Health Minister used two Ministry vehicles for campaigning purposes - CMEV

By Madura Ranwala

An ambulance belonging to the Peradeniya Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s hospital had been used for electioneering purposes by Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne on August 03, the first postal voting day, when he conducted a campaign meeting for health staff, at Garden Beach Hotel, Kalutara from 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 pm, an operations manager of the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) disclosed yesterday. 

The minister had conducted a campaign meeting for the staff of the Base Hospital, Kalutara and doctors had also attended it, CMEV said. 

Asked whether they had got any photographic evidence to show that those vehicles were parked at the hotel during the working hours, a CMEV officer answered in the affirmative as one of their observers was able to photograph the vehicle. 

"The number plate of the ambulance is LW-0741 and the cab is PD-4435. Health Ministry official have confirmed that the vehicles were used and they were not responsible for it," the CMEV office bearer said. 

The CMEV quoted Deputy Director of Peradeniya Sirimavo Bandaranaike Children’s hospital, Dr. Nihal Weerasinghe as having said that the hospital had sent some drugs in the vehicle. "The doctor asked for our assistance of the CMEV to help him investigate to conduct an inquiry to find out how the ambulance had found its way to a hotel."

Meanwhile, some employees of Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha had been used to put up a stage and to decorate the area for a political rally around 11.00 a.m., which former President and UPFA Candidate for Kurunegala, Mahinda Rajapaksa was to address. 

When CMEV contacted Kekirawa Pradeshiya Sabha, an individual who was reluctant to reveal his name had said that those employees had been on leave that day.

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