[Both Mr. Balasuriya, and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, are directly involved in election campaigning for Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa]
The Lawyers Collective, committed to a free and fair election, and the Rule of Law, is shocked to learn the level of polls violations committed by the UPFA. The use of State resources, the police and defence establishment, bribery, and ‘treating’ of electors (including Public Servants), has been unprecedented.
Recalling retired IGP Mahinda Balasuriya who was serving as a politically appointed ambassador from UAE, and placing him as the Secretary of the Ministry of Law of Order, w.e.f. 21st October 2014 , and thereafter, utilising various unlawful methods, through Mr. Balasuriya, to by-pass the IGP, is quite obvious. The large number of sudden and politically motived police transfers, are inexplicable. Both Mr. Balasuriya, and Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Secretary of Defence, are directly involved in election campaigning for Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, in addition to their using the police and the military to support one candidate.
A large number of meetings at Temple Trees are intended to bribe and ‘treat’ public servants, which is an offence under the laws of the country. It is blatantly obvious that the costs of the series of functions followed by meals and gifts, is met by the public, and there is a total lack of accountability.
The Elections Commissioner, conducts the elections through public servants selected from various public departments and ministries, some of whom have already been approached by President Rajapaksa through various programmes, which are held out to be official. It is alarming that the Chief Accounting Officers of District Secretariats, who are to serve as Chief Counting Officers at the forthcoming Presidential Election have been summoned, together with Chief Clerks, for an unscheduled, inexplicable meeting with the President, and thereafter, to be sent to Malaysia on a five (5) day trip at public expenditure.
We recall the results manipulation at the last Presidential election, and therefore, any approach or influence, directly or indirectly on any public official engaged in election duty must be prevented at any cost.
The Lawyers’ Collective urges the public servants to maintain their independence, especially as one candidate is the incumbent Head of State, and is unlawfully engaging in electioneering at public expenditure.