Cushnahan condemns election violence

[TamilNet, Friday, 05 March 2004, 11:37 GMT]
Member of the European Parliament and former European Union Chief Observer, Mr. John Walls Cushnahan, in a press release issued 3 March, has "condemned all election violence especially the two recent murders in Batticaloa and Valaichchenai."

Full text of the press release follows:

FORMER EU CHIEF OBSERVER JOHN CUSHNAHAN HAS CONDEMNED ALL ELECTION VIOLENCE ESPECIALLY THE TWO RECENT MURDERS IN BATTICALOA AND VALACHCHENAI


3rd March 2004

Mr. Cushnahan said,

"Violence has no part to play in the electoral process. Violence is the very antithesis of democracy.

It was therefore extremely worrying to learn that during the first two weeks of the current election campaign, some 158 incidents of election violence have already been recorded, according to the Police Election Secretariat.

The two murders in Batticaloa and Valachchenai are particularly disturbing. They are a direct attack on the fundamental right of political parties to organise, move and campaign freely. If an EU Election Observation Mission is sent to Sri Lanka, this is one of the key criteria it would assess during its work.

If the integrity of the democratic process in Sri Lanka is to be protected then this election must take place in an atmosphere free from violence and intimidation.

All responsible leaders in Sri Lanka have a duty to ensure that this happens."

 

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