Thursday, April 08, 2010

75 Major incidents of threat and intimidation against voters : SL Election Monitors

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) reported that as of 2pm on polling day, there was a turn -out of 35-40% across Sri Lanka with a low turn- out in Jaffna of around 10%. There were several reports of threat and intimidation against voters and polling agents. At present 75 Major incidents have been reported to CMEV and 196 Minor incidents.

As reported in the Election Day communiqué 1, CMEV has continuously received reports of discrepancies in the marking of fingers with indelible ink. This is an issue of concern as it can lead to possible malpractices and impact the integrity of the poll.

CMEV has also received several cases where posters and cutouts of candidates from various parties have been seen near polling stations- a violation of Election laws and guidelines which is disregarded by many candidates and political parties across districts.


Trincomalee district, Trincomalee electorate, Kuchchaveli, Vivekananda Maha Vidyalayam, hall nos 1 and 2, polling stations (no. 80 and 81). 12:00pm - A complaint was made by U. Ravikumara, ACTC candidate (no. 4), to CMEV that Susantha Punchinilame, UPFA candidate (no. 7) together with other UPFA supporters were moving around with arms in a vehicle bearing the license plate (62-6091) around these two polling stations, at noon. They threatened and intimidated Tamil voters and demanded that they did not vote.

CMEV reports that a busload of Tamil voters from Trincomalee Town whose polling station is in Kutchaveli, were stopped in Irakandy by the Police. The Police claimed that the bus did not have a route permit and could not be permitted to transport voters. The voters got down and had to find alternate modes of transport. CMEV spoke to the TNA who confirmed the incident and further alleged that polling cards were snatched from the voters.


Galle District, Hiniduma Electorate at 2.30am - CMEV Field Monitor reported three incidents relating to the alleged intimidation of supporters of UPFA candidate Nishantha Muthuhettigama (no. 6). An unidentified group of individuals had come to the residence of Amarasiri Abeysinghe a supporter living in Weerapana at 2.30 am and threatened to kill him if he voted. They also inflicted minor damages to the house. An unidentified group of individuals had fired into the residence of PK Dharasana, a supporter of Muthuhettigama, in Damwala at 2.40 am and threatened to kill him if he voted. CMEV monitor reported that the house of Chaminda Karunaratne in Talatgalla, another supporter of Muthuhettigama had been attacked and some damage was done to the windows of the house. Two shots were reportedly fired into the house at around 3.10 am.

Kandy District, Nawalapitiya Electorate, Angolla Kanishta Vidyalaya Polling Station, Polling Station no. 02. - CMEV Mobile Monitor reported that supporters of UPFA candidate Mahindananda Aluthgamage (no. 4) had assaulted several Tamil voters, forcibly taken their polling and Identity cards near the polling centre and chased them out of the centre at around 10.30 am.

Vanni District, Mannar Electorate, Arippu Roman Catholic Tamil Maha Vidyalayam, polling station no 47, 09.40 am - CMEV field monitor reported that supporters of Rishard Badurdeen, UPFA candidate (no. 1), were seen in white vans bearing registration numbers JE 1020 and SR 1029 openly canvassing for Rishard Badurdeen . They asked people to vote for him and distributed leaflets bearing his name, symbol and number.

Hambantota District , Tissamaharam Electorate 9.00 am - CMEV Field Monitor reported that a double cab No JS-8969 with supporters of UPFA candidate Chamal Rajapakse (no 7) was seen in the area engaged in campaigning.

Digamadulla District, Samanthurai Polling Division - CMEV Field Monitor reports that announcement are being made via the mosque loudspeakers urging potential voters ‘to go and vote, as the names of those who have not voted can be identified.’ The announcements were made between 1.30 pm and 2.00 pm.


Digamadulla District, Pottuvil Electorate, Akkaraipattu Cultural Centre, polling station no 84. 12:00pm - CMEV Monitor reported that M.S. Rivas, a Polling Agent of the UNP, was threatened and forcefully thrown out from the above center by supporters of UPFA candidate A.L.M Attaullah (no. 02). M.S. Rivas subsequently filed a complaint at the police station, bearing CIB 326/1020/2010/48.


Ratnapura District, Pelmadulla Electorate, MorathotaVidyalaya, Polling Station No 29: 9:00am - CMEV Mobile Team reported that leaflets containing the numbers of UPFA candidate Deepal Gunasekera (no. 4) and UNP candidate Dunesh Gankanda (no. 11) were being distributed near the polling station.

Anuradhapura District, Horowpathana Electorate, Muttarawewa Vidyalaya Polling Station(No.06), 9:15 am - CMEV Mobile correspondent reported that a group of 50 supporters of UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha member M. Hussain held a meeting near the polling station and canvassed voters going to the polling station to vote for the UPFA.

Anuradhapura District, Horowpathana Electorate, Ruwanwali Maha Vidyalaya Polling Station (No. 09), 9:30am - CMEV Mobile Monitor in Horowpathana reported that cards displaying the candidate number of UPFA candidate Duminda Dissanayake (no. 6) were being distributed near the Polling Station by his supporters.

Anuradhapura District, Horowpathana Electorate, Sinhala Walahawiddawewa Vidyalaya/Rathmalgahawewa Polling Station (No. 01), 9:45 am - CMEV Mobile Monitor, Horowpathana reported that some leaflets of UPFA candidate Duminda Dissanayake (no.06) were being distributed near the Polling Station by his supporters.

Vanni District, Mannar electorate, Roman Catholic Tamil Mahavidyalayam, polling station no 51, hall no 03, at 10.25 am - At the entrance of the polling station supporters of RizardBadurdeen (no. 1) were seen distributing leaflets bearing his symbol and image.

Hambantota District, Lunugamwehera Electorate , OyagawaRanawarnawa Junior School, Polling Station No 115, 8.40am - CMEV Monitor reported that an enlarged laminated photograph of UPFA Candidate Mahinda Amaraweera (no. 1) was visible close to the Polling Station

Matara District ,Deniyaya Electorate , Pattigala Junior School, Polling Station No 57, 8.30am - CMEV Field Monitor reported that there were small cutouts within 500 meters of the Polling Station, of UPFA Candidate Chandrasiri Gajadeera (no. 8), UPFA Candidate Sanath Jayasuriya (no. 10) and UPFA Candidate Lakshman Yapa Abewardena (no. 1)

Hambantota District , Tissamaharam Electorate , Angunukolawada Junior School , Polling Station No 111, 9.05am - CMEV Field Monitor reported that supporters of UPFA candidate Mahinda Amaraweera (no.1) were seen pasting posters in the area.


Digamadulla District, Ampara Electorate, Ampara Gamini MahaVidyalaya, polling station 127, 10.45 am - CMEV monitor reported that UPFA supporters were seen transporting voters in vehicle bearing registration number 59-6860 to the above polling station.

Jaffna district, Kankesanthurai Electorate, Seenipanthal junction: polling stations Elavalai Holy Family Convent Maha Vidyalayam 06 and MareesanKoodal Roman Catholic Tamil School no 07 and Elavalai St Henry’s College no 08, at 10.55 am - CMEV Monitor reported that supporters of Douglas Devananda, UPFA candidate (no. 08), were seen transporting voters in a blue van bearing registration number NP – HS 7294 to the above polling stations.

© Centre for Monitoring Election Violence - media communiqué No.2

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