1 October, 2020

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UNP Urges Elections Commissioner To Stand Before The Country

The opposition is shocked and disgusted about the flagrant abuse of state power by a candidate in the presidential race who continues to misuse his authority as incumbent president, says the United National Party.

Ranil Wickremesinghe 1Issuing a statement the UNP says; “The Mahinda Rajapaksa campaign stooped to a new low yesterday when it broadcast his manifesto launch live on the state-owned Rupavahini network and a host of private television channels. The event was telecast live by the state media in violation of election laws, guidelines provided by the Elections Commissioner and all norms of fair play and justice. Furthermore, the broadcast was hugely embellished with praise of a singular candidate. Following the telecast several songs were broadcasted about the candidate that were not paid advertisements but a blatant propaganda campaign by state television.”

The UNP urges the Elections Commissioner to stand before the country and make his grievances known.

We publish below the statement in full;

The opposition is shocked and disgusted about the flagrant abuse of state power by a candidate in the presidential race who continues to misuse his authority as incumbent president.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa campaign stooped to a new low yesterday when it broadcast his manifesto launch live on the state-owned Rupavahini network and a host of private television channels.

The event was telecast live by the state media in violation of election laws, guidelines provided by the Elections Commissioner and all norms of fair play and justice. Furthermore, the broadcast was hugely embellished with praise of a singular candidate. Following the telecast several songs were broadcasted about the candidate that were not paid advertisements but a blatant propaganda campaign by state television.

This blatant abuse of power did not take place on just another day of campaigning. It happened while public servants were casting their postal votes in a crucial national election.

It is also with great alarm that we note that the private broadcaster Derana TV continues to air advertisements banned by the Elections Commissioner last week, using old speeches by Opposition Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena. Derana TV telecast this advertisement several times on the night of 22 December. It is disturbing that Private Media heads failed to take note of specific instructions by the Commissioner of Elections regarding the use of another candidate in election propaganda by the incumbent.

We must once again remind the national broadcaster and other state media institutions that they are not sustained by the Rajapaksa family or their political party, but by the public who pay valuable tax rupees to keep these channels afloat.Your salaries and allowances are not paid by candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa but by the toiling masses of this country. You have no right nor legal grounds to support one presidential candidate over others. This habit of assuming that all state property, from the SriLankan airlines to SLRC, belongs to a single family at the helm of affairs in the country is a Rajapaksa syndrome.

But the real question is to the Elections Commissioner. We must ask you Sir, if you have no eyes to see nor ears to hear the blatant misuse of power by none other than a candidate in this election your office is preparing for? Do you plan to be a passive observer of this process to elect Sri Lanka’s next president?

During election season, the Office of the Elections Commissioner is vested with full authority over law enforcement and the state media. Still there has been nothing but stony silence about this travesty of abuse on postal voting day.

As the country’s democratic opposition, we demand to know what action the Elections Commissioner will take against these violations of election laws. We demand that you use the authority vested with you by the constitution to appoint a COMPETENT AUTHORITY for the media until polling day to ensure this blatantly biased behaviour ceases. The Commissioner’s failure to do so would be tantamount to his condoning the behaviour of the state media in this election season.

Mr Commissioner, we demand that you remind Mahinda Rajapaksa that he too is a candidate in this election, subject to your authority. We demand that you command this country’s president to stop abusing his power and breaking the law.

Mr Commissioner, if there are powers that are attempting to influence your conduct during this election, we urge you to stand before the country and make your grievances known. The people of this country who stand for a just election will stand with you. At this time when the eyes of the entire country are on your conduct, we urge you to stay strong, courageous and independent, in the face of what must be tremendous odds.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    It is shame on you EC. If you are genuine please resign your post immediately and tell the truth to the people of this land. You don’t need to afraid at this stage as it is the last oppotunity to serve for mother lanka. Don’t come with excuses that I was thretened by Gota and Mahinda and I couldn’t do anything. If you think that you can escape justice by declaring Mahinda as a winner irrespective of whoever become true winner, then that is up to you. I think people are prepared to come to streets if their is such a declaration.

  • 3
    1

    I don’t believe issuing statements is adequate on grave and critical issues such as these. UNP leadership looks very timid, lethargic and ineffective. More substantive, effective measures need to be taken to counter this blatent abuse such as:

    1) meeting the EC more frequently with substative evidence and requesting immediate action. Thereafter, issuing public statements of what discussions took place so there is public awareness and the EC is thus compelled to act.
    2)legal action (I am aware the judiciary is also politicised)against the offenders including the EC. But it will be good test for the Judiciary and also tells the public actions are been taken on the issues at hand thus giving them some confidence.
    3)mobilising People Power
    4) clearly announcing what action will be taken, if and when they come to power, against those individuals who have violated the law of the land including public servants who are engaging in politics.

    • 2
      0

      It was possible to clearly foresee that Mahinda Rajapakse was going to use Rupavahini to propagandize his manifesto illegally.

      If the Common Alliance had the balls they had pleanty of time to arrange for 10,000 people on stand by to storm the broadcast premises should this happen.

      They didn’t do that.

      Suppose Rajapakse loses the election, and he refuses to go, are Maithri, Ranil, Fonseka, and others going to shrug that also off? Just like they did with the Rupavahini telecast?

  • 3
    0

    EC should act always without any fear or favour. His contribution to the good governance is very vital. If he acts fearlessly against any wrongdoers according to the law, he will be a hero and remembered in the history. In performing his duties he may be encountering many impediments but somehow he has to cut acroos and do justice to all Srilankans.

  • 0
    0

    Yes. TELL US YOUR GRIEVANCES. We know what happened last time. If you let it happen again you will be held to blame. Tell us the truth! Do not tell us that you chained yourself to a polling booth and assaulted yourself.

    And if you have accepted any “Gifts” tell us about that too. The filth has to be washed off all public officials if we are to see the rule of law which we have NEVER yet seen.

  • 0
    0

    I understand that there is a provision in the Constitution that says that the President of Sri Lanka can do no wrong.

    I urge Maithripala after he takes over as President to repeal that provision with retrospective effect from the date in came into effect.

    Thereafter I urge the new Government to try Mahinda Rajapakse for crimes committed, and impose the maximum punishment.

    • 0
      0

      Navin

      You got a very nice wish-list my friend. Goood luck with your day dreaming!!!!!!!!!!! Taking MR to Hague for war crime? heh

      Why do not you go and do those suggestion by yourself than asking the Pollonnaruwa Gamaya who is trying to attain the Heaven by handing into the tail of the handicapped elephant Ranil [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Worse than mere propaganda being disbursed, the ARMY is being moved to
    centres of political interest, viz Polonaruwa already. The retired
    Army personnel recruited are busy at these logistics? The EC can go
    to hell as far as the MoD is concerned.!

    [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Come on…you are expecting the EC to do his job? When did most of you do the right thing?? You always made choices beneficial to you! If you are like the average dishonest Sri Lankan, you will deny having done that.

    Expecting the EC to behave differently is the height of stupidity when the President, Parliament, Supreme Court and the Security Service chiefs are all doing what is good for them. He is human, he has family and most of all…he is a Sri Lankan.

    • 0
      0

      Upul

      You are absoultely spot on my friend.

      We never forget what this Ranil Saint was practing in Biyagama Killing Camp during JVP insurrection in 1988-1989. Is this the Saint preaching the EC how to cary out his duties? What a spinless leader is Ranil??? heh.

  • 0
    0

    I quote the paragraph:

    “Mr Commissioner, we demand that you remind Mahinda Rajapaksa that he too is a candidate in this election, subject to your authority. We demand that you command this country’s president to stop abusing his power and breaking the law.”

    Under the Executive Presidency of Sri Lanka, can the Commissioner of Elections do that? When there is no rule of law can the Commissioner of Elections do that? When ballot boxes were stuffed in the past was the Elections Commissioner ever chided like this?

    I think we are not realists and expect the moon out of a hapless individual and it need not be the present holder of office. What happens with this kind of statement is that a wrong signal is given to the voter of Sri Lanka who can read between the lines. It can be understood or misunderstood that the Party is getting prepared to blame the elections commissioner in the event of a defeat implying that the defeat is a real possibility.

  • 0
    0

    Commissioner of Election could not take dictated terms by UNP leadership and MS directive.
    Fair and free elections is conducted according law of Land by CM…

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