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|The appointment of 270 health workers in the Sabaragamuwa Province during election time has come under scrutiny by the Elections Department, officials said yesterday.
These appointments had been granted with letters backdated to two days prior to the date of the declaration of the elections. Polls observers had brought the matter to the notice of the Elections Department. During a recent meeting with the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), the Department had said that inquiries had been initiated regarding these appointments. Accordingly, the provincial health authorities had been required to submit all details about the date of appointments and the criteria adopted in the process.
PAFFREL’s Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchci told Daily Mirror that it was a blatant violation of the election laws to grant such appointments during election times.
“Now the Department has started inquiries into this case. We have to make it sure that the election laws are upheld,” he said.
Besides, the police are on the lookout for some state vehicles allegedly being used by ruling party candidates.
Mr. Hettiarachchi said all these state vehicles were used by ruling party candidates in violation of the election laws.
Three of these vehicles bearing the numbers SG KK 5630, SG PB 2326 and SC GD 6505 belong to the Sabaragamuwa provincial health ministry. Another vehicle bearing the number 252/6854 belongs to the road development ministry of the province. The other vehicles used in electioneering are from the land and agriculture ministry of the Sabaragamuwa provincial council. Their numbers are SG KH 3881, SG KK 0895, 32/4179, 31/ 2145, 32/1781 and 252/6880.
Commenting on the situation in the north central province, he said a youth awareness programme started by the Skills Development Ministry in Anuradhapura had been cancelled after the intervention of polls observers.
“We informed Minister Dullas Alahapperuma that it was unethical to conduct such a programme targeting youths in an area where there is an election. His Deputy Minister Duminda Dissanayake’s father Bertie Premalal Dissanayake is a leading candidate in the area. Such a programme will have a beneficial impact on his campaign. However, it has been cancelled after our intervention. We appreciate it,” Mr. Hettiarachchi said.
BY KELUM BANDARA
Source: Daily Mirror – Sri Lanka