Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) said today (14) that it has recorded complaints of a number of incidents of public resources being misused during the election period.
Addressing a press conference held in Colombo this morning, TISL Senior Programme Manager Sashi De Mel said that the transparent watchdog has received a total of 112 complaints on the misuse of public resources, a majority of them being the use of state-owned buildings and vehicles for election activities.
“TISL commenced its election observation activities through the program for the protection of public resources from the first week of October. Up to date, we have reported 112 incidents and in return, we have submitted 88 complaints to the Elections Commission (EC) with the relevant evidence on the misuse of public resources. Some of the complaints were about actions that were due to take place and we’ve been able to prevent them. Others were about violations that have already taken place and we’ve given the relevant information to the EC. The majority of the complaints were on the misuse of government vehicles and buildings. There were also complaints about public officials engaging in election activities,” De Mel said.
Commenting further, De Mel noted that several incidents pertaining to the use of Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopters for election campaigning have also been reported.
“We’ve observed the use of helicopters belonging to SLAF in Trincomalee, Kantale, Seruwila, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla and Galle where not only candidates but in certain cases other politicians supporting the candidates have also been transported. We are looking to see if these helicopters are reimbursed or payments have been made,” De Mel added.