The ‘silent period’ in relation to the August 5 General Elections will start at midnight on August 2, the National Elections Commission announced today.
The Commission said it was earlier decided at the Party Secretaries' meeting held July 26 that visiting residences to canvass and distribute handbills would be allowed on August 03 as it was a Poya Day.
However, due to the prevailing legal implications and objections raised by various stakeholders, and the risk of setting a bad precedence, the disturbances that may be caused to religious observances, the ‘silent period’ should come into effect from midnight on August 2.
“During the silent period, any propaganda activity including conducting propaganda meetings, conducting pocket meetings or house meetings, visiting residences to canvas, distributing handbills, displaying advertising, placards at proclaimed party officers and displaying posters, placards, banners, are strictly prohibited,” the commission stressed.
Accordingly, the Elections Commission requested all political parties, groups and candidates to extend their utmost support for the conduct of a free and fair election while abstaining themselves from any of these activities during the silent period.
The Commission has informed all police officers to pursue action to prevent any illegal activities from taking place during the silent period. (Sheain Fernandopulle)