The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had asked Elections Commissioner (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya to request military personnel deployed in the Northern peninsula to be restricted to barracks during the Northern Provincial Council elections.
Discussions took place between the EC, the General Secretaries of the political parties and election monitors last Friday.
Commenting on the issues discussed during the meeting, the Executive Director of PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi told Colombo based The Sunday Leader that one of the main issues discussed was the prevention of military personnel getting involved in the election process.
“Some Tamil political parties primarily the TNA asked that the military be restricted to its barracks but the Commissioner pointed out that it would not be possible as the country was still in a vulnerable position. However he assured that measures will be taken to prevent them from getting involved in the election process.”
Another issue that was raised during the meeting, Hettiarachchi said, was about the displaced persons. “The Commissioner said that polling centers will be established within the Provinces they are registered in for their convenience. He also urged the political parties to refrain from staging rallies during the day nominations are handed over. The Commissioner issued a stern warning to all candidates and political parties and said that he would take legal action for every poster that is defamatory of another candidate,” he said.
“During the discussions PAFFREL also asked the Commissioner to look into the declaration of assets and liabilities of the candidates. The EC further informed the election monitors to keep a close watch on the misuse of state property during the election campaigning. The issuing of temporary ID’s for the voters was also to be continued. The EC further urged that as far as possible to obtain the assistance of the police in civil matters and avoid the assistance of the military,” he added.