 days before the incident, stating that Mr. Manoj will require a wheelchair if he is to continue supporting the Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.
5th January – Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) leader Mr. Chandrakanth threatens NDF Office in Valaichchenai, Batticaloa

CMEV received a report where TMVP leader Mr. Chandrakanth, also known as “Pillayan” threatened the people at a NDF office situated at Kalaivani Road, Karuvakkeni, in Valaichchenai, Batticaloa. According to reports, he has also threatened to murder Mr. P. Sulakshan of the NDF. CMEV was informed that Pillayan had with him a pistol at the time of making the threats. Two hours after the threat, Mr. Sulakshan met with Mr. Kaandeepan, a supporter of Pillayan, to inquire why he was being threatened. During this meeting, Mr. Kaandeepan’s mother has assaulted Mr. Sulakshan with a broom, and chased him away from the premises. Subsequently Mr. Sulakshan lodged a complaint at the Police under the entry number CIB 376/66, stating that he was threatened by Pillayan and assaulted by Mr. Kandeepan’s mother. CMEV was informed by Valaichchenai Police that no entry was made by Mr.Sulakshan regarding a murder threat but an entry was made regarding him being struck with a broom by Mr. Kandeepan’s mother. However, Mr. Sulakshan confirmed with CMEV that his complaint to the Valaichchenai Police contained both the murder threat and the assault.

PODCAST: CMEV Press Briefing on Presidential Election

A press briefing was held by CMEV today at the JAIC Hilton around the monitoring operations for the Presidential Election, which will be held on 8th January 2015. Recordings of the briefing are embedded below. Please note that the Q&A segment doesn’t always pick up the question posed to the panellists. Their answers however give a strong indication on what was asked of them.

The four tracks cover the press briefing in English by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, in Sinhala by D.M. Dissanayake and in Tamil by Mani Maran.

Presidential Election 2015: Media Communiqué 13

Download this PR as a PDF here.

6th January 2015

The Presidential Election campaign ended at midnight with several major incidents reported. At the end of campaigning, CMEV documented a total of 420 incidents, with 237 major incidents and 183 minor incidents. The highest number of major incidents were reported from Jaffna District with 22 incidents followed from Badulla District with 19 incidents, 18 incidents from Kurunegala District and 17 incidents from Kandy District. CMEV noted 26 incidents of fire arm use during this period and 3 separate incidents where petrol bombs were used with two resulting in threat and intimidation of residents. CMEV also noted 132 instances of misuse of state resources for electioneering.

The final day of campaigning commenced with a shooting incident which left one UNP supporter critically injured. There were also incidents of threats and intimidation reported including the intimidation of two human rights defenders in Negombo. The last day of campaigning also witnessed a clash between UPFA and UNP supporters resulting in 3 persons being hospitalised state resources being used by the UPFA for electioneering, and reports of false ballot papers being circulated in parts of Sri Lanka, an issue raised by CMEV with the Commissioner of Elections.


Several court orders were issued today to arrest perpetrators of violence and to halt programmes which are biased towards one candidate. CMEV welcomes these court orders and urges the authorities to implement these without delay. It is paramount that officials take all necessary steps to ensure that election laws are respected and the integrity of the electoral process upheld. Furthermore, CMEV raised in communiqué 12 the assault of two election officials in Trincomalee by UPFA supporters and the subsequent role played by a Deputy Minister to release the perpetrators. Such actions must be condemned and authorities must take all steps to uphold law and order and hold perpetrators to account.

5th January – UPFA campaign organiser Mr. Arumugam Chandrakumar knifed in Kopai, Jaffna

CMEV received a complaint that UPFA Organiser Mr. Arumugam Chandrakumar (38 yrs) was knifed by two unknown individuals near the Navalar School in Kopai. Mr. Chandrakumar received knife wounds in the back and arm at approximately 9.20 pm on the 5th of January. According to the OIC of Kopai Police, Mr. I.P. Jayakodi, he was taken immediatelyto Kopai Hospital and subsequently transferred to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital at 10.05 pm for surgery. Hospital staff stated that they will not comment on Mr. Chandrakumar’s status until the surgery is completed. The CMEV Field Monitor is currently on location obtaining further details.

5th January, three injured in shooting in Kahawatta Ratnapura

CMEV received a complaint regarding a shooting that took place in Kahawatta, Ratnapura at about 2 am in the morning on January 5th. United National Party (UNP) supporters, preparing the grounds for a meeting to be addressed by the Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, were shot at by an unidentified group of people. According to Police OIC L.P.K. Rajamanthri, the three injured persons, D.I.W. Karunadasa Ranasinghe, H. Hussain Dulshan and Shantha Dodangoda received treatment at the Ratnapura Hospital. CMEV was informed that investigations are underway. Ratnapura Hospital Police officials confirmed that Shantha Dodangoda is critically injured (injuries to his chest) and is currently receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit. A police complaint was made by Mr. T.M. Upali, a UNP Pradeshya Sabha member.

The Pelmadulla Magistrates Court issued an arrest warrant for Deputy Minister of Power & Energy, Premalal Jayasekera, Minister Nilantha Jayakodi and Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Vajira Dharshana de Silva.

5th January, Misleading fake ballot papers distributed in several Districts

CMEV received information regarding the distribution of false and misleading ballot papers(a photo of this ballot paper is attached) depicting erroneous symbols for the Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and the United Socialist Party Candidate Sirithunga Jayasuriya within the Puttalam (Madurankulama and Arachchikattuwa), Kandy (Kundasale and Kandy Town), Batticaloa (Kalkuda) Anuradhapura (Kekirawa, Kalawewa, Anuradhapura West and Horowupothana), Badulla (Haputale), NuwaraEliya (Hatton), Monaragala (Bibile) and Trincomalee Districts. The fake ballot paper depicts a trishaw for Maithripala Sirisena (as opposed to the correct symbol of a swan) and an elephant for Sirithunga Jayasuriya (as opposed to the correct symbol of a trishaw), while the symbols of the remaining candidates including the incumbent president remained error free.

CMEV, via its field monitor, has obtained a copy of the said misleading ballot paper at 1.30pm on the 5th of January from the 96th Junction area in Thissapura, Muttur, Trincomalee District, allegedly distributed by supporters of UPFA Thambalagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman ChampikaBandara. The CMEV Eastern Province Coordinator subsequently reported the incident to IP Seneviratne, OIC of the Thambalagamuwa Police Station who directed two police officers to the location. A complaint on the incident, bearing the number EIB 71/08 was also subsequently filed by the CMEV monitor.

In Aarachchikattuwa, Halawatha, the said fake ballot papers were distributed on the 4th of January. According to North Western UNP Provincial Councillor Sisira Kumara, the ballots were allegedly distributed by Minister Neomal Perera’s supporter Jude and ten others. They were also distributed at a public street drama performed by UPFA supporters.

CMEV is concerned by these incidents, which are a violation of election laws and are likely to confuse the public during the last few days leading up to polling day. CMEV has also raised the issue with the Commissioner of Elections urging immediate remedial action to ensure that the integrity of the election is not undermined by such actions.

CMEV also welcomes information received of an arrest made in the Hatton area (alleged perpetrator DS Princes, van number 56-4918 as per the Hatton police station) in relation to this unlawful distribution. It commenced on the 31st of December 2014 and has been halted in the Bibile area upon the intervention of the Commissioner of Elections.

5th January – Clash between supporters of UNP and UPFA at Rambukkana, Kegalle

CMEV received a report regarding a clash between supporters of the UNP and UPFA in front of the Rambukkana Train Station. Three persons supporting the UNP were injured as a result of this clash and admitted to the Rambukkana Hospital. Head injuries were sustained by Mr. Priyantha Pradeep and Mr. Sandun Udaya, while Mr. Chanaka Ruwan suffered a neck injury. All three patients were subsequently transferred to the Kegalle Hospital. CMEV was informed by the OIC Kegalle Police, Mr. Bandara Dekandawela and the hospital staff, that none of the injured are in critical condition.


4th January, Human Rights activist Brito Fernando and Prasanga Fernando intimidated in Negombo

CMEV received a complaint with regard to an incident which took place in Periyamulla, Negombo on the 4th of January. Human rights activist Mr. Brito Fernando along with his family returning home from an outing on the 4th of January discovered a plastic bag in which a severed head of a dog was hung on his gate. Fellow Right to Life staff member Prasanga Fernando also reported that he was subjected to the same treatment at his home.
CMEV was informed by the police of a complaint filed at the Negombo police number CIB 2/33 on January 5th. The victims believe that the possible reasons for the intimidation could be related to the commemoration of the disappeared, which was organised and carried out by the Right to Life organisation on the 27th of October 2014. Subsequent to this ceremony, posters with the faces of Right to Life staff members and other human rights activists were found all around the city of Negombo. The posters were captioned “Makara Raakshayo Athurudahan Wuuwan Vikunagena Kai.” A police complaint was lodged at the Seeduwa Police related to this. Later that day the house of Brito Fernando was stoned. According to the two victims, the group responsible for this latest incident is also responsible for the posters and the stoning of their houses, which are attempts to intimidate them.

Presidential Election 2015: Media Communiqué 12

Download this PR as a PDF here, and in Sinhala here.


On 4th January 2015 at 2.00 am:

CMEV is seriously concerned about an assault on two election officers allegedly by supporters of Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Susantha Punchinilame in Trincomalee around 6.30pm on 4 January. The incident occurred in front of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) party office in Mattakkalli Junction, Trincomalee.

When the CMEV monitor inquired from the Deputy Election Commissioner in the area, Sajith Welgama, he informed CMEV that he was on his way from Mahadivulwewa after shutting down an unauthorised UPFA party office. He had ordered his colleagues to remove all types of election material such as cut outs and posters of President Rajapaksa which were put up inside the Morawewa Buddhist Temple premises. When he arrived at the UPFA party office in Mattakkalli, there was a movie in favour of Mahinda Rajapaksa being shown to the public in front of that office. Subsequently he had requested that the movie not be displayed outside the office and to display it inside the office. It was at this time when the supporters of Deputy Minister Punchinilame assaulted two election officers who had accompanied Mr. Welgama. There was also a power cut when this attack had taken place.

When CMEV contacted the Election Commissioner’s office in Trincomalee regarding this incident, they refused to give further details as the investigations were ongoing but confirmed that the incident was true. CMEV had a similar response from the Trincomalee Police Station.

Meanwhile, the CMEV monitor who was at the Trincomalee Police Station soon after the assault informed that the two suspects who were arrested by the Trincomalee Police Station in connection with the assault were released after Deputy Minister Punchinilame arrived at the Police Station.

CMEV is alarmed that supporters of politicians feel they can assault public officials carrying out their official tasks in connection with the forthcoming Presidential election and be released without due process being followed. CMEV urges the authorities including the Police to take all necessary steps within their purview to prevent violence and hold perpetrators of violence to account. CMEV also urges candidates and political parties to ensure that their supporters and offices operate within the framework provided for elections.