Thursday, April 08, 2010

Sri Lanka: 1,000s of Tamil IDP’s denied voting rights

1000’s of IDP voters have been denied their right to vote due to the non existence of clearly defined guidelines in relation to voter identification papers. CaFFE elections observers were temporarily stopped by security officers from taking photographic evidence of these incidents as they unfolded in the close vicinity of Menik Farm.

These IDP voters in Menik Farm were told that they must go to the Killinochchi Cluster Polling Station to vote by Election Officials. However, voters in the Killinochchi Cluster Polling station have informed by Election Officials that they must proceed to the Menik Farm Polling Station to vote. Election Official have not been given clear instructions to IDP’s in relation to where they can vote. IDP’s were thus thrown into confusion as to whether they were to vote in Menik Farm, Killinochchi cluster polling centers, their original place of residence or in the areas where they have been newly resettled.

Evidence of this can be further identified by the registered low voter turnout by 12.00 noon. In the Killinochchi Central College Cluster Polling Centers only 362 out of 7,504 total registered voters have been able to cast their votes in the first set of 8 cluster polling stations. Furthermore, in the second set of 8 cluster polling centers only 283 out of 10,240 voters have been able to cast their votes by 12.00 noon.

While IDP voters have been denied their right to vote in the Menik Farm Polling Center supporters of former Minister Rishard Badurdeen have been visually identified by CaFFE Election observers conducting an election campaign on election day at the Menik Farm IDP Camp, Vavuniya. CaFFE notes that there has been an incident of election violence committed against a CaFFE election observer.

CaFFE observers have visually identified that former Minister Athaulla’s supporters have attacked CaFFe Election Observer Mr. Abdul Rahman in the vicinity of the
Adalachenei and Akkaraipaththu border. The Minister’s supporters have then confiscated CaFFE’s election monitoring evidence and the National Identification papers of the CaFFE election observer.

© Campaign for Free and Fair Elections - Media Release

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