CMEV condemns lack of cooperation from Law and Order Ministry



 


By Madura Ranwala


Secretary to the Law and Order Ministry, Mahinda Balasuriya’s support to the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence was not satisfactory as he had transferred high ranking police officers during the campaigning period, which even the President’s secretary Lalith Weeratunga would not have done at such a time, alleged its National Co-ordinator Manjula Gajanayake in an interview with The Island yesterday.


 "For instance, he transferred ASP of Panadura two weeks ago", Gajanayake said.


 But, he appreciated the support of Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya as the latter had acted fast to stop activities like distribution of white cloth in some parts of the country and beefing up of security in areas where there were political rallies in close proximity to each other on the same day.


 Gajanayake expressed his disappointment with the police for not taking action against the first election related shooting incident reported in Beruwala, where a former UNP Pradeshiya Sabha member Chamila Ranasinghe had sustained life threatening injuries on November 22, while he and his supporters were celebrating the defection of some UPFA politicians and Common Opposition Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.


 "Chamila is still in a critical condition," he said.


 Gajanayake alleged that police inaction was due to a powerful minister’s interference.


"Evidence had surfaced that a vehicle used to carry out the attack had been given by a UPFA politician and the police could easily arrest the culprits if they wanted to as there are CCTV cameras fixed on the shops in close vicinity," he said.


Gajanayake condemned the attack on two election officers including Deputy Election Commissioner in Trincomalee, Sajith Welgama, allegedly by supporters of a UPFA Deputy Minister in the area, while they were supposedly taking steps to screen a film in public in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa near an election office.


 He said that the police had released two suspects arrested over that incident on police bail after a politician’s intervention.


The police should conduct proper investigations and clear their names if they wanted to but they did not because there were powerful politicians behind such incidents, he alleged.


He claimed they had been reporting incidents to the Election Commissioner independently without taking sides as they had reported even the incident, where one of their monitoring officers at Polonnaurawa was threatened by Bhikkus supporting Maithripala Sirisena and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, when he tried to take some pictures of monks engaged in a clash.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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