Police under pressure from PC politicians: Monitors
Aug 31, 2012
Election monitors yesterday requested regional politicians to stop applying pressure on police personnel to prevent them from performing their duties imspartially during the campaigning for September 8 provincial council elections.

In a joint statement, election observers said they had received several reports of political intimidation during the final stages of campaigning by candidates canvassing for votes.

They said impartiality of elections was being compromised by candidates when election campaigning turns aggressive.

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) asked candidates not to embarrass police officials by pushing them into difficult situations because they were following orders of the Elections Commissioner.

“We ask the politicians not to make things difficult for the police who are performing their duty,” said PAFFREL Executive Director, Rohana Hettiarchchi.

The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said the issue had been taken up with the Elections Commissioner. “The election monitors also took the matter up with party secretaries, but there has been little or no change in the situation,” CaFFE Executive Director, Keerthi Tennakoon said.

“We do not see the essential element necessary for a free and fair election, because police officers have been found fault with for following orders,” he said adding that a letter had also been written to the Police Chief.

The election monitors said the blatant misuse of state property for propaganda purposes was continuing unabated.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka