Presidential Election 2015: Post Election Communiqué 02

Download this press release in Sinhala here or as a PDF in English here.

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14 January 2015      

At present CMEV has recorded a total of 45 incidents with 27 major incidents and 18 minor incidents in the post poll period. The rise in such incidents is worrying and CMEV urges the President and the law enforcement officers to take immediate action to prevent further incidents and to bring the perpetrators of those detailed below, to book.

13th January petrol bomb attack in Galle

It was reported to CMEV that a house belonging to Minister Sajin Vass Gunawardena in Ambalangoda Thuduwa Mulla had been attacked. According to the security guard who was there at the time, three petrol bombs had been thrown at the house at about 8. 45 pm which caused damages to the walls and windows of the house. A police complaint has been filed at the Ambalangoda Police Station in pages 78, 79 and 80. Speaking to CMEV, Mr Gunawardena stated that this type of violence must be stopped.

12th January residence stoned in Polonnaruwa

CMEV received a complaint from the Polonnaruwa Electorate where the residence of D.R. Asanthika Munaweera, a supporter of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) living at 15/19C, Udawela Nawanagaraya was stoned at about 2 am. According to the victim, she and her two children had been at home at that time and her mother’s house which was also nearby, had been stoned.

11th January attack in Polonnaruwa

According to the CMEV monitor in Polonnaruwa, a group of people had broken into the house of D.M. Leelawathi and K.M. Karunarathne, supporters of New Democratic Front (NDF), at about 1.30 pm and attacked and wounded the residents including their two sons. The assailants had arrived in motorcycles carrying metal rods and attacked the four people in the house. Both parties suffered injuries in the fight that ensued, with one of the sons of the victims Sunil Premaratne (aged 32) rendered mute after severe head injuries. The victims have been taken to the Polonnaruwa Hospital while the assailants were taken to Welikanda Hospital for treatment. A police complaint was filed by Mr Karunarathne at the Welikanda Police Station under CIN 01 355/57. In the complaint, they have accused several people namely, Rukman, Chamara, Vikum, Manjula, Asanka and Chaminda who are known to be supporters of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). According to the CMEV monitor, this incident had followed a dispute that took place on the day before the Presidential Elections (January 7th) when the victims had been engaged in campaign activities supporting NDF and the assailants had confronted them.

11th January UPFA supporter’s house burnt in Chilaw

It was reported to CMEV that the residence of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter Uruliyagamage Bandula had been burnt at about 10 30 pm by United National Party (UNP) supporters led by UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member Lalith Ananda. A police complaint has been filed at the Madampe Police Station under MCR 66/62.

11th January UPFA supporter’s house burnt in Rakwana

Another incident of a house being set on fire was reported to CMEV from the Rakwana area. The house belonged to United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter Lionel Fernando who suspects supporters of New Democratic Front (NDF) to be responsible for it. He has filed a complaint at the Rakwana Police Station under MOIB 138/62.

11th January attack in Kandy

CMEV received a complaint of an attack on Supun Pushpakumara, spokesperson for United National Party (UNP) who was threatened by Pradeshiya Sabha member K. Rajanayaka (a supporter of UNP). According to Mr Pushpakumara, the assailant and his followers had arrived at his house in two cabs and called out to him. When he went outside to meet them, they had beaten him and left him in a nearby ditch. He had filed a police complaint at the Galaha Police Station under MOB 363/21.

11th January UNP convoy attacked in Kandy

An assault in Pathadumbara in Kandy to a convoy led by opposition leader United National Party (UNP) A.G. Wijethunga was reported to CMEV. The convoy consisting of 1 bus, 10 three-wheelers and 4 lorries, had been leaving a meeting addressed by President Maithripala Sirisena when it was attacked. According to Mr Wijethunga, about 30 supporters of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Pradeshiya Sabha member, U. S. Prasanna had halted the bus and attacked it. 9 individuals had been admitted to the Jambugaspitiya Hospital and later transferred to Peradeniya Hospital. A police complaint had been filed under CIB 11169/130. CMEV was informed by the Wattegama Police Station that three suspects were arrested and that 8 persons were receiving treatment at the Peradeniya Hospital.
11th January UPFA office stoned in Madirigiriya, Polonnaruwa

A CMEV monitor in Polonnaruwa reported an attack on a United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) office in Polonnaruwa by a group of unidentified people at about 1 pm. Damages include the destroying of UPFA cutouts.

11th January residence stoned in Polonnaruwa

The stoning of a residence in Polonnaruwa by a group of unknown people at about 11.30pm, was reported to CMEV. According to the resident Anuradha Sandamali who is a supporter of United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA), the house had been repeatedly pelted with stones which caused damages to the house. A police complaint had not been filed.

11th January Tar attack in Anuradhapura

It was reported to CMEV that the residence of N.M Nawaratna Banda who is a United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter (No 530, Hurulu Nikawewa, Galenbinduna Wewa) had been damaged by a tar attack by unknown people at about 2am.

 

10th January attack in Gampaha

CMEV was informed of an attack in Ja Ela when 10 – 12 vehicles had been driven to the residence of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter Sunith Gunasekara and assaulted his wife and mother. A police complaint had been filed under CIB III 107/135 at the Ja Ela Police Station and in it, the suspect is identified as United National Party (UNP) Urban Councillor Anju.

 

10th January threat and intimidation in Kandy

It was reported to CMEV that Prof. Sujith Nissanka’s life had been threatened by four unidentified people who had arrived in a double cab at the Kandy Sokanchi Primary School at about 7.30 pm. Prof Nissanka had predicted the victory of President Maithripala Sirisena in a TV programme on Sirisa TV recently. A police complaint had been filed under 119 CIB 314/11.

 

9th January threat and intimidation in Polonnaruwa

It was reported to CMEV that the residence of A.G. Dilani Gaya Sanjiwani, a supporter of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) was broken into by a group of people who had threatened the residents. A police complaint had been filed at the Aralaganwila Police Station under EIB 251/53 and in it, a person known as Dharmarathna, a supporter of New Democratic Front (NDF) has been named as a suspect.

A similar incident took place on the same day at the residence of Dugganaralage Biso Manike, a supporter of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), when a group of unidentified people had broken into their residence at about 9.45pm and caused damages to property including doors and windows. A police complaint had been filed at the Aralaganwila Police Station under EIB 258/55.

8th January polling agents attacked in Gampola, Kandy

It was reported to CMEV that three polling agents on duty at the Mountain Temple Building Polling Station in Gampola had been attacked by United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Urban Councillor Dharshana Nayanatharanga and supporters. The three individuals S.G.H.M. Jayalal, S.L. Bandara and S. Prasad Kumara were attacked soon after the ballot boxes were ready to be taken to the counting centres.

Presidential Election 2015: Post Election Communiqué

Download PDF of this press release here. Download in Tamil here.

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12 January 2015

CMEV continued to monitor the post election situation and note several incidents reported in the period 9-12 January. At present CMEV has recorded 11 major incidents and 6 incidents in the post poll period. There is one casualty from post poll violence and several instances of assault, threat and intimidation. CMEV notes that most of the victims in the incidents reported are from the UPFA.

CMEV notes that President Maithripala Sirisena urged non -violence in the post poll period but unfortunately the incidents report targeting of political opponents. Political parties and their leaders must ensure that their members and supporters desist from violence and urge the authorities to conduct independent investigations and hold to account perpetrators of violence.

Following are some of the incidents reported to CMEV:

10th January, three injured one dead in Puttalam

CMEV was informed of a murder in Kumbutukuliya, Chilaw. Six UNP supporters including Warnakulasuriya Manjula Prasanna had driven from Bangadeniya to Kumbutukuliya at about 1.50pm and visited J.R Sarath, a supporter of UPFA,and his son. A clash ensued between the two parties in which Manjula Prasanna received injuries to his head. He subsequently succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead on the same day at the Chilaw base Hospital.

CMEV spoke to Chilaw Police, OIC Kasthuriarachchi who said that the suspects were arrested and investigations are underway. The three people who received injuries during this clash are undergoing medical treatment at the Chilaw Hospital.

10th January threat in NikaweratiyaKurunegala

An unidentified gunmen had arrived at H.M. Priyanthi Hirukumari’s (supporter of National Democratic Front) residence at about 8.30pm on 9th January in Nikaweriatiya and threatened her to not get involved in politics. She had been with her husband when the assailant had arrived and had called 119. No complaint has been filed with the Police.

11th January, Tar attack in Anuradhapura

United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter B.G Premachandra’s house located at No 534 Hurulunikawea, Galenbidunuwewa was attacked by two unidentified motorcyclists using tar around 10.30 pm yesterday. Mr.Premarathne informed CMEV that he has not filed a complaint with the Police.

11th January, Tar attack in Anuradhapura

United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter Noel Indika Premawansha’s house was attacked by unidentified gang of people using tar around 1.30 am yesterday.

According to Galenbidunuwewa police station, no complaint has been made with them.

11thJanuary, Tar attack in Anuradhapura

United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) supporter B.K.D Madushan’s house located in No, 530, Hurulunikawewa, Galenbidunuwewa was attacked by an unidentified group of people using tar yesterday.

According to the inquiry done from Galenbidunuwewa Police station they have not received any complaint regarding this incident.

11th January Tar attack in Anuradhapura

CMEV received a report from Anuradhapura about a tar attack on K.G Mallika who is a supporter of UPFA, by unknown persons. A white van – 64-6463 – parked in the garden had been damaged in this attack along with the front and side walls of the house. A police complaint has not been filed.

11th January, Threatened and attempted to hit a UPFA supporter in Anuradhapura.

CMEV received a complaint that a supporter of the United National Party (UNP),Anura Bandara had threatened and attempted to hit UPFA supporter B.K Danuka Madushan in front of the UNP Party office in Galenbidunuwewa.

The Galenbidunuwewa Police station informed CMEV that no police complaint was made regarding this incident.

11th January, Maithriplasirisena’s supporter was attacked in Batticaloa

CMEV was informed that a supporter of President Maithripala Sirisena was attacked yesterday. According to the victim MrJeyarathnam a group (7) of Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal supporters had cut his hand using a sharp knife and had threatened him and demanded to know who the supporters of Mr Sirisena are.

Victim has filed a complaint (141/30) in Valiaichenai Police station, According to Valachenai Police officer Mr M.B. Thibbettumuwe, this celebration of the newly appointed President ended in violence.

11th January, Assault in Anuradhapura.

CMEV was informed that supporters of United National Freedom Alliance (UPFA) P Dayapala and Wijerathne were assault in front of ‘PilimePansala’ in Hurulunikawewa yesterday around 10.00am. According to them United National Party (UNP) supporter Anura Bandara had slapped them and shouted abuse. Furthermore he had threatened Mr Dayapala saying “Thorahanawawedithogeoluwatakaluthelwakkarannathibune” Police complaint has not been filed.

9th January attack in Kandy

An incident in Yatinuwara where six people including Bobby Dassanayake had broken and entered in to the residence of K.V.S. Abeywickrama UPFA opposition leader was reported to CMEV. The assailants had entered the house from the balcony, wounding the elder son Nipuna. A struggle ensued between the two parties with injuries to both of them. An eyewitness, Tampitiya Wanaratna Thero from the Pilimatalawe Paranagala Temple in close proximity to the house, confirms the situation. A police complaint had been lodged under CIB 5/2015. 

8th January UPFA PS chairman’s house stoned in Trincomalee

CMEV received a report from Trincomalee stating that Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Kapila Nuwan Athukorale’s residence has been stoned by unknown persons.

Request for a Depoliticised Public Service and Introduction of Reforms

Download a PDF of this letter here.

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H.E Maithripala Sirisena
President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
Presidential Secretariat”
Colombo 01

10th January 2015

Your Excellency,

Request for a Depoliticised Public Service and Introduction of Reforms

We write to you as two independent election monitoring bodies which have monitored elections in Sri Lanka for several years and proposed electoral reform. We write to urge you to take immediate steps to ensure a public service that is depoliticised and non-partisan.

At this historic juncture in the political landscape in Sri Lanka, we believe steps are needed to ensure a public service strengthened by the appointment of secretaries to ministries and other key officials who have the necessary experiences and training required for the respective office and not on the basis of political and other considerations. We have previously observed that secretaries and other key positions to Ministries and other State institutions were politicized with many involved in and/or supporting politicians and political parties. Such practices severely undermined the independence and integrity required of the public service to ensure the effective implementation of government policy. This is an opportunity to correct past wrongs and to ensure appointments made are based on merit and for the furtherance of good governance and democracy in Sri Lanka.

In this context, it is paramount to facilitate the appointment of independent institutions including independent commissions for elections, police and public service and to introduce much needed constitutional and legal reform to provide for the integrity of the electoral reforms. We look forward to engaging with you and others in Government regarding this.

Thank you,

P.Saravanamuttu, Co-Convenor, CMEV
Rohana Hettiarachchi, Executive Director, PAFFREL

Presidential Election 2015: Election Communiqué 2

Download this press release as a PDF here. Download this press release in Tamil here.

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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.

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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.