While the Presidential Election propaganda campaigns reached the final week, the election observers expressed serious concern about the sharp escalation of election related violence including two deaths, the open violation of the election law and unprecedented malpractices at postal voting.
Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachchi said there had been 19 serious postal voting related complaints by yesterday afternoon from many parts of the country.
“This is unprecedented. We have no experience of violence in postal voting in the past. Postal voters are basically public servants and there have been no intimidation, pressure or violence on them. But this time it is different and distressing. We have received reports of intimidation, harassment of postal voters and missing ballot papers at several army camps, SLTB offices and education offices,” Hettiarachchi said.
He said 80% of the postal voting had been cast by Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, CaFFE said intimidation and pressure had been exerted on the police and armed forces personnel, SLTB depot managers and executive officers in the public service.
The spokesman of CaFFE, Keerti Tennekone said the majority of complaints had been received from security forces personnel, police and SLTB employees.
He also said CaFFE had written to Elections Commissioner expressing its serious concerns on the issue of temporary ID cards for voters who do not possess a national or any other valid identification.
He has drawn the attention of Dissanayaka to the fact that applications for temporary ID cards had been certified by unauthorized men and temporary ID cards had been issued by unauthorized persons making it a mockery. He requested Dissanayaka to declare the names of those who had obtained temporary ID cards and the number of temporary ID cards issued to voters in any particular polling station as CaFFE had information that there were attempts to cast votes using temporary ID cards through school children.
Director General, Information, Anusha Palpita in a communiqué said the Director General of Persons had made arrangements to issue temporary ID cards until next Thursday.
Palpita advises voters without an accepted identification to obtain an application either from State Superintendents or Grama Niladharis, fill it properly and hand them back before Jan. 21.