Twenty out of 47 complaints targeting women : SLPP accountable for most post-poll violence: Monitors | Sunday Observer

Twenty out of 47 complaints targeting women : SLPP accountable for most post-poll violence: Monitors

25 February, 2018

A spike in post-election violence has been recorded around the country, with the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a party backed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa that performed well at the recently concluded local government elections largely responsible for the violations, election monitors said. Of the 47 violence related complaints received by the Centre For Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) in the post-election period up to date 26 are against the SLPP while 12 were against the United National Party (UNP).

According to statistics gathered by the CMEV majority of the violence perpetrated against women were also by SLPP members. While 20 violence related incidents instigated against women were reported, 18 of the complaints were against the SLPP.

According to the National Coordinator of the CMEV, Manjula Gajanayake, while the Police did a commendable job during the pre-election period and on the election day to contain violent incidents, however, the monitors have now observed a certain reluctance on their part in taking action against the wrongdoers.

 “We must give them credit for their role in ensuring a peaceful election” he said adding that however Police inactivity has increased in the post election period. “We cannot see actual involvement of the Police in taking action against these offenders,” he said.

According to him Police appear to be reluctant to take action particularly in local government areas won by the SLPP. He also says people have not reported many incidents to the Police as they believed no action will be taken but opted to report these incidents to election monitors instead.

According to Gajanayake compared to the last last two elections held in Sri Lanka there appears to be a moderate increase in post election violence incidents.

However, speaking to the Sunday Observer, Police Spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara said the Police have continued to take action against any wrong doers and have commenced investigations in to these incidents.

“Some investigations have concluded and perpetrators were arrested,” he said.

However, according to SP Gunasekara the Police only considers the day following the election, that is February 11 as the post election period according to the election laws.

“Incidents which have taken place thereafter will be dealt according to the normal laws such as the penal code,” he said.