Parliamentary elections: HRW tells Sri Lanka to ensure safe, secure and free polls

Parliamentary elections in Sri Lanka

Bangkok, Aug 15: Human Rights Watch on Saturday said that authorities in Sri Lanka should ensure that voters have safe and secure access to the polls to vote in parliamentary elections on August 17, 2015.

According to reports, local monitoring groups have talked about numerous incidents of election-related violence and campaigning irregularities in the month leading up to the nationwide polls.

The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), a longstanding independent monitoring organization, documented 135 major incidents, 10 involving the use of firearms, and 624 minor incidents between July 13 and August 13.

The major violations occurred primarily in Jaffna, Colombo, Batticaloa, and Gampaha districts. Three people have been reported killed and several injured.

Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, reportedly said: “With evidence already of violence in the run-up to these elections, Sri Lankan authorities should take all necessary steps to protect voters and party supporters from attacks, threats, and intimidation. The authorities should also ensure that voters can travel safely and securely to the polling booths and back.”

Over the past month there have been several assaults during campaign-related activities, Human Rights Watch said.

(With Agency Inputs)

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