Thousands of uprooted civilians denied voting: CaFFE election monitors

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 April 2010, 08:46 GMT]
Many interned Tamil civilians in Menik Farm in Vavuniyaa were told by Sri Lankan election officials that they must go to Ki'linochchi Cluster Polling Station to vote, while election officials in Ki'linochchi station were instructing civilians that they must proceed to the Menik Farm Polling Station to vote, said Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) in a statement issued Thursday. "In the Killinochchi Central College Cluster Polling Centers only 362 out of 7,504 total registered voters have been able to cast their votes in the first set of 8 cluster polling stations. Furthermore, in the second set of 8 cluster polling centers only 283 out of 10,240 voters have been able to cast their votes by 12.00 noon," CaFFE statement said.

Full text of the statement by CaFFE follows:

1000ís of IDPís Denied Voting Rights in Menik Farm and Killinochchi Cluster Polling Centers.

1000ís of IDP voters have been denied their right to vote due to the non existence of clearly defined guidelines in relation to voter identification papers. CaFFE elections observers were temporarily stopped by security officers from taking photographic evidence of these incidents as they unfolded in the close vicinity of Menik Farm.

These IDP voters in Menik Farm were told that they must go to the Killinochchi Cluster Polling Station to vote by Election Officials. However, voters in the Killinochchi Cluster Polling station have informed by Election Officials that they must proceed to the Menik Farm Polling Station to vote. Election Official have not been given clear instructions to IDPís in relation to where they can vote. IDPís were thus thrown into confusion as to whether they were to vote in Menik Farm, Killinochchi cluster polling centers, their original place of residence or in the areas where they have been newly resettled.

Center. Evidence of this can be further identified by the registered low voter turnout by 12.00 noon. In the Killinochchi Central College Cluster Polling Centers only 362 out of 7,504 total registered voters have been able to cast their votes in the first set of 8 cluster polling stations. Furthermore, in the second set of 8 cluster polling centers only 283 out of 10,240 voters have been able to cast their votes by 12.00 noon. While IDP voters have been denied their right to vote in the Menik Farm Polling Center supporters of former Minister Rishard Badurdeen have been visually identified by CaFFE Election observers conducting an election campaign on election day at the Menik Farm IDP Camp, Vavuniya. CaFFE notes that there has been an incident of election violence committed against a CaFFE election observer. CaFFE observers have visually identified that former Minister Athaullaís supporters have attacked CaFFe Election Observer Mr. Abdul Rahman in the vicinity of the Adalachenei and Akkaraipaththu border. The Ministerís supporters have then confiscated CaFFEís election monitoring evidence and the National Identification papers of the CaFFE election observer.

 

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