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.

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.