The UNP has decided not to name chief ministerial candidates for the Sabaragamuwa and North-Central Provinces.
The party has named its national organiser Daya Gamage as the chief ministerial candidate for the Eastern Province and seven candidates had been appointed group leaders for the September 08 polls, Party’s Chairman, parliamentarian Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said. TheUNP’s campaign for the three provinces consists of several phases. The last phase of several rallies, spearheaded by party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, would be conducted during the last few days of the campaign, he said.
Perera said that his party had requested the Elections Commissioner to take actions to prevent the ruling party making use of State resources for election campaigns, but such abuse continued. "The UNP has made this request several times verbally and in writing to the Elections Commissioner, but the abuse of State resources by the UPFA in the provinces continues unabated," he said.
CaFFE received 10 complaints on the final day of nomination (19th of July 2012) regarding election law violation. CaFFE has informed the incidents to the Election Commissioner to take necessary steps to protect the law and order of the society. Most of the incidents have been reported from the Pollonaruwa, Ampara, Trincomalee and Ratnapura Districts.
Pix: Two CTB Buses from Akkaraipattu Depot passing Nintavur towards Ampara displaying party symbols.
UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday questioned in Parliament the legality of ballot papers being printed, for the forthcoming elections, at the Government Press without a Government Printer.
The vacancy for the post of government Printer had not been filled, the Opposition Leader said, pointing out that legality of all public documents, including birth certificates and judicial documents, issued while that key post remained vacant was questionable. "An official has been appointed to cover the work of Government Printer but it does not mean that there is an Acting Government Printer until such appointment is made officially.
At the moment there is no one responsible for the work at Government Press.
The Opposition Leader said: "So we have no confidence or faith in the task completed at the Government Press, including the Order Paper which has been printed there. The Order Paper is not a valid document as there is no Government Printer. Although D. K. S. Ravindra, an additional secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information, has been tasked with covering the work of Government Printer, he has no authority, accountability or responsibility over what is being printed there."
The government is misusing public property in the election campaign of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), charged Gampaha District parliamentarian Karu Jayasuriya (UNP) at Dodanduwa, Galle Wednesday (18).
“Not only government vehicles, but any asset belonging to the State cannot be used for the current Provincial Council elections or any other election, for that matter.
“The government cannot hold dinner parties in government flats for the purpose of influencing people to give their votes for the UPFA. They cannot conduct functions utilizing public funds for the purpose of election propaganda work.
“The people do not consider this election as a properly conducted one,” Jayasuriya stressed.
Tuesday, 17 July 2012 Embilipitiya Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Wijaya Witanage (UPFA) today joined the UNP. Seen here is UNP leader Ranil Wikremesinghe handing over the appointment letter to Mr. Withanage at the Sirikotha. (Pix by Nisal Baduge)
The UNP has decided to contest all districts at the forthcoming Eastern, North Central and Sabragamuwa provincial council elections.
Gayantha Karunathilaka MP, told journalists in Colombo yesterday that in keeping with the wishes of the party rank and file, the Working Committee (WC) had decided to put forward candidates for each and every district in the three provinces.
Asked to comment on various chief ministerial nominees being mentioned, he said that they would be announced after nominations were handed over to the Elections Secretariat.
The Nominations Board will meet continuously commencing this week, to finalise the list of candidates which would have to be submitted for endorsement to the WC, scheduled to meet on July 19, Karunathilaka said.
The MP said that the deteriorating economic conditions, rising crime wave, including rape and robberies and corruption at the highest levels, had resulted in village folk wanting to teach the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime a good lesson.
With the grassroots level membership rallying round the leadership, it would be a matter of time before the government was defeated, he said.
The opposition United National Party yesterday dared the government to hold the forthcoming polls to the three Provincial Councils – North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils on the same day, claiming that if it did, it would lose.
The government was scared of holding elections on the same day to all the Provincial Councils as it was now aware that it would be routed and that was why it was holding them on a staggered basis causing tremendous difficulties to the voters and the public, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told The Island yesterday.
However, government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella told The Island on the day the councils were dissolved, that the government had every right to do it.
Elections Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Deshapriya has decided to hold the elections for the two local government bodies in war-ravaged Mullativu District on March 24.
Elections Commissioner met with the representatives of political parties today to discuss the elections for the Puthukudiyiruppu and Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullativu District.
The elections for the two local bodies were postponed due to the resettlement programme and the de-mining programme that were continuing in the area. Elections have already been held for the rest of the local government bodies in the Northern Province.
Asked why political parties, particularly the UNP, couldn’t ensure a fair share of nominations to youth and women, the UNPer said that political parties would never address such issues without parliamentary intervention.
Parliamentarian Premadasa alleged that the proposed Local Government Election Amendment Bill had recommended the reduction of the youth representation to 12.5 per cent from the present 40 per cent. Responding to a query by The Island, Premadsa said according to the proposed Bill, those in the age group of 18 to 35 would receive 12.5 per cent of total nominations, while the women would receive a 12.5 per cent share.
Premadasa said that each category should be given a 25 per cent share in nominations. Nothing could be as bad as reducing the youth representation at a time the country needed young blood to take the lead. Asked whether he would raise this issue in parliament, Premadasa said that he intended to move an amendment to the Local Government Election Amendment Bill seeking 25 per cent share of nominations to those in the age group of 18 to 35 and the women.
UNP Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa yesterday criticized a move to reduce the representation of the youth in local government bodies.
Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) yesterday accused the police of ignoring Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya’s instructions to provide adequate security in Kolonnawa, resulting in tragedy on polling day.
CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said Mr. Deshapriya had instructed the Elections DIG to provide adequate security in Kolonnawa after he received several complaints about growing tension in the area.
The instruction sheet sent by the polls chief had said a Colombo District United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) MP was applying undue pressure on voters at several polling stations including Kadulla, Wadulwatte, Jana Sabha, Kelanipura and Kambi Kotuwa on polling day.
Mr. Deshapriya had also instructed the returning officer in the area to take this matter into consideration before the counting. Mr. Tennakoon said the Mulleriyawa tragedy could have been avoided if the instructions given by Mr. Deshapriya were followed.