Postal voting: Polls monitors reports instances of illegal propaganda

Transparancy International

26 March 2010.

Field Monitors of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) have reported several instances of illegal canvassing near postal voting centres. Cut-outs of Nation Building Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardene and another UPFA candidate in the Kalutara District, Nirmala Kotalawela, were displayed within the Kalutara Pradeshiya Sabha premises.

 The CMEV Monitors have also reported an incident where two women claiming to be representatives of UPFA candidate Basil Rajapaksa recorded the details of individual postal voters at the Zonal Education Office in Mirigama in the Gampaha District. They had verbally threatened a CMEV monitor who questioned them.

Cut-outs of UPFA candidates H. R. Mithrapala and Kanaka Herath were displayed at the Deraniyagala Pradeshiya Sabha, while a vehicle belonging to the former was parked within the PS premises, in the Ratnapura District.

A cut-out of UPFA candidate Manoj Sirisena was displayed at the Akuressa SLTB Depot which was a postal voting centre while in the Mundalam Divisional Secretariat in the North Western Province, CMEV monitors reported a large number of posters of UPFA candidate Victor Anthony on its wall. Also within a radius of 50 metres of the Mundalam Divisional Secretariat, cut-outs of UPFA candidate Milroy Fernando were displayed.

A van diplaying propaganda material of UPA candidate Arundika Fernando was seen parked opposite the Nattandiya Divisional Secretariat.

At the Velvettiturai Urban Council, two ACTC supporters on motor cycles were issuing pocket calendars and handbills in support of two ACTC candidates Gajendra Kumara Ponnambalam and Sinnathurai Varatharajan near the police station, in the Northern Province, while a white van displaying posters of TULF candidate Krishnapillai (also known as Vellimali) was parked inside the Zonal Education Office at Padirippu in the Eastern Province.