Centre for Monitoring Election Violence

Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka

Final Report on Election Related Violence: Provincial Council Elections 2013, Northern Province

Screen Shot 2013-10-22 at 6.34.48 PM

CMEV wishes to acknowledge the work of the Commissioner of Elections, his officials in Colombo and throughout the Northern Province, as well as the Police in the holding of the Northern Provincial Council Election. Furthermore, the cooperation and assistance extended to CMEV greatly assisted us in our work.

CMEV also acknowledges the financial support of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) which made its monitoring of this historic election possible.

Finally, we salute the voters of the Northern Province for braving threat and intimidation in large numbers and overcoming a host of other challenges to exercise their franchise. This ensured that though the integrity of the electoral process was undermined, the final result reflected the overall wishes of the electorate.

Download the full report as a PDF here.

You can also download the report in Sinhala and Tamil.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

October 23, 2013 at 4:07 am

Posted in Final Report

Tamil podcast on incidents at close of polling

CMEV headquarters, 21 September, 6 pm : Tamil podcast on reported incidents at end of polling.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

September 21, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Situation Update

End of polling Sinhala podcast

CMEV headquarters, 21 September, 6 pm

Sinhala podcast on major incidents as polls closed at 4pm.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

September 21, 2013 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Situation Update

Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Communiqué No 9

21st September 2013: Conclusion of Polls 4pm

The North Provincial Council Elections saw a relatively high turnout as compared to previous elections. While the number of incidents recorded on election day was not of a high frequency, polling day and the campaign period saw a series of electoral malpractices and violations which seriously undermined the free and fair nature of the electoral process. On election day there were a number of violations including acts of arson, assault and intimidation, transportation of voters and campaigning, and an assault of an election monitor. During the campaign period CMEV highlighted a number of key problems including misuse of state resources, high military presence and involvement in support of the Government, and persons in civilian clothing and unidentified groups intimidating opposition political parties and potential voters.

On election day CMEV deployed 240 election monitors at individual polling stations in addition to 17 field monitors and 8 mobile units. All CMEV reports and communiqués and the CMEV Incidents Google Map can be accessed online at http://cmev.wordpress.com.

CMEV was formed in 1997 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Coalition against Political Violence as an independent and non partisan organisation to monitor the incidence of election related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up on CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

List of key incidents from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm as reported by CMEV:

About 5 km away from No. 1 Ambalpuram Government Tamil Mixed School polling station, Mullaitivu District, Mullaitivu Electorate

The house of ITAK’s polling agent Adaikkappal Poobalan and his wife Poobalan Indra, a PAFFREL day observer attached to the Natangal polling station was burnt down completely today between 2.30- 3.00pm.

Their house is located in Pali Nagar, 5 km away from the Ambalpuram Government Tamil Mixed School polling station in Mullaitivu. This incident had taken place while they were both away from home. Their three children aged 8, 13 and 14 were also away from the house during the incident.

The victim Asaikkappal Poobalan alleges that the attack was organised and carried out by the supporters of Mullaithivu district UPFA candidate Adasivam Kanagaratnam. The victim alleges that since he is a polling agent of ITAK this incident may have taken place.

TNA supporter Mr. Rathis has informed a CMEV monitor that he was threatened by Rathnaraja from Amapuram, K.Krishnakumar from Vannivilangkulam and Brindha from Kolavilangkulam – all supporters of Mullaithivu district UPFA candidate Adasivam Kanagaratnam. Due to these threats victim Adaikkappal Poobalan alleges that the attack was organised and carried out by the supporters of Mullaithivu district UPFA candidate Adasivam Kanagaratnam.

No 5, Thirunelvely Muththuthambi Maha Vidyalaya Hall No.2 polling station,  Jaffna District, Nallur Electorate

The Chairman of Nallur Pradeshiya Sabha, TNA PS member of Nallur PS Selvaraja Kajendran was assaulted by a police officer (No.862757) who arrived at the polling station in a Mahindra Jeep. The incident took place after the victim came out of the polling station after casting his vote at around 1.30pm. The victim did not receive any injuries from the assault.

No. 19 K/Santhapuram Kalaimagal Vidyalaya, Killinochchi District, Killinochchi Electorate

A day observer for the Campaign For Free and Fair Election, N. Gunerasa was attacked near polling station No. 19, Samthapuram Kalaimagal Vidyalaya in Killinochchi District at around 2.00 pm. The victim is currently being treated at Ward No. 06 at the Killinochchi Hospital. CMEV interviewed spokesperson of CAFFE Mr. Keerthi Tennakoon who stated that the attacker was identified as Chandran, an EPDP activist.

No. 38 Maruthankeny Hindu Tamil Mixed School, Jaffna District, Point Pedro Electorate Maruthankerny

At 11.00 am, CMEV monitor reported that P. Sanjeevan, the Chairman of the Point Pedro Pradeshiya Sabha and a member of the TNA complained that supporters of EPDP were blocking the path of the people who were on their way to vote and were telling the people to vote for UPFA. The election is being conducted at the Maruthankerny Hindu Tamil Mixed School, and EPDP/UPFA supporters were blocking the path leading to the polling station from both sides and threatening the people. Police had been on duty at this polling station but had not taken any measures to bring this situation under control. Voters alleged that the group harassing the voters was under the influence of alcohol.

Illavai, No 21, Illavai Meihandan Maha Vidyalaya polling station, Jaffna District, Kankesanthurai Electorate

It was reported to a CMEV monitor that between 10.30 am and 12.30pm, army officers in civil attire and newly recruited Samurdhi officers were engaged in canvassing in Kankesanthuri close to polling station 21 in Illavalai, requesting voters to cast their vote for Jaffna District UPFA candidate Mr. Angajan Ramanadan contesting under No 1.

Near Al- Aksa Maha Vidyalayam, No 14, V/Al- Aksa Maha Vidyalayam Chalambaikulam polling station, Vavuniya, District, Vavuniya electorate. 

As reported by a CMEV monitor, at 12.15 pm some voters have been transported in a van bearing the registration number 58-7007, which displayed the posters of UPFA candidate Muttu Mohamed (Candidate number 03).

No. 47 Mn/Arippu Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School polling station, Mannar District, Mannar Electorate

Father Dhavaraj had gone to cast his vote at the Mn/Arippu R.C.T.M.S polling station. Since the polling station was overcrowded, a number of voters, including Father Dhavaraj had gathered in a house close to the polling station. The ASP and OIC of Silaavathurai Police came to the house where the voters gathered, suspecting that there was election canvassing going on in the building. The Police questioned the gathering as to why they are not casting the vote. The latter had argued with the police and a police officer pushed Father Dhavaraj and assaulted his brother. Later, Father Dhavaraj had questioned the police as to why they assaulted the brother and then the police had apologised. A police complaint was not made.

No.29, Jaffna Siruppidy Government Tamil Mixed School Polling Station, Jaffna District, Kopay Electorate

At around 7.00 am, CMEV monitors observed that there was one ballot box in the polling station, which did not have three stickers that are supposed to be pasted on every ballot box. As of 2.45 pm there was still no sticker on the ballot box.

Download PDF here. Also in Tamil and Sinhala

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

September 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Posted in Situation Update

English podcast update on major incident of the afternoon

CMEV headquarters, 21 September, 6 pm

Reporting of Major incidents reported between 12 noon and 4pm. Among major incidents which include threats and intimidation, one major incident was recorded from Mullaitivu district where ITAK polling agent Asaikkappal Poobalan and his wife Poobalan Indra, a PAFFERAL day observer ‘s house was burnt down completely today between 2.30- 3.00pm.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

September 21, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Podcast

Northern Provincial Council Election violations update English

CMEV headquarters, 21 September, 4.15pm

Update of violations on the day of the Northern Provincial Council Election in English with a summary of incidents between the hours of 7am to 3pm

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

September 21, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Posted in Situation Update

Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Communiqué No 8

Northern Provincial Council Election 2013 – Communiqué No 8

21st September 2013: 12 pm

CMEV has received complaints of a number of incidents on election day since polls opened at 7 am, including an assault, intimidation of voters, campaigning near polling stations and distribution of food items while canvassing. As of twelve noon there had been a moderate turnout in urban areas in Jaffna. However, CMEV has also received reports that there has been low turnout in other areas, including in Mullaitivu districts. In these areas voters had to travel significant distances, up to 22 km to get to polling stations. CMEV had raised this issue with the Election Commissioner who provided assurances that transport would be provided free of charge but as of 12 noon transport is very limited or not available.  Specific incidents where voters have been intimidated, allegedly by UPFA politicians and the military have resulted in fear among voters in these locations.

On election day, September 21st, CMEV deployed 240 election monitors at individual polling stations in addition to 17 field monitors and 8 mobile units. All CMEV reports and communiqués and the CMEV Incidents Google Map can be accessed online at http://cmev.wordpress.com.

CMEV was formed in 1997 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Coalition against Political Violence as an independent and non-partisan organisation to monitor the incidence of election related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up on CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.

Some of the main incidents include

Northern Province, No 50,Kokkupaddayam Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School Silvavathura polling station, Mannar Electorate, Mannar District

As reported by CMEV mobile observer, Mannar district candidate of Our Nation Party, Abdul Salam Mohomad Hilmy contesting under No.01 has been allegedly assaulted by the body guards of Minister Rishad Bathiudeen near the gate of the polling station No. 50 Kokkupaddayam Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School at around 10.30am. The victim has lodged a complaint (CIB-104-84) with the Silavathura Police at around 11.05am. The OIC of this police station is investigating the incident. The victim was taken to the Pesalai hospital for treatment.

Threat and intimidation

No. 9 Sinnapoovarasankulam G. T. M. School polling station, Vavuniya District, Vavuniya Electorate

At 9.04 am two persons had come to polling station No. 9 Sinnapoovarasankulam G. T. M. School in the Vavuniya District on a motorcycle bearing the number NP HS 7187 and been standing in front of the station for a long period of time. A group of youth at the polling station reported to the CMEV monitor who was at the site that they had gone to the polling station to cast their vote but recognised the two persons as army soldiers and therefore had not voted. The youth claimed that the two men had been there for over two hours and that many voters had come to the polling station but had turned back without casting their vote.

No. 42 Thampaddi Government Tamil Mix School (G.T.M.S) polling station, Jaffna District, Kayts Electorate

CMEV monitors received complaints from villagers in Thampaddi at around 10.05 am that the Pradeshya Saba Chairman Daniel Rexian (Rajip) who had come to the village together with a group of people (who were not from the village) had started to threaten the public near the polling station. CMEV monitors were present at polling station No. 42 Thampaddi Government Tamil Mix School (G.T.M.S) between 9.30 am – 10.00 am. While the CMEV monitors were present in the polling station the situation remained calm. However as soon as they left was when the incident took place.

CMEV has received reports that on the 19th and 20th of September this group had  threatened community leaders, religious leaders and other community members who were told not to vote and to pass the message to others in the village as well. Individuals complained to CMEV that Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Daniel Rexian from the UPFA had personally threatened them. People in the village alleged that a motorbike bearing registration number NP-VK 9353 was seen roaming in Thampaddi village area.

By around 10.00 am, out of 758 voters in Thamppaddi village so far only around 70 voters had cast their vote.

No 4, 5, 6, 7 polling stations, Jaffna District, Vaddukoddai Electorate

Members of the public in Karainagar alleged that from 7.15am onwards, in areas close to polling station No.4 of J/ Karainagar  Yarlton College (Hall no. 1) ; No.5 of J/ Karainagar  Yarlton College (Junior Division – Hall No.2 ) ; No.6 of J/ Karainagar  Yarlton College (Hall No.2) and Polling Station No.7 of J/Karainagar  Yarlton College (Hall No.3) in the Jaffna District, men in plain clothes wearing sarongs whom they suspected to be Military Intelligence were preventing the public from entering the polling stations.

 

Other Election Related Offenses

No. 16 Udayarkaddu Maha Vidyalayam polling station, Mullaithivu District, Mullaithivu Electorate

A CMEV monitor reported two vehicles (Jaguar bearing registration number 301-2996 and Hi-ace van bearing registration number 59-1143) marked with stickers bearing the number 8 were parked directly in front of polling station No. 16 Udayarkaddu Maha Vidyalayam. Supporters of Mullaitivu district UPFA candidate Sriskandaraja Arul Jenipod contesting under No.8 were openly distributing cards marked (X) against number 8. This incident took place in the presence of the Police around 11.00 am.

No. 22 Oddusuddan Hindu Tamil Mixed School polling station, Mullaitivu District, Mullaitivu Electorate

CMEV monitors observed around 11.00 am the unofficial transporting of voters from Periyasalampan to polling station No. 22 Oddusuddan Hindu Tamil Mixed School (3 km away from the polling station). CMEV monitors picked up cards of Mullaitivu district UPFA candidate A. Sivalingam Shatheesh Kumar contesting under No.3 from the ground where the bus was parked.

No. 8 Mallavi Central College Polling Station, Mullaitivu District, Mullaitivu electorate.

As reported by a CMEV monitor, at 11.05am inmates of Rehabilitation Centers for suspected former LTTE combatants had gathered around the Mallavi Central College and engaged in canvassing and requesting voters to vote for UPFA.

No. 15, 16, 17, 18 polling station, Jaffna District, Udupiddy Electorate

At around 11.45am, a CMEV monitor reported that TNA supporters had given arrack and cigarettes to voters who came to polling stations No 15 and 16 J/Valvai Sivakuru Vidyalaya Hall No. 1 and 2, polling stations No. 17 and 18 Valvai Mahalir Maha vidyalaya Hall No 1 and 2 and polling station No. 19 Valvai American Mission Tamil School to cast their vote for the TNA.

No. 8. Mannar Karisal Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School polling Station, Mannar District, Mannar Electorate

As reported by a CMEV monitor in the area, since 6.25 am near the Karisal Muslim mosque, which is located close to Mannar Karisal Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School polling station in the Mannar District, a group of supporters attached to UPFA have been distributing beef and other food provisions to the people in the area, whilst an announcement had been made through a PA system that emphasised the importance of voting for the Betel Leaf (UPFA symbol).

No.9, Mannar Pudukudiirippu Government Muslim Mixed School polling station, Mannar District, Mannar Electorate

As reported by a CMEV monitor in the area, since 6.00 am UPFA supporters have been distributing dry food provisions in Pudukudiirippu among people who were supposed to go to the Mannar Pudukudiirippu Government Muslim Mixed School polling station to cast their vote. Whilst distributing was going on people were requested to vote for the Betel Leaf (UPFA symbol).

No 47 Mannar /Arippu R.C.T.M.S. Arippu polling station, Mannar District, Mannar Electorate.

At 8.10 am, a group close to about 50 people were gathered around the Mannar /Arippu R.C.T.M.S. Arippu school gate (polling station No. 47). The gathering of people, other than voters and individuals approved by the Election Commissioner within 500m of a polling station is an election offense. CMEV monitors observed a police team arriving at the polling station and dispersed the crowd.

CMEV field monitor observed that TNA posters stating “Preference of Tamil will be TNA” was displayed at the Arippu sub post office. Posters that read “Wake up Tamils” were also pasted on walls close to the polling station. CMEV monitor also observed TNA posters of Candidate No. 5 Mr. Christhothram Vimalasegaram, and Candidate No.1 Mr. Anthony Soosairatnam Premouse Siraiva were pasted on a partition wall next to the post office.

No 31 MU/Kiri Ibban Vewa Vidyalayam polling station, Mullaithivu District, Mullaithivu Electorate

At 9.20am a CMEV monitor observed a van bearing the registration number 56-0694 transporting people to the polling station. The CMEV monitor also observed that about 200m away from the polling station around 100 or more people were gathered and about 15 motorcycles and a few other vehicles were parked around the area. At a house 200m away from the polling station a person was seated at a desk and was engaged in what seemed like preparation of a list.

No. 33 Mv/ Mavilankeny R.C.T.M.S Murungan polling station, Mannar District, Mannar Electorate

CMEV monitors observed a van bearing registration number 56-3493 transporting voters to polling station No. 33 Mv/ Mavilankeny R.C.T.M.S Murungan. The van was plastered with campaign posters of Mr. Abbas Abdul Rifkan – UPFA Candidate No 4 from the Mannar District.

No. 4 Nadakandal Government Tamil Mixed school polling station, Mullaitivu District, Mullaitivu Electorate

CMEV Monitor reported that 2 private buses appeared to be operating between a 3km distance from Nadakandal Government Tamil Mixed School. The CMEV monitor observed that no bus had come to the polling station from Moontrumpurippu (10km away) transporting voters as promised by Election Commissioner. Hence very few voters came to vote as there was no bus service available. There are 548 registered voters in Moontrupurippu. According to the CMEV monitor by 12.00 noon less than 10% voters had exercised their vote.

Pre poll incidents

Killinochchi District Killinochchi Electorate/Killinochchi Town TNA Chief Organizer Sritharan’s Party Office

It was reported to CMEV that at around 10.30pm on September 20th, Killinochchi electorate TNA Chief Organizer and Member of Parliament S. Sritharan’s Party Office was surrounded by a large number of unidentified persons including police officers in uniform. They reportedly remained there for a long period of time, so as to make the people inside feel harassed.  Roughly around 15 TNA supporters had been at the office during this time. It was reported that, the incident was informed to the Police Emergency Service 119, however no action to curb the situation was taken. Around 11.15 p.m CMEV Mobile Team had arrived at the scene after which the crowd had dispersed. In an interview with Mr. Sritharan, he alleged suspects were the intelligence groups attached to the military.

Download PDF of report here. Also in Tamil  and Sinhala.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

September 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Posted in Situation Update

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