ELECTION RESULTS MANIFEST LOSS OF FAITH AND TRUST IN ELECTIONS
The UNP leadership when in the opposition cried from all available roof-tops on the urgency and importance of establishing commissions such as election commission and Police commission, as prime necessity for conducting fair and free elections. When Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe visited Norway last year with his crony Hong Kong Haamu Mr. Milinda Moragoda (just before he was tipped off by Mr. Anura Bandaranaike about the Ravi Karunanayake-Rajitha Senaratne coup to oust him from the party leadership) he emphasised to the Norwegians that the UNP will support President's peace initiatives only if she establishes the so-called Commissions, including Election and Police commissions. However, when returned to power, as customary to previous deceptive UNP regimes, the subject of establishing commissions was completely forsaken, although provision to establish them is available under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution passed by UNP itself in 1987. The reason could be that the incumbent Commissioner of Elections is reported to be much obliged to Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe for certain personal assistance provided to him.
Accordingly, in UNP's own terms and the parameter they used when in opposition, the recently concluded local government elections were not held in a free and fair atmosphere. This fact had been amply and profusely confirmed by the election observers, despite their predisposition, sympathy, and affiliation to UNP than the parties in the opposition.
The gang of traitors in the ruling clique, the media mafia and the NGO hirelings are making every effort to portray the local government election results as an endorsement of the so-called "piece" moves, and thereby distort facts and mislead world and public opinion. With stuffing of ballot boxes, forcible confiscation of polling cards, assaults, threats, thug intimidation, prevention of opposition polling agents, forcible occupation of polling booths, impersonation, and other malpractice thus putting into perfect use of the 'election culture' introduced by UNP from 1982 onwards, the percentage of votes amounted to only 49.7%, the lowest in the election history of Sri Lanka. Out of 12,453,663 registered voters only 6,191,782 is considered to have voted, or made to vote. Consequently the real outcome is that majority of the population has completely lost faith and trust in the election and voluntarily abandoned their participation in the election.
Despite reports of rampant malpractice in almost all electoral districts the following incidences are noteworthy.
- Son of a UNP Provincial Council member had been taken into custody over the stuffing of 500 fake ballot papers..
- In Matale, a cabinet Minister is alleged to have prevented a police mobile unit from carrying out their duties forcing back the police team to the station.
- The largest number of violations was reported from Hanguranketha - the electorate of Minister S. B. Dissanayake. Out of 63 polling booths there only 6 polling stations could be visited by monitors due to a high level of fear and intimidation.
- The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) charged that supporters of Minister S.B. Dissanayake openly intimidated its monitors and those of other groups.
- The CMEV also said, Ministers and senior politicians along with their supporters were responsible for the malpractice and violence. It added that Nuwara Eliya/Hanguranketha electorates were "probably the most uniformly violent, with intimidation against polling agents and voters by UNP throughout.
Under the PA government, polling in disputed electoral regions/polling booths was declared null and void. Will the Commissioner of Elections use his powers and prove his neutrality by nullifying the election in areas where acts of malpractice had been undoubtedly established? Will Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe take appropriate action against his wild Ministers and Parliamentarians, especially against Minister S.B.Dissanayake for their acts of misconduct? The UNP made a huge protest over the misconduct of Mr. Dissanayake in the 2000 General Election and demanded his immediate dismissal. Will Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe and his government prove that they do not use double standards on matters of policy and principle?
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