The SAARC Election monitors who oversaw Saturday’s Northern Provincial Council election said they were dismayed at the falsified special edition of the popular Uthayan newspaper in Jaffna and the continued publicity granted to that fake edition by a television operator.
Addressing a press conference in Colombo yesterday Head of the SAARC Election monitoring mission N. Gopalswami who is also a former Elections Commissioner of India said that the observers had noted that no action was taken by the authorities to stop the broadcast.
The ‘fake’ Uthayan newspaper that was delivered before the newspaper’s morning edition was circulated to its subscribers and news stands and repeatedly displayed and broadcast on the Government affiliated DAN TV broadcast in the North and run by the LTTE’s former spokesman Daya Master.
The head of the SAARC observer mission said that the violation was a main example of the misuse of the press on polling day.
The SAARC monitors also said they were dismayed by the involvement of the armed forces in incidents of polls related violence, specifically the attack on the home of then TNA candidate, Ananthi Sasitharan the day before the poll.