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Colombo Snubs PCs South records significant turnout

  • South records significant turnout

By Camelia Nathaniel and Waruni Karunarathne

Voters in Colombo virtually snubbed the Western Provincial Council elections yesterday with the District recording the lowest voter turnout at the elections from both provinces.

According to election monitors, Colombo had recorded a low 49 percent voter turnout as compared to the highest recorded from Hambantota in the South which was over 60 percent.

Both the Peoples Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) and the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said that overall voter turnout from at the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections was between 55% and 60%.

Deputy Election Commissioner R M A L Ratnayake said the election was free and fair, especially as there were no incidents of disruptions at the polling stations or threats to the voters.

When inquired about some people complaining of not being able to vote as their names were not in the voters’ list, Ratnayake said that it is the responsibility of the public to check whether their names were in the voters’ list prior to the election date.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka said that incidents of election law violations were not reported to the election monitoring units established in the Southern and Western Province to observe the provincial council elections that concluded yesterday.

Human Rights Commissioner Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa told The Sunday Leader that even the Human Rights Commission, which had monitored the elections, did not record any serious polls violations.

“Attorney-at-law Nimal Punchihewa and I were personally involved in the election observations. We visited from Colombo to Mathugama and did not come across any incidents of election law violations. There was not a single incident of election law violations reported to the two units established in the Southern and Western Provinces,” he said.

He further added that the Human Rights Commission deployed six teams during elections in both the provinces to carry out the observation and, according to them, the election was free and fair.

According to CaFFE, there were 66 election law violations and election violence reported in both provinces.

“60 of the reported incidents were election law violations and 6 were of election violence,” CaFFE spokesperson Keerthi Thennakoon told The Sunday Leader.

In general, CaFFE recorded that it was a violence free election despite some incidents. He added that only one incident reported in Beruwala was considered as a major incident where three people were hospitalized due to a clash between the UNP and UPFA where UNP was at the receiving end.

A tense situation arose in the Deeragoda area in Beruwala yesterday when the supporters of a UNP candidate and UPFA candidate clashed.

Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana stated that the Special Task Force (STF) had been deployed in the area, in addition to police officers, to bring the situation under control.

According to the Police Spokesman, there were around eight incidents reported during the day of the election, out of this, seven were minor incidents.

“However, at around 2:45PM, last afternoon, an incident was reported in the Beruwela Deeragoda area where there had been a clash between the supporters of a UNP candidate and UPFA candidate. Three persons were admitted to hospital, having received injuries during the clash. Two vehicles and one house were damaged and 18 persons were arrested in connection with the incident,” he said.

He further added that the STF was deployed in the area in order to maintain law and order two police teams have been deployed to take into custody all persons involved in this incident irrespective of their political parties.

2 Comments for “Colombo Snubs PCs South records significant turnout”

  1. government use all govt property to election purpose. it is a bogus election. so geneva human rights meeting.provincial has no powers govt contral the provincinal councials.srilanka name wise democtatic government.

  2. gamarala

    Election procedures are not a concern of the HRC.
    This is an attempt to curry favour and neglect/evade legitimate duties.
    How many prosecutions have been filed so far,and how many convictions?
    Has the minister with Rs.400 Million unexplained wealth,been prosecuted yet?
    If not,why?

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