Politicians to preserve calm

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Election Monitors want

Election Monitors yesterday urged politicians to control their supporters and not let the calm that prevailed on Election Day descend into violence during the post-election period. This followed a series of violent incidents that were allegedly connected to the just concluded presidential election. However, police maintained there were no major incidents of violence, adding some of the incidents were personal disputes that were being connected to the election.

According to the Executive Director of the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), Rohana Hettiarachchi, they had received 20 complaints in the post-election period from 4.00pm on January 8 to 4.00pm January 9. A total of 10 of the complaints are related to acts of violence, he claimed.

He said there were reports that the killing of an individual in Bangadeniya, Chilaw, yesterday was connected to a dispute connected to the election.

Politicians in the area have a big role to play in maintaining law and order and assisting the police in preventing clashes between rival supporters, Hettiarachchi opined.

However, an officer at the Police Media Unit denied that the Bangadeniya incident was a case of post-election violence. He claimed according to initial investigations, the killing was a result of a longstanding personal dispute between two parties that had escalated into a violent confrontation.

Speaking to The Nation, Executive Director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), Keerthi Tennakoon said only a few incidents that could be classified as major ones had been reported thus far. One was an assault that was reported from Kadugannawa while the other was a shooting reported from Udugama, he said. Tennakoon said they too had received a report of one death related to post-election violence but this was yet to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, police said no major incidents of election related violence had been reported to them thus far.

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