Sri Lanka records no violence in election nomination period

11:07, February 28, 2010      

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An election monitoring organization in Sri Lanka said on Saturday that the nomination period for the forthcoming parliamentary election was generally peaceful and it will continue to monitor the election process closely.

Prasanna Adikari, convener of the National Polls Observation Center (NPOC) told reporters that no election-related violence was reported during the nomination period from Feb. 19 to Feb. 26.

The NPOC, established in 2008 and handled by a group of lawyers, has monitored a series of elections in the island including the Jan. 26 presidential election.

"Our officers are monitoring the situation around the clock," Adikari said, adding that the NPOC will deploy its officers in each polling centers countrywide on the Election Day of April 8.

Susil Premajayantha, general secretary of the ruling coalition United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) said the alliance has advised its candidates and supporters to honor the election laws and refrain from engaging in any violent practices. "We have also advised all of our candidates to remove their all cutouts and posters at the end of the nomination period," Premajayantha said.

However, former parliamentary group leader of the Sri Lankan leftist party JVP or the People's Liberation Front Anura Kumara Dissanayake said the government is suppressing the opposition parties and abusing state powers to win the election.

Dissanayake said the leader of the newly formed Democratic National Alliance former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka is in military custody at present.

He said Fonseka is contesting the election from the Colombo district, but the government is still detaining him at the Navy Headquarters in Colombo.

General Secretary of the main opposition United National Party Tissa Attanayake said government is abusing the state media to the campaign of the UPFA.

Attanayake said the state media is only carrying the stories and pictures of ruling party candidates.

Attanayake accused the ruling party candidates of abusing the state property for their campaign.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Police Elections Bureau said after ending the nomination period any candidate could not display their posters or cutouts in public places according to the elections law.

Chief of the bureau Deputy Inspector General of Police Gamini Navarathna said the police are on alert to prevent election- related violence countrywide.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa dissolved parliament early this month and the new 225-member parliament will meet on April 22.

Source:Xinhua
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