Police have launched a massive operation throughout the Southern Province to stop election law violations by enforcing all rules and regulations under the election law with immediate effect.
This has been done on a directive of the Inspector General of Police on special orders from President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said senior DIG Kinsley Ekanayake at a special meeting with group leaders and their representatives and candidates, contesting the October 10 Southern Provincial Council election. OICs of all police stations in the Galle district also participated in the meeting convened at the Galle District Secretariat Auditorium on Tuesday.
All posters, cut-outs, giant hoardings with party symbols, candidates numbers, names and photographs displayed at public places contravening election laws have being removed by police.
Candidates are not allowed to display party symbols, their numbers, names and photographs on vehicles other than on personal vehicles in which the candidate travels.
Pictures on other vehicles will be removed. Persons who paste posters, fix cut-outs, and paint party symbols and candidates numbers along roads will be arrested for which special police ambush operations especially during night, have already been started, the DIG said.
DIG, Ekanayake said all unauthorized election offices will be removed. Only offices for which applications have been tendered according to the election law by group leaders will be permitted to operate.
Permission for such offices would be strictly given according to provisions in the election law on a priority basis. No one will be allowed to exhibit party symbols, candidates numbers etc in front of election officers, he said. JVP Galle district candidate Nalin Hewage said they also violated election rules to a certain extent in their campaign amidst the big scale violations of other parties to survive in the highly competitive election scene. He ensured their party s co-operation to the police to enforce the election law effectively and properly.
A Galle district UPFA candidate told that certain police officers remove only his posters and cut-outs ignoring massive displays by other candidates. He also charged the Galle Harbour police for assaulting him in association with some unknown persons who were not police officers.
Galle district returning officer Asoka Jayasekara, Assistant Election Commissioner Wimal Indrajith and SSP Keerthi Silva also spoke.