Government commitment to fair polls sought
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 30 November 1999, 14:18 GMT]
The leader of Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party, Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked President Chandrika Kumaratunge to take positive actions to implement her assurances of a free and fair presidential election on December 21.
Mr. Wickremesinghe who is the UNP presidential candidate made his appeal in a letter sent to the President today, following her statement at an election rally that she wanted to win without recourse to intimidation.
"I want to give you one more chance to demonstrate your sincerity about wanting a free and fair election. Therefore I demand that you take the following actions immediately," said Ranil Wickremesinghe in his letter.
"1. Instruct your Presidential Security Division to immediately cease all their intimidatory activities against your political opponents and the recruitment of underworld figures to the PSD."
"2.Give sufficient resources to the Commissioner of Elections including police and other personnel to allow him to carry out his duties properly. This includes the proper policing of election laws."
"3.Since your supporters are determined to engage in violence and intimidation before December 21st, you should support my proposal to invite sufficient impartial international observers to oversee the campaign leading up to the election. You must also allow PAFFREL, CMV and other civic organisations to conduct their duties without harassment."
"4. You must cease the persecution of the private media forthwith. Furthermore you must release the state media, meaning the press, radio and TV, into the hands of a non-partisan committee whose job will be to ensure fair coverage for all political parties not just yourself. At present the state media is being used to further your personal campaign."
"5.You must stop using government personnel (including the Samurdhi personnel), vehicles and printing equipment to further your personal presidential candidacy."