Eighty-seven major incidents of election violence have been reported out of 146 by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) as of Saturday (March 20).
A lorry belonging to UPFA supporter Ibrahim Raheem was set on fire in Eravur by an unidentified group on Saturday afternoon and a complaint has been lodged with the Eravur Police.
The CMEV field monitors had visited the scene and recorded a statement from Raheem, who said his vehicle was used for the UPFA election campaign. UPFA candidate Ali Zahir Moulana said the vehicle was used to transport furniture for alliance meetings.
Eravur Police OIC IP Piyaratne confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
Then in Alankuda in Puttalam, a UNP supporter was injured when a group of supporters of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister and Vanni District UPFA candidate Rishard Badiudeen attacked an UNP office on Friday (March 19) evening.
Later that night, more supporters of Minister Badiudeen had allegedly attacked a convoy of vehicles belonging to three UNF candidates. Sources said 13 vehicles were damaged and the estimated loss is believed to be around Rs. 240,000. STF officers too had allegedly been involved in the incident.
Minister Badiudeen was not available for comment.
The CMEV were not successful in getting more details from the Kalpitiya Police.
Nine incidents were reported from the Puttalam electorate of which seven were from Kalpitiya, but the complainants allege that police were biased towards the UPFA.
A letter under the forged signature of Sri Lanka Freedom Graduates Association (SLFGA) president Udula Nuwan Pathirane is being circulated in Puttalam and Chilaw polling divisions. Pathirane had informed UPFA organizer Neomal Perera of this illegal act and he (Perera) denied the allegation that the UPFA has decided to provide jobs only to those who campaign for the UPFA.
The Network for Election Monitoring - Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEMIHR) has reported 161 election related incidents upto Thursday (March 18), and although police have removed posters and cutouts as much as possible, they come up again.
Education officers, including teachers in the Gampaha and Kegalle Districts, are being utilised for electioneering purposes by UPFA candidates.
"Violations of the election laws are increasing by the day and whether the April 8 Parliamentary Elections will be fair and free is difficult to predict," said an official of the NEMIHR.
He said IP Sumith Munasinghe of the Anuradhapura Police had been transferred to Batticaloa on the instructions of North Central Province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake against the election law.
An altercation had erupted on March 16 with Minister Duminda Dissanayake and his supporters at Galkulama junction.
The injured IP Munasinghe is receiving treatment in Ward no 20 of the Anuradhapura hospital for the injuries.
When The Island contacted police media Spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody, he said he could neither confirm the incident nor deny the transfer as he did not have any details.
SP Jayakody was in Kandy attending an alms giving.