Election monitors become victims of violence

31 March 2010


A leading election monitoring group said yesterday it would take up with Elections Chief Dayananda Dissanayake and Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya the alleged attack on one of its officials by supporters of a United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidate.


A Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) spokesman alleged that the UPFA supporter had grabbed the official’s camera.

The spokesman said the UPFA candidate had promised to look into the matter and take action against the supporter.

He said the CMEV would make an official complaint to the Elections Chief and the Police Chief if the police in the area failed to take action and carry out a speedy and impartial investigation into the incident.

Meanwhile another monitoring group — the Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFÉ) had complained to Mr. Dissanayake and IGP Balasuriya about an alleged attack against one of its officials.

CaFÉ spokesman Keerthi Tennakoon alleged that a UNP supporter had assaulted one of their officials having mistaken him to be a supporter of a UPFA candidate contesting in the Kurunegala district.

He said the victim had suffered serious injuries including a burst ear drum and was now being treated at the Kurunegala Hospital.

Mr. Tennakoon said he had made a complaint to the district returning officer but no action had been taken so far.

CMEV and CAFÉ officials who were attacked at Nikaweratiya over the weekend became the latest victims of election violence