The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE) yesterday accused the ruling UPFA of violating election laws at will. CAFFE Executive Director Rajith Kirthi Tennakoon alleged that Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils A. L. M. Athaulla had been occupying a circuit bungalow belonging to the National Water Supply and Drainage Board at Akkaraipattu for electioneering purposes. He told The Island that the Elections Commissioner and the Chairman of the NWSDB had been informed that Minister Athaulla and UPFA candidates contesting the Eastern Provincial Council elections were occupying the circuit bungalow.
Another incident of polls law violation was reported from Polonnaruwa on Saturday (25) afternoon. Over 250 vehicles paraded the streets in support of a UPFA candidate. The Elections Commissioner issued instructions, through one of his assistants to stop it. The parade was stopped, but resumed half-an-hour later.
Tennakoon said that dry rations continued to be distributed in the Anuradhapura District in Agrarian Services Ministry vehicles, while yesterday (26) medicines in envelopes printed with the preferential number of former chief Minister of the North-Central Province Berty Premalal Dissanayake were distributed in Anuradhapura hospital.
Violence had also increased with an office of UPFA candidate Priyantha Pathirana attacked in Agbopura in the Trincomalee district, while at Kantale the election offices of National Freedom Front (NFF) candidate Jayantha Weeraekera and UPFA candidate Janaka Gunawardene were attacked, the CAFÉ Executive Director said.
A vehicle belonging to a Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) candidate was attacked in Akkaraipattu in the Ampara District with several other incidents of violence reported from the Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts.
The polls related incidents, where undergraduates, employed on contract basis in government institutions, were being used for electioneering purposes had been continuing in Yatiyantota, Kuruwita and Ratnapura, Tennakoon said.
By Lal Gunasekera