SLPP supporters assault four doctors, over 30 election violations reported

Friday, 22 December 2017 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • 35 cases of election violations reported to PAFFREL
  • 6 cases of violence

 By Skandha Gunasekara

Three supporters of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) have assaulted four doctors in the Mahiyanganaya electorate, the People’s Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) Director Rohana Hettiarachchi told the Daily FT. 

Hettiarachchi disclosed that four doctors had been assaulted during the evening on Tuesday (19) by three individuals who were supporters of the SLPP, resulting in one victim being transferred to the Badulla hospital due to his critical condition. 

The Police media unit also confirmed that three individuals had been apprehended for the assault by the Mahiyanganaya police and that the Mahiyanganaya magistrate’s court had remanded the suspects until 2 January. 

PAFFREL Director Hettiarachchi further revealed that thus far 35 cases of election violations had been reported, including six cases of election violence. 

“In a number of places there have been reports of senior politicians distributing goods to people in the area. Food, books, cement and coconut plants were among the items being distributed,” he said, adding that a host of complaints had been received regarding poster cut-outs. 

He also noted that a candidate from the SLPP had organised a ‘Dansala’ in Kurunegala. 

Noting that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the United National Party (UNP) and the SLPP were the main culprits of election violations, Hettiarachchi said that his organisation had lodged complaints with the Elections Commission. 

“We try our best to give advanced notice of election violations so that authorities can take preventive action,” he pointed out while remarking that such an advance warning had allowed authorities to stop a politician from distributing books to schoolchildren in Matale. 

Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon told the Daily FT that the SLFP and SLPP had carried out vehicle parades in the Galle District. 

“We have made complaints to the Elections Commission as well as to the IGP,” Tennakoon said. 

Meanwhile, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake, speaking to the Daily FT, said that although the party was unaware of SLFP vehicle parades in the Galle District, all party supporters had been advised to follow the rule of law and that errant supporters would be reprimanded. 

Four more SLPP nomination lists rejected in Jaffna District

The nomination lists submitted by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), which is contesting the upcoming Local Government election under the ‘flower bud’ symbol, for several institutions in the Jaffna District have been rejected. 

According to the District Returning Officer, the party’s nomination lists for the Jaffna Municipal Council, Valikamam North Pradeshiya Sabha, Valikamam East Pradeshiya Sabha and Delft Pradeshiya Sabha have been rejected in this manner. 

The SLPP’s nomination list for the Thirappane Pradeshiya Sabha in the Anuradhapura District was also rejected. 

The accepting of nominations for 248 local government institutions ended at 12.00 p.m.

On 14 December, the last day of accepting nominations for 93 local government institutions, the Podujana Peramuna’s nomination lists for six Local Government bodies were rejected. 

These included the Panadura Urban Council, Badulla Pradeshiya Sabha, Mahiyanganaya Pradeshiya Sabha, Agalawatta Pradeshiya Sabha and Weligama and Maharagama urban council.