CaFFE Election Report # 61
Mr. Shantha Dodangoda, a UNP supporter who was shot at Kahawatte on January 5 while preparing the election stage of the Common Opposition Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, passed away at Ratnapura hospital today.
Dodangoda was the Chairman of the Kahawatte Traders Association. Deputy Minister, Premalal Jayasekara and his supporters are alleged to have carried out the assault round 2 am. The assailants arrived in eight vehicles and were armed with T 56 weapons.
Three persons were wounded due to the attack and Dodangoda, was shot in the abdomen, and two others were wounded. Another victim, Karunadasa Weerasinghe is undergoing treatment at Ward 16 in Ratnapura hospital.
Around 200 UNP supporters including MP Thalatha Atukorale were present when the incident occurred. They claim that the police arrived at the scene only after two hours of the incident. Pelmadulla Magistrate’s Court issued notice on Jayasekara, Provincial Councilor, Nilantha jayakody and Kahawatte PS Member, Vajira Silva, however no one has been arrested.
This is the first death due to election related violence this election. However there were a number of incidents of election related violence since Sirisena declared his nomination. CaFFE had warned that there will be bloodshed if police did not tackle action against these growing incidents.