Land Ministry admits vehicle involved Naula clash belongs to them
The vehicle (KH 0262) confiscated by the Naula police during a clash between the supporters of provincial council candidates Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon and Thilak Bandara at Naula on July 28 belongs to the Ministry of Lands, as stated by Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE,) admitted the Secretary to the Ministry of Lands, T. Asoka Peiris.
Writing to the Executive Director, CaFFE, Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, Mr. Peiris said the above-mentioned vehicle ‘is one of the official vehicles assigned to Hon Minister of Land and non of the vehicles belonging to this Ministry has been released for election campaigns.’ However it is clear that although the vehicle was assigned to Minister of Lands, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, it was involved in the election campaigning of his son when the vehicle was confiscated by the police. In addition Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has concrete evidence that a large number of vehicles from your ministry is engaged in campaigning in Matale using fake or garage number plates.
In his letter the Secretary to the Ministry added that the Ministry is ‘adhering to all the regulations and circulars’ issued by the Commissioner of Elections, however the manner in which the above mentioned vehicle has been used in Matale clearly violates several circulars issued by the commissioner (http://www.slelections.gov.lk/pce2013_Circulars.html
.) In addition the
Commissioner of Elections has issued a circular (August 6) stating that apart from two vehicles of the Presidential Security Division (PSD,) no minister or ministerial staff members can engage in campaigning or use unregistered or ministerial vehicles in the three provinces where elections are held.
Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon,
Executive Director, CaFFE