“The vote is an indication that the campaign for democracy, reconciliation and demilitarisation has emerged victorious. But we have a tremendous challenge. I am compelled to say that the North has voted for change. It is our duty to deliver the freedom for the people. The women in the North who are tillers of the land want their rights. Their faces and tears once again reminded me of the difference between my reality and their life experiences. The massive difference of votes between the swan and the beetle leaf in the Tamil homeland has to be understood properly. Sinhala political leader who are going to lead this country towards changhe has been trusted by them to take them towards this new future. I hope and pray we will not let them down.
I salute the citizen’s of Sri Lanka for igniting their conscience after several years.”
Amidst a surge in election-related harassment and violence ahead of the 8 January presidential poll, Sri Lankan authorities must ensure that people’s right to political participation is respected, Amnesty International said.
A press briefing was held by CMEV today at the JAIC Hilton around the monitoring operations for the Presidential Election, which will be held on 8th January 2015. Recordings of the briefing are embedded below. Please note that the Q&A segment doesn’t always pick up the question posed to the panellists. Their answers however give a strong indication on what was asked of them.
The four tracks cover the press briefing in English by Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, in Sinhala by D.M. Dissanayake and in Tamil by Mani Maran.
“A house in which former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and UPFA rebel Provincial Councilor, Hirunika Premachandra, were dining was attacked by UPFA supporters at about 10pm on Friday at Peenawala in Beruwela, Manjula Gajanayake, National Co-ordinator, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) said yesterday.”
Many local election monitors have observed grave incidents of election law violations and violence ahead of the Presidential Election whereas some government ministers have directed a number of accusations at local election observers of being biased towards the opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu said that those are very loose accusations directed against the local observers given that the accusations are being directed by the government, the very people who are engaged in misusing and abusing state powers and resources.
The Editor of Vikalpa, Sampath Samarakoon, was mercilessly attacked by Hambantota Urban Council Chairman Eraj Frenando (of the toy pistol infamy) yesterday as he was taking part in a street drama with leading rights activists and artistes. A detailed report by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) around this incident can be read here. The Police arrested Eraj Fernando today in connection with the incident and remanded him till the 24th of December.
Groundviews caught up with Sampath upon his return to Colombo and recorded the following interview in Sinhala. You can also access the interview directly here. Key points made by Sampath during the interview are summarised in English below.