Sunday, September 27, 2009

Election violence on the increase

By Rathindra Kuruwita - The lukewarm attitude taken by the political party big wigs and the Police towards the brazen violations of election law has created a lawless situation in the Southern Province, claims election monitoring bodies.

“Candidates are openly violating the election law and they are encouraged by the fact that there seem to be no consequences for their actions,” said National Polls Observation Centre Convener, Prasanna Adikari. “If the election law is to be properly upheld three parties, the party bosses, the Police and the Department of Elections, should play a very active role. But so far, the party bosses and the police have turned a blind eye to the open violation of the election law,” he added.

He added that so far 23 instances of election law violations have been reported in the three districts. “Ten incidents have been reported from the Galle District, while nine and four have been reported from the Hambanthota and Matara Districts respectively,” he said. “Galle is still the hot spot for violence and some candidates are getting a lot of media coverage for all the wrong reasons,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) claimed that they have received 37 complaints, 15 from Galle, 12 from Hambanthota and 10 from Matara. “We see that things are hotting up as Election Day grows near. And there is a systematic campaign against the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). Some of their offices have been attacked even yesterday and some party sympathisers have been arrested,” said CaFFE Spokesman, Keerthi Tennakoon.

© The Nation

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