Parades banned on final day of nominationsJuly 16, 2012, 10:10 pm
by Zacki Jabbar
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday directed Inspector General of Police N. K. Illangakoon to ensure that no parades would be allowed on July 19, when major parties are scheduled to hand over their list of candidates for the Eastern, North-Central and Sabaragamuwa provincial council polls.
Informed sources said that the directive had been given during a meeting with political party representatives, polls monitors and the police, at the Election Secretariat in Colombo.
Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon, Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE), while requesting the polls chief to apply the law strictly, noted that even before nominations had closed, cutouts, banners and posters had begun to appear in places such as Trinomalee, Kegalle and Anuradhapura.
The Elections Commissioner, having considered the views of the UNP, JVP, UPFA and PAFFREL directed the IGP’s representative at the meeting, SP H. Bandara, to ensure that no parades, either by foot or vehicles would be permitted on July 19, before or after nominations are handed over at the respective Secretariats.
The UNP and JVP represented by Senarath Kapukotuwa and Lakshman Nippunarachchi respectively complained that prospective UPFA candidates were abusing state resources with impunity.
Tennakoon referred to the cutouts put up by UPFA and UNP members in the Ratnapura and Kegalle town. At Kantalai, in Trincomalee, a UPFA activist, who was not certain about obtaining nominations had a huge cut out of himself burned down by one of his colleagues, he said.
Even though election laws which prohibited the display of propaganda material in public places were still not applicable, the police could take action under the Environment Act against those polluters, Tennekoon had pointed out.
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