Monitoring election violence in Sri Lanka Parliamentary Election 2010: Media Communiqu? 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

Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. Focusing primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.