Corruption watchdog, Transparency International Sri Lanka has written to the Elections Commissioner regarding misuse of state resources in the election campaigning activities of President Rajapaksa.
In a letter to Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya, the organisation has listed out specific accounts of state resource misappropriations on which they have received complaints so far to which includes ‘treating’ of public sector officials, state institutions joining hands with movements led by the Rajapaksa family and use of schools to promote election campaigns.
TISL has noted that Chief Accountants of every district have been summoned to the Temple Trees for a discussion on the budget without inviting them to the Finance Ministry or the Treasury as usual. The organisation has pointed out that this action has challenged integrity of the electoral process, the trust and validity of election results and has called upon the EC to probe into the incident.
They have also noted that the organisation – Sri Lanka Youth which is a state institution has been linked with the ‘Nil Balakaya’ a movement led by President’s son MP Namal Rajapaksa to campaign for the President. In the guise of capacity building training, some 100 youth from the Northern Province have been given instructions on how to carry out campaigning for Mahinda Rajapaksa in their respective areas.
TISL has also written with concern over the use of schools for political activities where school development committee meetings have been held and parents and members have been summoned by provincial politicians to promote the election campaigning activities of MR.
Among the other incidents noted is also the misuse of land that belongs to the Kurunegala Municipal Council. The establishment’s auditorium – which is usually not given for the use of external parties-, had been given out to a group named the ‘Kurunegala Free Lawyers Organisation’ who were pledging their support to MR.
While noting all these incidents, the TISL has urged the EC to take relevant measures in order to ensure they do not recur and has called upon the public to inform them on such incidents on 0115627432 or 0719241133.