Presidential Election 2015: Media Communique 10.
by Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)
On 31st December 2014 at 10.00 pm:
Electioneering under the guise of distributing rice for flood victims in Paddiruppu -Batticaloa
CMEV monitor in Batticaloa, Mr. KirubanandaSivam, informed CMEV of a meeting in Rasamanikkam Hall, Paddiruppu, Batticaloaat around 11am on 31st December where Deputy Minister of Resettlement VinayagamoorthyMuralitharan had distributed rice to families who were displaced by the floods.
Mr. Sivamwho was present at this meeting says that around 60 families who were affected by the heavy rains were offered rice. At the meeting which lasted for about an hour, Minister Muralitharan had emphasised that the rice was distributed under the guidelines of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and had requested the recipients to cast their votes for President Rajapaksa.
31st December, UPFA procession conducted by Nil Balakaya in Matara
An election procession in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa took place near the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) party office near Nupe Junction in Matara. According to the CMEV monitor in Matara, Member of Parliament Namal Rajapaksa, Deputy Minister of Postal Services Sanath Jayasuriya and many UPFA local government representatives along with about 1500 people had taken part in this procession which started at about 9 15 a.m. Individuals in Nil Balakaya T shirts were shouting the phrase ‘EdatthadathMahindamai. Janapaththithumata Jaya Wewa!’. The processionwhich had caused much congestion in the area and had ended in a meeting at the Sanath Jayasuriya Ground in Matara.
The Election Complaints Section at the Matara Police informed CMEV that it was not a rally but a canvasing walk where people distributed leaflets.CMEV was unable to reach the Officer in Charge.
CMEV also spoke to the Matara Urban Council Opposition Leader Upul Nishantha who said a large number of people had been transported in SLTB buses and that the procession had caused much congestion.
Images taken by the CMEV monitor indicate buses from Hakmana, Galle, Ambalangoda and Alpitiya. Alpitiya Depot Operation Assistant A.G. Suranga said that thirty to forty buses are sometimes assigned to transport people and that seven buses were used for this specific procession. He further said that no payment was made for them. However, he refused to mention who gave permission for the seven buses to be released. CMEV was informed by the SLTB head office in Narahenpitiya that that no buses were released for this particular procession and that thebuses are only released when a payment is made.
– Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV)