* Pay hike for workers
* Meals at Temple Trees
* Abuse of State media
* Army top brass on TV
*False claim on polls day
* Violence, intimidation
*Discarded ballot papers
* Public officer s propaganda
*TNA-SF secret pact
* Abuse of state property
*Counting without agents
General (retd) Sarath Fonseka yesterday filed a petition in the Supreme Court, requesting that the re-election of Mahinda Rajapaksa as President of Sri Lanka at the Jan. 26 polls be declared void.
The petition requested the Court to declare the return of Mahinda Rajapaksa as undue and to declare Sarath Fonseka the duly elected President of Sri Lanka.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was named the first and Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake the 22nd in a list of 26 respondents (See page 6 for full list and text of the petition) cited in Fonseka s petition.
The petition also requested the Court to order a scrutiny of all the ballots cast at the poll to be carried out by the Commissioner of Election and his officials in the presence of the petitioner and the other candidates at the poll or their representatives.
The petition said that due to a violation of election laws and corrupt practices committed by the first respondent, Mahinda Rajapaksa, the majority of electors had been prevented from electing the candidate of their choice, namely Fonseka, and/or the result may have been affected by acts of intimidation, violation of laws and the commission of corrupt practices.
The alleged acts of misconduct committed by Rajapaksa, include, general intimidation of electors from December, 2009 to January 2010, treating of persons to food and drinks between the period November 11, 2009 to January 26, 2010, at Temple Trees, at the Kandy President s House and the Anuradhapura President s House. Acts of Bribery during the period November 23, 2009 to January 26, 2010, use of State Resources, making of false statements, regarding the personal character of Fonseka, and non-compliance with the presidential election laws.
The petition said Rajapaksa was guilty of corrupt practice of treating, under section 77, read together with section (1)(c) of the Presidential Election Act. Rajapaksa was guilty of corrupt practice of Bribery under section 79 read together with section (1)(c) of the Presidential Election Act. Rajapaksa was guilty of making false statements under section 80(1)(c), read together with (1)(c) of the Presidential Election Act. Rajapaksa was guilty of misconduct under various other circumstances, stated in Section (1)(a) of the Presidential Election Act. Therefore declared result should be voided.
The petition cited as false statements, announcements made by Sarath Kongahage, Razik Zarook, Kalinga Indratissa, Hudson Samarasinghe and Wimal Weerawansa, that the petitioner was not qualified to be elected as the President of Sri Lanka and that if was elected he would be disqualified.
Those false statements were broadcast without a break until the close of poll at 4 p.m. by Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, SLBC, Lakhanda and other Television Networks.
The persons who made those statements were supporters of Rajapaksa. Their false statements had been made with the knowledge and consent of Rajapaksa, the petition said .
The petition said that 10,495,451 had voted over a period of nine hours on January 26, 2010, at an average of 1.15 million votes per hour. Those false statements had had a direct bearing on the voters in that the electors were made to believe that Fonseka was not eligible to be elected as President and a vote cast in his favour would be wasted. Therefore, it was a violation of the free and fair exercise of the people s right to franchise.
The false statements said to be made by Rajapaksa, included, a reference to a fake document, purported to be an agreement between Fonseka and the Tamil National Alliance, which would divide Sri Lanka, in the event of Fonseka becoming President.
Among the acts of bribery caused by the first respondent, Rajapaksa, is the increase of the salaries of State officials, numbering approximately one million by Rs. 2,500 outside budgetary provisions. Members of the Civil Defence Force had been granted permanent employment. Police batta to approximately 200,000 police personnel, had been increased and added to the December 2009 salary. Those and similar parallel acts had been allegedly committed between November 23, 2009, the day of the proclamation of the poll and the day of the poll of January 26, 2010, the petition said.
Among the instances of non-compliance with the provisions of the Presidential Elections Act, the petitioner cited instances of threatening and chasing away, by UPFA thugs, of counting agents of all candidates, other than agents of Rajapaksa, and the failure of the election officers, police and security officers, to prevent that. Counting had been done without counting agents, the petition said.
That had happened in several districts, amounting to about seven. In Ratnapura ballot papers marked for the Swan had been found discarded, the petition said.
Samararatne Associates are instructing Attorneys in this petition.