Centre for Monitoring Election Violence

Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka

Posts Tagged ‘General Election 2010

Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election April 2010: Media Communique 11

20 April 2010, Sri Lanka, 5pm: Re-polling in 34 polling centers in Nawalapitiya Polling Division, Kandy District and in Kumburupitiya Polling Station (Number 78), Trincomalee Polling Division, Trincomalee District was carried out between 7 am and 4pm today. CMEV monitored the re-polling with 4 mobile teams and 34 stationary monitors in Nawalapitiya and 1 mobile team and 1 stationary monitor in Kumburupitiya.

In both districts CMEV reported nine (09) incidents during the polling period including incidents of attempted impersonation, illegal casting of ballots, verbal abuse of SPOs, transporting of voters and impersonation of monitors.

CMEV notes that there were few incidents of election related violence during this re-poll. This is a significant change from April 8th when a high number of incidents were reported which resulted in the Commissioner of Elections calling for a re-poll. The violence free environment can be attributed to a high presence of police and military around polling stations. CMEV estimates a provisional voter turnout of 65% in Nawalapitiya and 46% in Kumburupitiya, Trincomalee. This demonstrates a lack of interest among voters in the present election.

CMEV reiterates the importance of free and fair elections which reinforce public confidence and ensures the integrity of the poll. CMEV has continuously called for and reiterates its call again for the immediate implementation of the 17th Amendment and the establishment of the Election Commission.

At the close of polls the following incidents were reported to CMEV:

Verbal Abuse of a SPO: CMEV Election Observer reported that Luxman Kirielle, UNP Candidate (No.08) and Ravi Karunanayake (UNP MP elected from Colombo district) had come to the Polling Station No. 05, (Senadhikari National School) at Udahenthanne around 11.40am. When the SPO informed them that Ravi Karunanayake was not entitled to enter the Polling Station, Luxmam Kirielle had verbally abused the SPO and left the polling station.

Illegal Casting of Ballot in Nawalapitiya: CMEV Election Observer reported that a person  with a bogus ballot paper attempted to vote around 1.15pm at Warakawa junior school Polling Station No. 36, in Nawalapitiya Electorate in the Kandy District. This is the second such incident reported from this Polling Station today. The earlier incident took place at around 10.10am.

Attempted Impersonation: CMEV Election Observer reported an attempt at voter impersonation at M.S. Aluthgamage Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station No. 17, in Nawalapitiya Electorate where a voter had come to cast his vote with his National ID card and his father’s Polling Card. When the Electoral Register was examined it was revealed that the name of the person with the NIC was not in the Register. He was handed over to the police by the SPO for attempting voter impersonation.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election April 2010: Media Communique 10

Re-Poll in Nawalapitya & Trincomalee

20 April 2010, Sri Lanka, 1pm: Re-polling in 34 polling centers in Nawalapitiya Polling Division, Kandy District and in Kumburupitiya Polling Station (Number 78), Trincomalee Polling Division, Trincomalee District commenced at 7 am today. The Election Commissioner decided to re-poll following allegations of serious election malpractices including obstruction of voters and chasing away of polling officers on General Election Day on April 8th 2010. CMEV is monitoring the re-polling with 4 mobile teams and 34 stationary monitors in Nawalapitiya and 1 mobile team and 1 stationary monitor in Kumburupitiya.

As of 13:00 hours CMEV reports four incidents of election violations:

Transport of Voters in Trincomalee: CMEV mobile monitors reported that at around 9.20am, supporters of UPFA candidate Susantha Punchinilame (No 07) were transporting voters from the Salappai area and Gandhinagar in two vehicles bearing registration numbers 31Sri 1756 (a jeep) and WP 5029 (a bus), located near the Kumburupitiya Polling Station (No 78) around 9.10am in the Trincomlaee Electorate.

Transport of Voters in Nawalapitiya: As reported by CMEV around 11.00am, a white van bearing the Registration No. 42-0239 had engaged in transporting voters to Galaha junior school Polling Station No. 30 in Nawalapitiya Electorate. This has happened several times but the police have only warned the perpetrators.

Illegal Casting of Ballot in Nawalapitiya: CMEV monitors reported at around 8.35am, the SPO in the Polling Station No 39 Kadiyallena Junior School in the Nawalapitiya Electorate, was helping disabled voters to cast their vote.  However, he marked the ballot paper himself and puts it into the ballot box without showing it to the voter. Nor was this voting being witnessed by another official as required by law.  A similar practice was reported to have taken place in polling station No. 07, Alugolla junior school (No. 2) in Dolosbage, in Nawalapitiya Electorate.  This was observed at around 11.45am by CMEV monitor.

Impersonating Monitor: As reported by CMEV around 12.05pm, a person in the vicinity of the Dolosbage Junior School Polling Station (No.01) in Dolosbage in the Nawalapitiya Electorate, was wearing the hand band of CMEV and thereby posing as a CMEV Election Observer. The police removed the person from the vicinity of the polling station and returned the hand band to the CMEV Election Observer.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Video overview of polling day violence: Parliamentary Election 2010

M.H.M Ajmeer, coordinator at the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), speaks on the ground situation on polling day. The video is in Tamil.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 8, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Video overview of polling day violence: Parliamentary Election 2010

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, co-convenor of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), speaks on the ground situation on polling day.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election 2010: Media Communiqué 10

5 April 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka: CMEV has received confirmation of the first election related murder and reports of the further intensification of violence as the campaign draws to a close today, midnight. A tense situation is reported from the Sinhala areas of the Digamadulla District due to the competition between candidates for preference votes.

Tense situation reported in Ampra

CMEV field reports revealed that a tense situation prevails in Ampara and Mahaoya areas due to a UPFA intra party clash between supporters of UPFA candidates Sarath Weerasekara(candidate no 10) and Ferial Ashrof(candidate no 01) on 04th April at around 11.00 am in Ampara town. Saman Morayas, Vice Chairman of the Ampara Urban Council and Wimal Weera Dissanayake, Eastern Province Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs, Lands and Land Development and Transport were also attacked in the incident.

CMEV learnt that protests against Sarath Weerasekara were organized in Mahaoya town and Damana 04th Mile Post at around 12.00 pm today. A protest was also held in Ampara town, yesterday, against him. Reportedly the protests are backed by Wimal Weera Dissanayake.

According to the information from the field, posters which state ‘vote for a Sinhalee beyond party or colour’ in Sinhala have been displayed in Sinhala areas.

In previous reports, CMEV also highlighted a Harthal in the Pottuvil area on 03rd April against UPFA candidate A.L.M.Athaullah.

UPFA supporter shot dead in Kurunegala

CMEV learnt that R.D.Jeewan Prasanna Jayawardhana, a UPFA supporter, was shot dead by an unknown group in Mawathagama at around 11.00 pm yesterday.

CMEV learnt that the deceased was a supporter of UPFA candidate R.D.Wimaladasa(candidate no 06).

When CMEV contacted Wimaladasa’s office, Chandalal Wijesooriya, a driver who witnessed the murder, informed CMEV that while they were returning from Kurunegala to Mawathagama in a double cab (NW PB 3968), an unknown group in a double cab confronted them and opened fire towards their vehicle. According to him, Jeewan was sitting in the back seat of the cab. He further explained that when they reached the Kurunegala Hospital Jeewan had died and that they had informed the Police at the time of the incident.

Wimaldasa suspects that the attack was carried out by UNPers, since he was informed that some UNP supporters had been searching for Kasun, another supporter of his, prior to this attack.

When CMEV contacted the Mawathagama Police Station, a women Police Officer informed CMEV that they had received an anonymous call regarding the incident at around 11.45 pm. She further stated that investigations are being carried out.

Dr.N.D.S.Rajamanthiri of Kurunegala General Hospital confirmed that the person had died when he was brought to the hospital.

DNA supporters assaulted in Wattala

A group of DNA supporters who were pasting posters, were assaulted by a group of supports of UPFA candidate for Gampaha District, Neil Rupasinghe(candidate no 12) in Pattiyawala, Uswetakeiyawa at around 03.00 am on 03rd April.

CMEV Field Monitor visited the residence of M.N.C.Dias, a victim, and recorded a statement from him. According to him, he and M.A.Ranjith Kumara, another DNA supporter, were assaulted and Ranjith managed to escape from the attack. Subsequently he was forcibly pulled into the vehicle and brought to Neil Rupasinghe’s residence located in Hendala,Wattala. He was ordered to kneel down and was assaulted by Neil Rupasinghe’s supporters at his residence as well. He further explained that he was dropped at the point where they snatched him.

He further stated that he saw the UPFA supporters waving to the police officers when they passed the Police check -point located in Wattala Shell Gas Junction. He expressed his disappointment with the Police over their inactivity and stated that he would not complain to the Police in this regard as he lacked trust in them.

When CMEV contacted the Wattala Police Station it was informed that the Muthurajawela Police Post is in charge of deployment at the above named check -point. When CMEV contacted the Muthurajawela Police Post, PC Sanjeewa Kumara informed CMEV that on the particular day they did not deploy any officers to the above post.

When CMEV contacted Neil Rupasinghe in this regard, he categorically denied the allegations.

Intra party clash in Anuradhapura

CMEV learnt that a group of supporters of UPFA candidate Duminda Dissanayake(candidate no 06) was assaulted by a group of supporters of UPFA candidate S.M.Chandrasena(candidate no 11) near Eppawala Epologama Rathgiriyagama Vidyalaya, Kekirawa at around 06 pm on 02nd April.

On 03rd April CMEV contacted Ajith Kumara, Coordinating Secretary to Duminda Dissanayake. He informed CMEV that 08 supporters were injured due to the attack and admitted to the Anurdhapura General Hospital. He alleged that the perpetrators ordered them to kneel down and threatened them with firearms.

When CMEV contacted R.M.R.Somaratne, Coordinating Secretary to S.M.Chandrasena, he denied the allegations and stated that supporters of Duminda Dissanyake assaulted them and that five of them sustained injuries in the attack and were subsequently admitted to the Anuradhapura General Hospital.

CMEV contacted the Kekirawa Police Station. A Police Sergeant told CMEV that they received a 119 call regarding the incident and on the basis of that information further investigations are being carried out

On contacting the Anuradhapura Hospital, CMEV learnt that 10 people who were injured in the attack were admitted to the hospital.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Parliamentary Election April 2010: Summary of incidents to date

Total number of Incidents: 363

Major incidents: 206
Minor incidents: 157
Firearms involved: 49

Intra party disputes
UPFA against UPFA – 72
UNP against UNP – 1

Details here in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Parliamentary Election April 2010: Summary of incidents to date

Total number of Incidents: 341

Major incidents: 196
Minor incidents: 145
Firearms involved: 45

Intra party disputes
UPFA against UPFA – 68
UNP against UNP – 1

Details here in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 4, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election 2010: Media Communiqué 9

3 April 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka: CMEV is deeply concerned about the escalation of violence in the last stage of the campaign and calls up on the Police to act fast to arrest the situation.

Repeated allegations against supporters of Minister Rishard Badiudeen in Puttalam and Vanni

CMEV continues to receive complaints against supporters of the incumbent Minister of Re-settlement and Disaster Relief Services and UPFA candidate for the Vanni District, Rishard Badiudeen(candidate no 01).

In 24 incidents of election related violence his supporters are alleged to be the perpetrators.  Members of his party have made allegations against his supporters in 02 complaints. CMEV also has received 04 complaints by his supporters of which 03 are against UNPers and 01 against the supporters of UPFA candidate Premarantne Sumathipala(candidate no 06).

Of the complaints received against his supporters, 18 are categorized as Major and 06 as Minor. Major incidents include 08 instances of Assault, 06 incidents of the Misuse of Public Property, 02 instances of Grievous Hurt and 01 case each of Damage to Property and Threat and Intimidation.

In three instances, victims stated that they had not lodged complaints with the Police because of a loss of trust and confidence in the Force.  CMEV has recorded 11 complaints against Badiudeen supporters in the Puttalm District. None of these complaints have been lodged with the Police.

Recent allegations against his supporters are highlighted below:

On 02nd April CMEV received a complaint from the UNP that supporters of Rishard Badiudeen assaulted a group of supporters of UNP candidate Noordeen Mashoor(candidate no 05) in Tarapuram, Mannar at around 06.30 pm while they were campaigning in the area. Two UNP supporters namely M.Hafil and M.Aroos sustained injuries due to the attack.

On contacting Noordeen Mashoor’s office, CMEV learnt that a van (WP TB 0611) was also damaged due to the attack and that the victims were admitted to ward no 04 of the Mannar General Hospital. According to one of the office bearers, a complaint was lodged with the Mannar Police Station.

On 03rd April CMEV contacted Mr.Munawfer, a coordinator of the Minister. He declined to comment on the allegation and asked CMEV to contact the Police to verify the details.

CMEV contacted the Mannar Police. Election OIC Sriwardhana, confirmed that they had received a complaint regarding the incident.

Harthal in Pottuvil

CMEV received reports regarding a harthal in the Pottuvil area on 03rd April.

Field reports revealed that the Harthal was backed by the UPFA and UNP candidates in order to protest against the alleged violent activities of UPFA candidate A.L.M.Athaulla(candidate no 02). CMEV also learnt that a National Youth Conference of the National Congress, an ally of UPFA, was also arranged in Pottuvil under the patronage of Athaulla on the 3rd evening.

CMEV contacted M.B.A.Azeez, former parliamentarian and representative of Ferial Ashrof for Pottuvil. He alleged that since Athaulla does not allow other candidates to campaign in his areas, other UPFA and SLMC candidates organized a harthal in Pottuvil on the 3rd in protest. He accused the Police of attempting to break the harthal by threatening shop owners with permanent closure if they did not comply.

Mr.Mubasir a shop owner and a supporter of the SLMC, alleged that the Police had put an additional lock on his closed shop as he had refused their demand that he break the harthal.

OIC Wasanthakumara of the Pottuvil Police Station denied the allegations and stated that all shops were open for business as usual.

At around 04.30 pm the CMEV Field Monitor informed CMEV that people were brought from Akkaraipattu in 04 buses (WP NA 1340,63-3169, WP NA 2535 & WP NA 3247) belonging to the Akkaraipattu Depot for the conference. According to him, 08 wickets and stones were found in a bus (WP NA 1340) when the STF checked the busses and 07 iron bars were found in a van (56-2639).

According to CMEV Field reports many shops remain closed and a tense situation prevails in the area. A heavy deployment of security forces has been provided for the conference.

Intensified intra party clashes in Sammanthurai

CMEV has confirmed 05 incidents of UPFA intra party disputes from the Sammanthurai electorate during the last 48 hours. These include an incident of Hurt and 04 incidents of Damages to Property. All incidents have been reported to the Sammanthurai Police Station.

In the attack M.M.Ashroof, a supporter of Naushad, sustained injuries and was admitted to ward no 01 of the Kalmunai Base Hospital.  His three-wheeler (EP GE 9858) was also damaged in the attack.

In all 05 instances supporters of UPFA candidates Abdul Ameer(candidate no 05) and A.M. Naushad(candidate no 04) were identified as the alleged perpetrators. In 03 instances, supporters of Naushad were identified as the alleged perpetrators, while in 02 incidents supporters of Abdul Ameer were accused.

UNP supporters attacked in Kurunegala

CMEV Field Monitor reported that a group of supporters of UNP candidate Akila Viraj Kariyawasam (candidate no 01) were assaulted allegedly by a group of supporters of UPFA candidate Johnston Fernando (candidate no 14) opposite the Kurnegala Malkatuwawa Welagedara Vidyalaya at around 07.00 pm on 02nd April. Two UNP supporters namely M.Izadeen and M.Aslam sustained injuries in the attack and were admitted to ward no 01 of the Kuliyapitiya Base Hospital.

CMEV contacted Mr.Chandana, personal secretary to Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. He told CMEV that the perpetrators came in a blue Tipper and assaulted the UNP supporters while they were returning after a UNP meeting held in the Kurunegala Sathiyawadi ground under the patronage of the Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. A truck (NW LF 3745) belonging to Akila Viraj Kariyawasam was also damaged in the attack. He further stated that M.Nowshad, a UNP supporter, lodged a complaint (EIB 01/2010) with the Kurunegala Police Station.

When CMEV contacted Johnston Fernando’s party office, Sumudu Abeyawickrama, an office bearer, categorically denied the involvement of UPFA supporters in the attack.

IP Dharmadasa of the Kurunegala Police Station confirmed the incident and stated that further investigations are underway.

Profile of Violence

As of 03rd April CMEV has confirmed 325 incidents of election related violence including 186 Major Incidents. The use of Fire -arms has risen to 43 and CMEV has confirmed 46 instances of the Misuse of Public Property – 24% of the total number of Major Incidents.

The majority of Major Incidents (37) are reported from the Central Province. Thirty-two (32) Major violations are confirmed from Major Incidents each are reported from the Eastern and Uva Provinces. Seventeen (17), 16, 15, 13 and 12 Major Incidents are confirmed by CMEV from the Northern, Sabaragamuwa, Southern, North Central and Western Provinces, respectively.

CMEV has received 232 complaints against UPFA and its allies of which 66 (28%) are from UPFA party members. The UNP is accused in 17 incidents while in 60 instances the party affiliation of the perpetrators has not been identified. CMEV has also confirmed 05 complaints against the EPDP and 03 incidents of election related violence against the ITAK.

All CMEV reports and communiqués and the CMEV Incidents Google Map can be accessed online at http://cmev.wordpress.com

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

April 4, 2010 at 7:31 am

Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election 2010: Media Communiqué 5

28 March 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka: CMEV expresses its deep concern about the flagrant misuse of public property for electioneering and the inactivity of responsible officers in arresting the situation. Attacks on party offices and supporters increase in the lead up to the election. CMEV calls upon the leaders of two main political parties in and their allies to act to prevent further violence and to take effective action against members and supporters who have perpetrated violence.

Obstruction to CMEV Field Monitor

CMEV learns that a camera belonging to the CMEV Field Monitor in Nikaweratiya, Nihal Chandrasisiri, has been snatched by a man in a white Hi-ace van at around 07.15 pm today while he was photographing a damaged UNP Party Office in Nikaweratiya.

CMEV Field Monitor informed CMEV that the candidate number and the name of UPFA candidate Johnston Fernando were displayed on the back mirror of the vehicle. His name was displayed as’Jhony’ in Sinhala. CMEV monitor was unable to identify the vehicle number.

CMEV learns that at the time of the incident the Police were also present at the location to investigate the attack on the UNP party office.

According to the instruction given by the CMEV Secretariat, CMEV Field Monitor has lodged a complaint at the Nikaweratiya Police Station.

CMEV will write to the Election Commissioner and the IGP in this regard.

CMEV unreservedly condemns this obstruction of the work of election observers by the politicians and their supporters.

Clash between UPFA supporters in Mirissa

CMEV Field Monitor reported that a clash between a group of supporters of the incumbent Minister of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage and UPFA candidate, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena(candidate no 03) and a group of supporters of UPFA candidate, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena(candidate 01) at Mirissa Junction, around 12.30 pm toady.

CMEV contacted Yamuna Punchihewa, a UPFA member of the Weligama Pradeshiya Sabha(PS) and a supporter of Lakshman Yapa Abeyawardena, who stated that they were obstructed by supporters of Mahinda Yapa near the Mirrissa Junction when they came in a procession from Kamburugamuwa. She further said that the perpetrators attacked them with wooden batons, stones and glass bottles. He also alleged that they were carrying a pistol.

According to Yamuna Punchihewa, two UPFA members of Weligamuwa PS namely Susantha Jayalath and Pushpakumara Bettage were amongst the perpetrators.

CMEV contacted Susantha Jayalath who informed CMEV that a tense situation arose after supporters of Mahinda Yapa hooted supporters of Lakshman Yapa who were near the Mirrissa Junction. He said that he intervened to control the situation. He categorically denied that they assaulted the supporters of Lakshman Yapa and stated that no one carried fire- arms.

CMEV contacted the Weligama Police Station, Mr.Mahesh, OIC of the Weligama Police Station, informed CMEV that they rushed to the scene of the incident once they were informed. He further stated that they managed to disperse the crowd before the situation worsened.

AITC supporter threatened in Warani, Jaffna

On 28th March, CMEV received a complaint from AITC candidate, S.Subramaniyam(candidate no 11) alleging that K.Arumugam, one of his supporter was verbally threatened by Y.Yogachandran, who claims to be a EPDP supporter, in Warani North at around 04.00 pm today.

According to Subramaniyam, he was threatened not to campaign in the Kudathanai area as the area “belongs” to the EPDP and was he to do so, he was told that he would be killed.

On contacting the Kodikama Police Station, CMEV learnt that no complaint has been lodged with the police as yet.

Repeated intimidation to UNP supporters in Norwood

On 27th March R.Kalaivanan, a UNP supporter, made a complaint to CMEV that members of his family are continuously intimidated by Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) supporters, an ally of UPFA. He alleged that the incumbent Minister of Youth Empowerment and Socio Economic Development and UPFA candidate Arumugam Thondaman(candidate no 10) threatened them to remove their shop located at No.02,Maskleiya Road Norwood immediately. He further alleged that he instructed the OIC of the Norwood Police Station to take immediate actions against him and his father Mr.Rajendran, Opposition Leader of the Ambagamuwa PS.

Repeated attempts to contact Mr. Arumugam Thondaman were not successful as he was in a meeting.

When CMEV contacted the Norwood Police, OIC Saman Kumara informed CMEV that Arumugam Thondaman visited the area on 26th March for campaigning but that no quarrels occurred during the visit as alleged.

Public property misuse in Polonnaruwa

On 28th March CMEV Field Monitor reported that a bus (03sri-9868) belonging to the Mahaweli Authority was used to transport a group of UPFA supporters from Welikanda to Kalahagala for campaigning activities on 27th March.

CMEV contacted the residence project manager, Ranjith Perera who confirmed that the bus belongs to the authority and that he has strictly instructed the staff not to use any vehicles for electioneering.  He said he was not aware of this incident.

04 UNP party offices damaged in Sooriyawewa

CMEV Field Monitor informed that 04 UNP party offices have been attacked by an unknown group, yesterday 27 March in the Sooriyawewa area.

According to CMEV Field Monitor, attacks were carried out between 01-04 am and campaigning materials were set fire to by the perpetrators.

CMEV learnt that the offices were maintained by 04 UNP supporters namely U.K.Gunadasa, H.H.William, T.L.Ranjth and G.G.Thanuja Sampth.

When contacted H.H.William, a UNP supporter, alleged that the attacks would have been carried out by the UPFA and they would not make a complaint to the Police because they lacked trust in them.

When contacted, the Sooriyawewa Police Station, Sergeant Ratnaweera stated that they had not as yet received a complaint.

UPFA supporters attacked in Pottuvil

On 26th March, CMEV Field Monitor reported that National Congress Organizer for Pottuvil, M.A.Majeed, and a group of National Congress supporters, an ally of UPFA, were attacked with stones at a UNF meeting held in Pottuvil.

According to CMEV Field Monitor, they were attacked by UNF supporters gathered at the meeting after UPFA supporters in a van (WP HM 6975) intentionally knocked down a pillar of the pavilion set up for the meeting.

CMEV learnt that a tense situation arouse after the clash and Mr.Majeed and two Police Officers namely M.Aleem(PC 49821) and Indula Athula Mudali, Traffic OIC of the Pottuvil Police Station were injured. Mr.Majeed was initially admitted to the Pottuvil District Base Hospital and then to the Akkraipattu Base Hospital.

CMEV contacted M.S.M.Marsook,Chairman Pottuvil Pradeshiya Sabah(PS). He informed CMEV that he and Mr.A.M.M.Thajudeen, Vice Chairman of Pottuvil PS were arrested by the Police on 26th March and released on bail the following day.

When CMEV contacted the Pottuvil Police to get further details regarding the incident an officer who did not reveal his name refused to give any details regarding the incident and stated that they have already released the necessary details to the media.

UNP supporter attacked in Kattankudi

On 24th March N.M.Nishad, a UNP supporter, was attacked allegedly by a group of supporters of UPFA candidate M.A.M.Hisbulla(candidate no 03) in the Main street Kattankudi at around 08.10 pm while he was returning to his residence after a UNP meeting held in Kattankudi. The victim sustained grievous injuries on his left hand and was admitted to the ward no 14 of the Batticaloa Base Hospital.

When CMEV contacted Mr.Hisbullah, he denied the involvement of his supporters in the incident.

CMEV Field Monitor visited the Kattankudi Police Station and confirmed the incident. According to him, a complaint (EIB 166/111) has been lodged with the Police by the victim and further investigations are underway regarding the incident.

ITAK supporters arrested in Vaharai

On 26th March ITAK candidate, Mr.Ariyanendran (candidate no 01) made a complaint to CMEV that the Vaharai Police obstructed vehicles of his supporters and arrested 12 ITAK supporters as well as took into custody a vehicle in Vaharai at around 12.25 pm.

CMEV learnt that 06 of them were released by the Police on 26th March at around 02.30 and the other 06 at around 08.00 pm on the same day.

According to Ariyanendran, the Police have not yet stated the reason for the arrests and that their vehicle is still in the custody of the Police. Ariyanendran further alleged that they experienced the same problem with the Vaharai Police during the last Presidential Election.

CMEV repeatedly contacted the Vaharai Police Station to get further details regarding the incident but was not successful as no one officially responded to the queries.

Attack on UPFA party office in Kaleliya

On 27th March UPFA candidate Anjan Umma(candidate no 04) made a compliant to CMEV that her party office located in Hansgiriya, Kaleliya was attacked allegedly by a group of supporters of UPFA candidate Kokila Harshani Gunawardhana(candidate no 21) on 25th March at around 11.00 pm.

When CMEV contacted Sampath Wickramasinghe, coordinating secretary of Anjan Umma, alleged that Kokila Harshani Gunawardhana was present at the scene and that the perpetrators came in two Jeeps and a lorry and they could not identify the vehicle numbers.

When contacted Kokila Harshani Gunawardhana categorically denied her involvement in the incident.

CMEV learnt that no complaints have been lodged with the police in this regard.

As of 28th March CMEV has confirmed 235 incidents of election related violence including 141 Major Incidents. The Use of Fire- arms and the Misuse of Public Property has risen to 36 and 40 respectively.

Major Incidents include 48 incidents of Assault, 40 instances of Public Property Misuse, 22 incidents of Threat and Intimidation, 09 instances of Damage to Property, 07 instances each of Arson, Hurt and Grievous Hurt and 01 of Robbery.

CMEV has received 169 complaints against UPFA and its allies, of which 46 were by party members. The UNP is accused in 11 incidents. In 45 instances, the party affiliation of the perpetrators is not identified. CMEV has also received 03 complaints against the EPDP and 01 complaint each against the DNA and ITAK and an independent group contesting in the Badulla District.

All CMEV reports and communiqués and the CMEV Incidents Google Map can be accessed online at http://cmev.wordpress.com

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

March 29, 2010 at 7:59 am

Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election 2010: Postal Voting, Media Communiqué 2

25th March 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka: CMEV is deeply concerned by reports alleging attempts to disenfranchise postal voters by officials in their capacity as certifying officers in particular.

CMEV deployed 185 Mobile Monitors and 150 Stationary Monitors today (25 March 2010) to monitor the postal voting and intends to have the same deploy tomorrow.

CMEV recorded 25 postal voting related incidents today. As of 24th March CMEV has recorded a cumulative total of 192 incidents including 121 Major Incidents.

The Major Incidents related to the postal voting are highlighted below:

Sabaragamuwa Province

Zonal Education Office, Warakapola

On 24th March CMEV received a complaint from Dedigama UNP party office alleging that 05 non- government employees were included in the list of postal voters. According the list M.P.Jayaweera of 4th Regiment, Palali, has been named as the certifying officer.

On 25th CMEV contacted a voter who was named in the above list.  He stated that he is not a government employee and that he was not aware of how his name came to be included on the postal voting list. He suspects that someone has intentionally done this in order to deny his voting rights, as he is a UNP supporter.

When contacted Mr.Jayaweera informed CMEV that he is a government teacher at Nivatuwa Maha Vidyalaya and that he had also applied for postal voting and marked his postal vote at Zonal Education Office, Warakapola today. He further explained that he came to know about the incident yesterday through the Grama Niladhari of his division and that his forged signature has been used in the application.

CMEV contacted P.A. Senaratne, Assistant Election Commissioner of Kegalle District. He informed CMEV that mistakenly their names were replaced with similar names of government employees. He said that they have been identified and that postal ballots were not sent to them. He further assured CMEV that he has taken measures to make arrangements for them to cast their votes on 08th April.

On 25th March at around 03.10 pm, CMEV contacted the Kegalle District Returning Officer, Mrs.D.M.P.Dissanayake on this account. She informed CMEV that she came to know about the incident yesterday evening and they have started an investigation into the matter. She also said that the perpetrators are yet to be identified.

CMEV will raise the issue with the Election Commissioner and urge him to ensure a detailed investigation into the incident.

Rambukana Pradeshiya Sabah

According to the CMEV Monitor, as of 11.30 am, a double cab(252-6894), a tipper( CP LC 9201) and a van(SB TA 4399) were parked within the premises of Rambukana PS. The vehicles were decorated with the propaganda material of UPFA candidate Kanaka Herath(candidate no 04). Fifty –two (52) postal votes were registered at the centre.

Central Province

Leminiar Tami Vidyalayam,Nuwara-Eliya

On 25th March, CMEV received reports regarding an alleged attempt to deny voters’ rights in Nuwara-Eliya.

According to two teachers of Leminiar Tamil Vidyalaya, namely Saraswathi Pawani and Mrs.Rajakumran, they did not receive their postal ballots though they had applied for postal voting. They alleged that the Principal of the School did not submit their applications as they are supporters of National Union of Workers, an ally of UNP.

A.Nagarajah a UNP Member of the Kotagala Pradeshiya Sabha informed CMEV that the two  teachers were the only postal voters who did not receive postal ballots. He alleges that the principal did this on purpose to deny UNF voters of the franchise.

CMEV contacted the Zonal Education Office, Nuwara-Eliya, B.Dharmasisiri Ranasinghe, an administrative officer of the department. He told CMEV that they were not sent postal ballots because their applications had not been received.

Uva Province

Mahiyangana Zonal Education Office: At around 03.35 pm CMEV Field Monitor reported that 245 applications for postal voting were rejected by the respective Zonal Education Director, Mr.Susil Wijeyatilaka due to late submission.

CMEV contacted Susil Wijetilaka who informed CMEV that he received applications from staff until 26th of February and due to the transportation problems he was unable to submit the applications on the due date. He further stated that he informed the Assistant Election Commissioner’s Office on 26th February that he was unable to handover the applications on the due date and an officer instructed him to send the applications by post. Mr.Susil Wijetialka has sent the applications by post, they were rejected and he has no record of who he spoke to.

CMEV contacted A.T.M.Talangama, Assistant Election Commissioner of the Badulla District. He stated that they acted according the rules and that the deadlines given by the Election Commissioner and the Director of Mahiyangana Zonal Education Office was responsible for his delay.

CMEV has learnt that most of the applicants have applied for election duty and might lose their right to vote.

Western Province

Maharagama Urban Council

At around 01.00 pm, CMEV Field Monitor reported that UPFA candidate Sudharman Radaliyagoda(candidate no 05) and a group of supporters wearing T-Shirts and Caps displaying the candidate’s number were seen within the premises of the Council.

At around 01.20 pm, R.A.Somawathi, Certifying Officer of the centre, informed CMEV that they were present in the morning and that she had instructed them to leave the premises.  She further stated that since she was inside the building, she was not aware of whether they have entered again . She assured CMEV that she would look into the matter.

Forest Department Head Office, Malabe

On 25th March, the CMEV Field Monitor reported that 19 postal vote applications were rejected due to their late submission.

Eastern Province

CMEV Field Monitors reported that they found the tops of ballot paper envelopes stuck in several postal voting centres.  CMEV recorded 02 instances from the Paddiruppu electorate and 01 incident from the Batticaloa electorate.

CMEV contacted the Assistant Election Commissioner of Batticaloa, T. Krishnanandalingam. He informed CMEV that this was a mistake and that they had deployed a mobile team to re-issue valid envelopes to postal voters.

Kinniya Urban Council

At around 11.10 am, CMEV Field Monitor reported that a black Pajero(WP C-655) displaying the beetle symbol and candidate no 07 was parked inside the premises of Kinniya PS. Seventeem (17) postal votes were registered at the centre.

Southern Province

Sooriyawewa Police Station

According to the CMEV Field Monitor all postal voting applications of the Sooriyawewa Police Station have been rejected by the certifying officer B.G.S.Sumanasinghe, OIC of the Sooriyawewa Police Station, on grounds of late submission. An officer attached to the Hambantota Assistant Election Commissioner’s office confirmed the incident.

Bopey-Poddala Pradeshiya Sabah

At around 12.40 pm, CMEV Field Monitor reported that supporters of UPFA candidates namely Rev.Baddegama Samitha(candidate no 09) and Piyasena Gamage(candidate no 03) and UNP candidate Wijyapala Hettiarachchi(candidate no 11) were campaigning for their respective candidates using the public addressing system near the Bopey-Poddala Pradeshiya Sabha. They came in separate vehicle convoys. CMEV Field Monitor has identified two vehicles as follows;

A cab (WPC 100299) belonging to Piyasena Gamage

A three-wheel (SP GE 2660) belonging to Wijayapala Hettiarachchi

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

March 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election 2010: Postal Voting, Media Communiqué 1

25th March 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka CMEV field reports reveal that candidates and their supporters engage in electioneering within the vicinity of postal voting centres.

Western Province

Kalutara Pradeshiya Sabah

At around 09.20 am, CMEV Field Monitor reported that a ‘12X6’ cut-out of incumbent Minister of Nation Building and UPFA candidate Rohitha Abeyagunawardhana(candidate no 03) and another cut-out of Nirmala Kothalawala(candidate no 09) were displayed within the vicinity of the Kalutara Pradeshiya Sabah(PS).

CMEV contacted Geethani, the Secretary and Certifying Officer of the Kalutara PS, who told CMEV that she had instructed the officials to remove the cutouts yesterday.  She assured CMEV that she will take speedy measures to remove the cutouts. Sixteen (16) postal votes were registered at the Kalutara PS.

Zonal Education Office Meerigama

According to the CMEV Monitor, two women claiming to be representatives of UPFA candidate Basil Rajapakshe(candidate no 16) are recording the details of individual postal voters of the respective centre. They verbally threatened the CMEV Monitor when he questioned them about this. Two postal voting centres are situated in the department. One hundred and sixty one (161) and ninety-one (91) votes were recorded at these centres. A similar incident was reported from the Survey Department, Meerigama. Twelve (12) postal votes were registered at the department.

On contacting his office, CMEV was informed that Mr Basil Rajapaksha was not available as he was in a meeting.

Sabaragamuwa Province

Deraniyagala Pradeshiya Sabha

At around 09.30 am, CMEV Field Monitor reported that a ‘10X5’ cutout of UPFA candidate, H.R.Mithrapala(candidate no 03) was displayed within the premises of the Deraniyagala PS. Another cutout of UPFA candidate Kanaka Herath(candidate no 04) was also prominently displayed at the entrance gate of the Deraniyagala PS. Ten (10) postal votes were registered at the Deraniyagala PS.

According to the CMEV Field Monitor, a jeep (WP JR 3456) belonging to Mithrapala was also parked within the premises of Deraniyagala PS.

Southern Province

Akuressa Depot

At around 09.30 am, CMEV Field Monitor reported that a medium size cutout of UPFA candidate Manoj Sirisena(candidate no 05) was displayed within the premises of the Akuressa Depot. Seventeen (17) votes were registered at the centre.

North Western Province

Mundalam Divisional Secretariat

At around 09.30 am CMEV Field Monitor reported that a large number of posters of UPFA candidate, Victor Antony (candidate no 06) were pasted on the wall of the Mundalam Divisional Secretariat. Fifty (50) postal votes were registered at the centre.

According to CMEV Field Monitor, within the 50m radius of the Mundalam Divisional Secretariat small size cutouts of UPFA candidate Milroy Ferenando(candidate no 10) were displayed along the road.

Nathandiya Divisional Secretariat

At around 10.10 am, CMEV Field Monitor reported that a van (NW HU 9813) decorated with the propaganda material of UPFA candidate Arundika Fernando(candidate no 04) was parked opposite the Nathandiya Divisional Secretariat. Sixty one (61) postal votes were registered at the above centre.

Northern Province

Valvettiturai Urban Council

At around 10.15 am, CMEV Field Monitor reported that two ACTC supporters on motor bicycles issued pocket calendars and handouts in support of ACTC candidates Gajendra Kumara Ponnambalm(candidate no 02) and Sinnathurai Varatharajan(candidate no 10) opposite the Valvettiturai Urban Council.  According to the CMEV Monitor, the Valvettiturai Police Station is located nearby.  Twenty three (23) and fifty-nine (59) postal votes were registered respectively from Valvettiturai Urban Council and Valvettiturai Police station.

Eastern Province

Zonal Education Office, Pattiruppu

At around 10.40 am, the CMEV Field Monitor reported that a white Dolphin van (62-5039) with the photographs and posters of TULF candidate, Krishnapillai known as Vellimali (candidate no 03) was parked inside the Zonal Education Office.  Two hundred and forty one (241) postal votes were registered from the department.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

March 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

Parliamentary Election 2010: Media Communique 2

Colombo, Sri Lanka: As of 20th March, CMEV has recorded a cumulative total of 146 incidents of which 87 have been categorized as Major. The number of incidents involving the Use of Firearms has risen to 29.

Some of the recent incidents of election related violence are highlighted below. Download as Sinhala PDF or as Tamil PDF.

Arson attack on Lorry of UPFA supporter, Eravur, Batticaloa

On 20th March at around 12.30 am a lorry belonging to UPFA supporter, Ibrahim Raheem, was set on fire by an unidentified group in Gandhi Road, Eravur. A complaint (ECIB 29/10) has been lodged with the Eravur Police Station by Ibrahim Raheem in this regard.

CMEV Field Monitor visited the scene of the incident recorded a statement from Ibrahim Raheem. He informed the CMEV monitor that he is a UPFA supporter and that his vehicle is used for UPFA campaigning.  According to the CMEV monitor, the front part of the lorry has been completely burnt as a result of the attack.

A.C.M.Sayed, Officer in-charge of UPFA candidate, Ali Zahir Moulana(candidate no 02) told CMEV that his vehicle is used to transport furniture for the UPFA meetings and he is an active supporter of the party.

C.G.A.S.Piyaratne, OIC, Eravur Police confirmed to CMEV that the incident had occurred and stated that further investigations are underway.

Attack on UNP vehicle convoy in Alankuda, Puttalam

According to A.M.Husain, SLMC working committee member, on 19th March 2010 at around 04.00pm a UNP party office located near ‘B’ Camp ,Alankuda was attacked by a group of supporters of incumbent Minister of Re-settlement and Disaster Relief Services and UPFA candidate for Vanni District, Rishard Badiudeen(candidate no 01). Jamsir, a UNP supporter, sustained minor injuries on his left hand due to the attack.

At around 08.00pm another attack on a vehicle convoy of UNP candidates Noordeen Mashoor(candidate no 05), A.K.S.Hameethu(candidate no 01) and M.H.Rinos(candidate no 08) was carried out by the supporters of Rishard Badiudeen near the play ground Kalmunaikudi-B, Alankuda. Thirteen (13) vehicles were damaged due to the attack and the estimated loss is 240,000Rs, according to Mr.Hussain.

Mr.Hussain further alleged that the STF was also involved in the incident and had assaulted the UNPers.

Minister Rishad Badiudeen was not contactable.

CMEV Field Monitor visited the Kalpitiya Police Station on 20th March to get further details regarding the incidents, but the Police did not provide any information. Attempts by the CMEV secretariat to get details from the Police were also not successful.

CMEV has recorded 09 incidents from the Puttalam Electorate of which 07 are from Kalpitiya Police area. Only one complaint had been lodged with the Kalpitiya Police. In two cases complainants directly alleged that the Police is biased towards the ruling party and that they have no trust in them.

Alleged mislead of voters in Chilaw

On 20th March CMEV learnt that a letter dated 05th March 2010 under the signature of the President of Sri Lanka Freedom Graduate Association, Udula Nuwan Pathirana, has been circulated in Chilaw, Puttalam. The letter requests graduates who wish to be employed in the government sector to go house -to -house campaigning for the UPFA for at least 20 days.

CMEV contacted Udula Nuwan Pathirana who denied the allegation and stated that a letter is being circulated within the Chilaw Polling Division with his forged signature. He also stated that he has informed UPFA organizer for the Chilaw electorate and candidate, Neomal Perera (candidate no 07) of this.  CMEV contacted Neomal Perera who stated that he was not aware of the circulation of such a letter.  He categorically denied the allegation that the party has decided to provide jobs only to those who campaign for them.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

March 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Parliamentary Election 2010: Media Communique 1

19 March 2010, Colombo, Sri Lanka: CMEV is deeply concerned by the misuse of state resources for campaigning purposes and the increased use of firearms.

Violence Profile

As of 18th March 2010, CMEV has confirmed 115 incidents of election related violence including 75(65%) Major Incidents since the closure of nomination on 26th February. Out of the confirmed 75 major incidents 25(33%) are instances of the misuse of public property for electioneering. Incidents involving the use of fire arms have risen to 18 which constitute 25% of the Major Incidents.

The 75 confirmed Major Incidents included 06 incidents of Hurt, 03 instances of Grievous Hurt, 22 Assaults resulting in injuries, 14 instances of Threat & Intimidation, 25 instances of the Misuse of State Resources and 05 incidents of Arson.

Misuse of State Resources: CMEV has recorded 06 such incidents from the Kurunalgala District; in three instances the incumbent Minister of Nation Building and UPFA candidate Salinda Dissanyake(candidate no 17) and his supporters have been accused of misusing three double cabs(252-6010,WP HI 2766 and WP PB 2271)and a CDMA phone(0114945974) belonging to the respective ministry.

CMEV’s repeated attempts to contact Salinda Dissanayake were not successful.

A building constructed for the welfare of the Army soldiers in Galgamuwa is being used as a party office of UPFA candidate, Taranath Basnayake(candidate no 15)

CMEV contacted the Divisional Secretariat of Galgamuwa.  An officer, who did not want to reveal his name, confirmed the incident and told CMEV that the building is now being administered by the Galgamuwa Village Development Society.

A building belonging to the Zonal Education Office of Nuwaraeliya is being used in the campaign of incumbent Minister of Livestock Development and UPFA candidate C.B.Ratnayake(candidate no 02).

CMEV contacted the Zonal Education Office of Nuwareliya on 18th March.  An officer there told CMEV on the condition of anonymity, that a ministry sub office of Minister of Livestock Development, C.B.Ratnayake has been run in the old building of the department.

When CMEV contacted C.B.Ratnayake, he denied the allegation.

CMEV received reports regarding the misuse of a cab (WP JL 5264) belonging to a road construction project implemented by the Sabragamuwa Provincial Council. It has been used for the campaigning activities of UPFA candidate Kanaka Herath(candidate no 04).

CMEV contacted the office of the Chief Secretary of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council. An officer of the Council told CMEV that the vehicle was given to the project office by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), that they have no information regarding the vehicle and that he was not aware of the incident.

CMEV contacted Kanaka Hereth on 18th March who categorically denied the allegation.

According to CMEV monitor a Mitsubishi Cab (52-2425) belonging to the Mahaweli Authority has been used to transport a cutout of incumbent minister of Agricultural Development and Agrarian Services,Maithiripala Sirisena(candidate no 07), from Sevanapitiya to Welikanda on 18th March 2010.

Resident Project Manager of Mahaweli Authority, Polonnaruwa who did not mention his name admitted that the vehicle belongs to the authority and stated that he is not aware about the incident.

Increased intra -party violence: Another alarming trend in the lead up to the election is the struggle for preferential votes which leads to intra party clashes. Of the 91 complaints against the UPFA 23(25%) complaints have been made by party supporters. Five (05) instances of intra-party violence have been reported from the Southern Province. In Sabaragamuwa, firearms have been used in 05 out of 12 Major Incidents. CMEV has recorded 03 such incidents from the Eastern Province and 02 incidents each from the North Central and Western Provinces. CMEV also received reports of 01 incident each from the North Western and Central Provinces.

CMEV highlights below a recent incident of involving the use of firearms in the Kurunagala District.

On 17th March at around 10.30 pm, supporters of UPFA candidate R.D.Wimaladasa(candidate no 06) who arrived in a white Canter assaulted a group of supporters of UNP candidate Nilwala Wijesinghe(candidate no 11) when they were having dinner after a meeting held at Nilwala’s residence located in Ridigama. Five (05) UNP supporters sustained injuries due to the attack and were admitted to the Kurunegala General Hospital.

CMEV Field Monitor visited the hospital on 18th March and recorded statements from the victims. According Anuara Munasinghe, a UNP supporter, the perpetrators assaulted them with wooden batons and when the other UNP supporters attempted to stop the attack, the perpetrators had fired in the air. Reportedly a bystander also sustained minor injuries to his head due to the panic caused by gunshots.

According to CMEV Field Monitor, Ridhigama Police confirms the incident and is carrying out further investigation in this regard.

CMEV calls upon the leaders of all political parties, especially the ruling alliance against which the majority of allegations of election related violence have been made, to take immediate and effective steps to halt the violence perpetrated by their candidates and supporters which is a clear threat to the integrity of the electoral process and democracy in Sri Lanka.

CMEV’s experience with multiple elections is that violence perpetrated during the campaign impacts adversely on polling by setting a context for an ostensibly violence free election day in favour of those who have perpetrated violence with impunity during the campaign. It is therefore of the utmost importance for the integrity of the electoral process that violence perpetrated during the campaign period is deterred and the perpetrators of violence brought to account.

In this context, we reiterate the argument consistently advanced by CMEV regarding the urgency and pivotal importance of the full implementation of the Seventeenth Amendment.  CMEV believes that the establishment of independent commissions for the Police, Public Service and Elections provided for by the Amendment, is absolutely necessary for protecting the integrity of the electoral process.

CMEV has commenced the monitoring of the Parliamentary Election and fielded 180 Monitors. CMEV will be deploying 4,500 Stationary Observers in polling stations and 50 Mobile Teams on Election Day.

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Download as a PDF in Sinhala and Tamil.

Written by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)

March 19, 2010 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Situation Update

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