Duty free scooters for cops on eve of poll

by Madura Ranwala

Two hundred and sixty women police officers were given duty free scooters at the Field Force Headquarters, Bambalapitiya yesterday just five days prior to the general election.

Inspector General of Police, (IGP) N.K. Illangakoon and Public Order and Christian Affairs Ministry Secretary T. M. K. B. Tennakoon had been invited to be present on the occasion, according to a media statement issued by the Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunsekara under his signature, but they kept away. The function was attended by Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Admin, Senior DIG Gamini Navaratane and Additional Secretary to Public Order and Christian Affairs Ministry,

The Centre For Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) yesterday condemned the distribution of vehicles in contravention of directives issued by Election Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya in view of the August 17 general election.

National Coordinator of CMEV Manjula Gajanayake told The Island that it was obviously a violation of ethics as the event had taken place just five days prior to the general election.

The Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekera, asked for comment, maintained that about 902 motorcycles had been distributed thus far and it wasn’t something done in view of the forthcoming election. He said that Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya had given permission to hold the event on that day.

An officer of the complaint unit of the Election Commission, contacted by the The Island yesterday confirmed the event had been approved by the Election Commissioner. He chose to remain anonymous.

Our efforts to contact the Polls Chies on his mobile phone yesterday were in vain. The person who answered the phone said Deshapriya could not be contacted and asked us to refer the case to 0112877631, the Commissioner’s complaint unit.

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