EC Chairman requests Prez to ensure suitable conditions for election
4 months ago | BY Mirudhula Thambiah
- Writes to President following death threats to EC members
- Vows not to let threats affect election preparations
Following death threats received by Election Commission (EC) member M.M. Mohammed over a phone call last Friday (27), EC Chairman Attorney Nimal Punchihewa noted that he wrote to President Ranil Wickremesinghe last Saturday (28) requesting that the President ensures an environment for free and fair elections in the country by intervening in the issue of alleged threats against three members of the EC.
Speaking to The Daily Morning yesterday (29), Punchihewa said: “We have on 28 January sent a letter to President Wickremesinghe appealing that he intervenes in this matter and takes the necessary steps. We have also requested that he ensures an environment for free and fair elections in the country. We have also requested Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickramaratne to provide security and to carry out further investigations.”
He further said that the letter also requests President Wickremesinghe to ensure the security of the members who have been subjected to alleged threats.
When The Daily Morning queried Punchihewa if this situation would hinder the election activities of the EC, he said: “It will not affect the election process. We are in communication with the EC members, and when necessary, they have ensured their participation – for example when signing gazette notifications. Thus, we don’t expect any issues. We will be able to manage.”
On 18 January, two members of the Election Commission, namely S.B. Diwaratne and K.P.P. Pathirana, had received death threats, demanding that they resign from their posts, following which an investigation was launched by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Speaking in Parliament on 19 January, Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils, and Local Government Dinesh Gunawardena made note of the above incident and stated that the matter had been handed over to the Police without making it public.