Presidential Election 2019 Media Communiqué,
29th October 2019
Colombo, Sri Lanka
the 40 days since the announcement of the 2019 Presidential Election, the
Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has recorded 534 verified
incidents of election law violations. The following trends have been
particularly observable recently:
Using minors for political promotions
election period has seen the continued use of minors in various ways to promote
the presidential candidates. The National Child Protection Authority has
already made it clear that it is wrong to use minors for political promotion.
the following cases and instances, the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP) and
the New Democracy Front (NDF) have directly violated these legal provisions:
- Use of minors in school uniform for a
propaganda advertisement of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the presidential candidate of SLPP.
- Use of a school uniformed minor for the
newspaper advertisement of SLPP.
- Use of minors in the the photograph of
Mangala Samaraweera, Minister and representative of the NDF election campaign,
and circulating that picture on social media.
- Use of a child with body paint for
political promotion at a SLPP rally in Uva Paranagama on 25th
- Use of minors’ pictures in the website
of SLPP candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
has already made a written complaint to the National Child Protection Authority
regarding these matters.
Using Government School Premises for
was informed that the SLPP attempted to use the Galenbindunu Wewa primary
school ground for a public rally with the direct intervention of the North Central
Province Governor. This is despite there being numerous available places for
holding public rallies in the Anuradhapura Gallenbindunu Wewa town.
use of government school premises for campaign purposes and the intervention of
high level public officials sets entirely the wrong precedent.
Not displaying election candidate and
symbol during campaigning
SLPP reportedly did not display its candidate and its ballot symbol in the pandol
(thoarana) which was built in Minuwangoda town along the road, but photographs
of the party leader and other regional organisers have been displayed.
According to election law, it is illegal to display the pictures of the
candidate and symbol.
Engaging in election campaigns that
disturbed to religious and national reconciliation
the election period, a number of campaign activities, especially by the Podu
Jana Eksath Peramuna, demonstrate extremist national and religious views in
various forms. For example, a female councilor in Kandy was arrested while
spreading leaflets with extremist opinions. That leaflet was a violation of
section 85 of the Presidential Election Act, No. 15 of 1981 meaning that the
leaflet did not display the publisher and printer.
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