“Present The Proof!” – Interview with Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Many local election monitors have observed grave incidents of election law violations and violence ahead of the Presidential Election whereas some government ministers have directed a number of accusations at local election observers of being biased towards the opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said that those are very loose accusations directed against the local observers given that the accusations are being directed by the government, the very people who are engaged in misusing and abusing state powers and resources.

Read the full interview, published in the Sunday Leader newspaper today, here.

ITN involved in election propaganda of President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mr Mahinda Deshapriya,
Commissioner of Election,
Election Secretariat
Sarana Road,
Rajagiriya.

27th December 2014

Dear Sir,

CMEV was informed that the Independent Television Network (ITN) is conducting a programme named ‘Juriye Katha’, a election propaganda programme in favour of President Mahinda Rajapaksha and held at Lake Front Hotel in Kanthalai, a hotel which is maintained by Navy Officers. People in the area have been transported to view this programme via SLTB bus (WP NA 49 79) belonging to the Kanthalai Depot.

Many politicians including the Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Amaraweera are participating in this programme.

Three types of government property are being misused in connection with this programme. This is in direct violation of the media guidelines issued by your department recently.

  1. CTB bus
  2. The Hotel run by the NAVY
  3. ITN which is a State Chanel

The programme is being live telecasted now (9. 30 p.m.) Please take necessary steps with regard to this as soon as possible.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

National Coordinator
Manjula Gajanayaka
CMEV

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.