21st September 2013: Conclusion of Polls 4pm
The North Provincial Council Elections saw a relatively high turnout as compared to previous elections. While the number of incidents recorded on election day was not of a high frequency, polling day and the campaign period saw a series of electoral malpractices and violations which seriously undermined the free and fair nature of the electoral process. On election day there were a number of violations including acts of arson, assault and intimidation, transportation of voters and campaigning, and an assault of an election monitor. During the campaign period CMEV highlighted a number of key problems including misuse of state resources, high military presence and involvement in support of the Government, and persons in civilian clothing and unidentified groups intimidating opposition political parties and potential voters.
On election day CMEV deployed 240 election monitors at individual polling stations in addition to 17 field monitors and 8 mobile units. All CMEV reports and communiqués and the CMEV Incidents Google Map can be accessed online at http://cmev.wordpress.com.
CMEV was formed in 1997 by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Coalition against Political Violence as an independent and non partisan organisation to monitor the incidence of election related violence. Currently, CMEV is made up on CPA, FMM and INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre.
List of key incidents from 12.00 noon to 4.00pm as reported by CMEV:
About 5 km away from No. 1 Ambalpuram Government Tamil Mixed School polling station, Mullaitivu District, Mullaitivu Electorate
The house of ITAK’s polling agent Adaikkappal Poobalan and his wife Poobalan Indra, a PAFFREL day observer attached to the Natangal polling station was burnt down completely today between 2.30- 3.00pm.
Their house is located in Pali Nagar, 5 km away from the Ambalpuram Government Tamil Mixed School polling station in Mullaitivu. This incident had taken place while they were both away from home. Their three children aged 8, 13 and 14 were also away from the house during the incident.
The victim Asaikkappal Poobalan alleges that the attack was organised and carried out by the supporters of Mullaithivu district UPFA candidate Adasivam Kanagaratnam. The victim alleges that since he is a polling agent of ITAK this incident may have taken place.
TNA supporter Mr. Rathis has informed a CMEV monitor that he was threatened by Rathnaraja from Amapuram, K.Krishnakumar from Vannivilangkulam and Brindha from Kolavilangkulam – all supporters of Mullaithivu district UPFA candidate Adasivam Kanagaratnam. Due to these threats victim Adaikkappal Poobalan alleges that the attack was organised and carried out by the supporters of Mullaithivu district UPFA candidate Adasivam Kanagaratnam.
No 5, Thirunelvely Muththuthambi Maha Vidyalaya Hall No.2 polling station, Jaffna District, Nallur Electorate
The Chairman of Nallur Pradeshiya Sabha, TNA PS member of Nallur PS Selvaraja Kajendran was assaulted by a police officer (No.862757) who arrived at the polling station in a Mahindra Jeep. The incident took place after the victim came out of the polling station after casting his vote at around 1.30pm. The victim did not receive any injuries from the assault.
No. 19 K/Santhapuram Kalaimagal Vidyalaya, Killinochchi District, Killinochchi Electorate
A day observer for the Campaign For Free and Fair Election, N. Gunerasa was attacked near polling station No. 19, Samthapuram Kalaimagal Vidyalaya in Killinochchi District at around 2.00 pm. The victim is currently being treated at Ward No. 06 at the Killinochchi Hospital. CMEV interviewed spokesperson of CAFFE Mr. Keerthi Tennakoon who stated that the attacker was identified as Chandran, an EPDP activist.
No. 38 Maruthankeny Hindu Tamil Mixed School, Jaffna District, Point Pedro Electorate Maruthankerny
At 11.00 am, CMEV monitor reported that P. Sanjeevan, the Chairman of the Point Pedro Pradeshiya Sabha and a member of the TNA complained that supporters of EPDP were blocking the path of the people who were on their way to vote and were telling the people to vote for UPFA. The election is being conducted at the Maruthankerny Hindu Tamil Mixed School, and EPDP/UPFA supporters were blocking the path leading to the polling station from both sides and threatening the people. Police had been on duty at this polling station but had not taken any measures to bring this situation under control. Voters alleged that the group harassing the voters was under the influence of alcohol.
Illavai, No 21, Illavai Meihandan Maha Vidyalaya polling station, Jaffna District, Kankesanthurai Electorate
It was reported to a CMEV monitor that between 10.30 am and 12.30pm, army officers in civil attire and newly recruited Samurdhi officers were engaged in canvassing in Kankesanthuri close to polling station 21 in Illavalai, requesting voters to cast their vote for Jaffna District UPFA candidate Mr. Angajan Ramanadan contesting under No 1.
Near Al- Aksa Maha Vidyalayam, No 14, V/Al- Aksa Maha Vidyalayam Chalambaikulam polling station, Vavuniya, District, Vavuniya electorate.
As reported by a CMEV monitor, at 12.15 pm some voters have been transported in a van bearing the registration number 58-7007, which displayed the posters of UPFA candidate Muttu Mohamed (Candidate number 03).
No. 47 Mn/Arippu Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School polling station, Mannar District, Mannar Electorate
Father Dhavaraj had gone to cast his vote at the Mn/Arippu R.C.T.M.S polling station. Since the polling station was overcrowded, a number of voters, including Father Dhavaraj had gathered in a house close to the polling station. The ASP and OIC of Silaavathurai Police came to the house where the voters gathered, suspecting that there was election canvassing going on in the building. The Police questioned the gathering as to why they are not casting the vote. The latter had argued with the police and a police officer pushed Father Dhavaraj and assaulted his brother. Later, Father Dhavaraj had questioned the police as to why they assaulted the brother and then the police had apologised. A police complaint was not made.
No.29, Jaffna Siruppidy Government Tamil Mixed School Polling Station, Jaffna District, Kopay Electorate
At around 7.00 am, CMEV monitors observed that there was one ballot box in the polling station, which did not have three stickers that are supposed to be pasted on every ballot box. As of 2.45 pm there was still no sticker on the ballot box.