Where are the high powered police motorbikes?
- Road blocks still not in place
( August 31, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Nine election offices of opposition political parties have been attacked in Wellawaya and Moneragala between August 29 and 30. Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) observes that five Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) offices and four United National Party (UNP) offices have been burnt and three of them have been completely destroyed.
Last week 21 election offices of opposition political parties were attacked within 72 hours in Moneragala district, most of the attacks were concentrated in Bibile electorate.
These attacks were carried out by gunmen traveling in unmarked vehicles and CaFFE wrote thrice to the Commissioner of Elections and the IGP informing him that a large number of vehicles without number plates or with garage numbers were electioneering in Uva. Despite assurances given that action would be taken, CaFFE observed such vehicles in four separate occasions in Keppetipola, Bandarawela, Wellawaya- Buttala road and Bibile Medagama road on August 29 and 30.
The Commissioner of Elections have asked the IGP to deploy additional policemen to Moneragala and to establish road blocks. While the police assured that such action have been taken CaFFE has not noticed any arrests or a reduction of attacks on elections offices. Although police patrol logs were to be placed in registered election offices of opposition political parties, this has not occurred till today (31.)
Given below is a list of the offices most recently attacked. JVP election office, hosted at Mr. Vimalasena's house at Unawatuna Bodiya, Kuda Oya, Buttala, was attacked on 00.30 hours on August 30. Around the same time the JVP office in Puhulkotuwa, Halmillewa, Buttala was attacked and completely destroyed. Luckily no one was present when the attack took place. Meanwhile the office hosted by JVP candidate Palliyaguruge Wijesiri at Maduraketiya, Moneragala has been attacked thrice so far. JVP offices in Hamburugala and Ellekona have also been attacked on the same day.
Office of opposition leader of Wellawaya pradesheeya Sabha, UNPer Roy Kavinda was attacked on August 29. The office situated at Etiliwewa junction is the biggest UNP office in Wellawaya. The UNP offices in Malwattawa junction, Anapallama and Kitulkote were also attacked on August 29.
Meanwhile the office of independent candidate WM Udaya Kumara, at 17 junction, Okkampitiya was also attacked.
CaFFE expresses its disappointment at continuous attacks on the opposition and the lack of action taken to stop these attacks.