Centre for Policy Alternatives on 12 August, 2015

Parliamentary General Election 2015: Media Communiqué 02

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Download this communique as a PDF here.

02nd August 2015 Colombo, Sri Lanka, at 1630 hrs

As of 2nd August 2015, CMEV has recorded a total of 402 incidents of election related violence and malpractices.  Of these, 71 have been classified as major including 5 incidents involving the use of fire -arms. Minor incidents have been recorded at 331. The highest numbers of major incidents have been reported from the Jaffna(10), Gampaha(7) and Digamadulla(5) Districts respectively.

Below are a sample of the major cases of election related violence reported to CMEV between the 27th and 30thof July 2015.

27th July, 2015- Arson Attack, Kurunegala

Campaign offices of the UPFA in Katugampala and Kurunegala were set fire to by UNP supporters. The perpetrators have been identified as Mr. D.M Anura Nuwan Kumara, Mr. D.A Dinesh Sampath Kumara and Mr. Padmakumara Premalal who had set fire to a cut-out of Mr. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse. Furthermore, it is reported that these perpetrators had assaulted an eye witness who has been admitted to Makadura hospital with minor injuries. The incident was reported to CMEV by UPFA Katugampala organizer Mr. Gamini Siriwardena.

A complaint has been lodged to the Pannala Police station, under EIB 3/9/288 and according to Mr. M.N Vijitha Kumara P.C, the accused have been arrested and will be produced before the Kurunegala Magistrate Courts under complaint B14/33.

28th July, 2015- Threat, Jaffna

A report was received alleging that the UPFA Jaffna district candidate and President of Teacher Association, Mr. Supramaniyam Subadeesan threatened and coerced the association teachers to participate in his meetings. It has been reported that he threatened the teachers with dismissal from their jobs if they did not comply. The complaint was reported to CMEV on the grounds of anonymity by a teacher who claims to have been threatened by Mr. Subadeesan.  The latter dismissed the allegation against him.

28th July 2015- Assault, Kandy.

It was reported to CMEV that Mr.  K.G Samantha Thilakarathne a supporter of UNP candidate Mr. R.G Samaranayake, had assaulted Mr. D.G Gayan Udaya at No.118 Bule Muhuna, Menikhinna, at around 7.30 pm on the 28th of July.  Mr.Gayan, told CMEV that the incident had occurred due to an argument between Mr. Gayan’s father and Mr. Thilakarathne.  Elaborating on the incident he said that the assault occurred due to Mr. Thilakarathne forcing Mr. Gayan’s father to transfer his support to Mr.Samaranayake.

CMEV contacted Mr. Gamini Herath, SI, of Menikhinna Police station who stated that Mr. Gayan had logged a complaint (EIB-41/8/2015) and that further investigations were under way to collect evidence.

28th July 2015-Assault, Batticaloa

Mr. K.M.A Irfan, election coordinator of UNP candidate Mr. Sifly Farook, of the Earavur electorate was allegedly assaulted by Mr. Naleem and Mr. Kaleem. The assault took place at Mr. K.M.A Irfan’s residence at No.25 Ayurweda Hospital Road, Michnaar Earavurat around 1 am.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Irfaan, he said the incident has occurred after Mr. Naleem and Mr.Kaleem had been refused the coordinators position that he currently holds, by Mr.Farook.

Mr.Farook speaking to CMEV said the incident was due to a personal financial dispute between both parties and not related to his election activities. By contacting Mr. Wijewickrama, OIC of Eravur Police station, CMEV was able to confirm Mr. Farook’s statement and receive confirmation of the complaint, CIB 92/282.

28th July, 2015- Assault, Digamadulla.

CMEV received a report that a supporter of UNP, Mr. M.A Saleem was assaulted by 8 UPFA supporters who were under the influence of alcohol. Of the 8 individuals, 3 have been identified as Mr.Nifras, Mr. Raswan and Mr. Rasool. The incident occurred at around 5.00 pm at Mr. M.A Saleem’s shop in Arasayadi, Akkaraipattu and a finger on the victim’s left hand was fractured in the assault.

After the incident, supporters of UNP candidate Mr. Daya Gamage had arrived at the location and directed Mr. M.A Saleem to lodge a complaint with the in Akkaraipattu police, case number EIB/49/73.  When CMEV contacted Mr. Ibrahim I.P, of the Akkaraipattu Police station, he said that the accused had not been apprehended and that a case had been filed with the Akkaraipattu Magistrate’s courts under B/8110.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Saleem, he said that he was assaulted by supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. A.L.M Athaullah.  However, when CMEV attempted to contact Mr. Athaullah, his coordinator Mr. Baheej responded by rejecting the allegation and stated that he was unaware of the incident. Furthermore, he said that Mr. Raswan, one of the accused, was an independent candidate with no connection to Mr. Athaullah.

28th July 2015- Threat and Intimidation, Puttalam.

UNP candidate Mr. Ashoka Priyantha was threatened with a sword by Mr. Harinda Lakmal Silva, a supporter of the same party. According to Mr. Priyantha, the incident occurred when he visited his campaign office after he was informed that his cutout near the premises had been vandalized by Mr. Lakmal.

When CMEV followed up with the Marawila Police station Mr. S.I Jayanath OIC, stated that Mr. Priyantha has lodged a complaint in this regard at around 2. 15 a.m. under EIB 37/66 and that Mr.Lakmal had been taken into custody.

29th July, 2015- Damage to Property, Senkadagala

CMEV has received reports that M. Saleem, supporter of UNP candidate Lakshaman Kiriella was attacked by an unidentified group at around 12.45 A.M at his residence in Divingama, Ampitiya. His house and shop were damaged in the attack and the losses are valued at around Rs. 50,000. According to the reports Mr. Saleem, promptly informed the incident to 119, however, the police officer to whom  CMEV spoke to said the victim was reluctant to lodge a complaint as he was unable to identify the perpetrators involved in the attack.

29th July, 2015- Assault, Diagamadulla

UNP supporter Mr. Simmi Marikkar Ameen was assaulted, allegedly, by 2 UPFA supporters, Mr. M.H Aslam Nusky and M.A Risky in Samanthurai, Digamadulla. The assailants had threatened Mr. Ameen, warned him to refrain from engaging in any campaign activities and said that should he persist he would face bodily harm.  A complaint has been lodged with the Akkaraipattu Police station under EIB/ 5480.When CMEV contacted Mr. Ibrahim I.P, Akkaraipattu Police station he said the alleged perpetrators were yet to be apprehended and further investigations would be carried out in order to find them. A case has been filed in Akkaraipattu Magistrate courts under B-43888 in relation to this incident.

30th July 2015- Abduction, Akuressa

A supporter of UNP candidate Mr. Sagala Rathnayake was allegedly abducted at around 3.30 a.m. by supporters of UPFA candidate Mr. Manoj Sirisena while pasting posters in Akuressa, Diyalape. It is reported that the kidnapped is Mr. Chamara, the driver of the three-wheeler (QH-1812) and that two others who were passengers had escaped.

When CMEV contacted Mr. Niroshan Jeewantha, one of the individuals that fled the scene, he confirmed the incident and elaborated on what had happened. He said that while pasting posters they had seen a group of about 20 people approaching them in a double cab (PW-2969) and on 04 motor bikes and when Mr. Chamara was captured they had chosen to flee and go directly to the Akuressa Police station. Mr. Jeewantha said that by the time he reached the police station the police were about to leave for the location of the alleged kidnapping and that the police had been able to take 6 individuals into custody.

When CMEV contacted the Akuressa Police station, OIC Mr. Abeywickrama conformed Mr. Jeewantha’s claims and identified the perpetrators as Mr. S.P.L.S Madushanka, Mr. U.N Kumanayake, Mr. M.R.P.M Ranaweera, Mr. J.E Samarasingha, Mr. A.W.K Madushanka and Mr. A.W.A Buddhika, all of whom have been remanded.

In contacting Mr. Sirisena, he stated that the above incident was not related to him or his campaign and that it was due to a personal argument between both parties. These remarks were denied by Mr. Saagala Rathnayake.

30th July, 2015 Misuse of State Resource, Borella, Colombo

CMEV received a report of the construction of a stage at Ward Place obstructing the road to Borella, Colombo, by the UNP at 10 am on the 30th of July. The Borella junction had experienced a sever traffic block as a consequence and the road has also been damaged by the erection of iron poles.

When CMEV contacted the Borella Police station, OIC Mr. Prageeth Lakmina said that UNP Borella organizer Mr. Jayantha Silva has obtained permission to set up the stage. This was in addition to instructions issued by the Mayor of Colombo Mr. J.H Mussamil, who had informed the police in writing to grant permission for this propaganda activity. A complaint has been lodged with the Election Operations Unit and the Assistant Election Commissioner’s Office.

30th July, 2015- Misuse of State Resources, Puttlam

CMEV received a report that JVP candidates Mr. Samantha Korala Aarachchi and Mr. B.M Ranmanika have conducted a meeting for the minor staff and distributed fliers at Puttlam Hospital, despite the objections of Ms. Maari Stenant Dinusha Fernando, the medical superintendent of the hospital. Ms. Fernando has lodged a complaint with the Chilaw Police.

According to Chilaw Election Operations Unit OIC Mr. H. Amarasinghe, the accused have been arrested and produced in the Chilaw Magistrate court under B/744/15. The accused had posted bail of a Rs.100,000/= each, and are to be summoned to courts on the 27thof August 2015. When CMEV tried to contact JVP General Secretary Mr. Tilvin Silva’s office to clarify the information, he was unavailable for comment