By Lakna Paranamanna
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya speaking to Daily Mirror Online a short while ago said that the voter turnout in the Northern Province is quite low at the moment and added that the rate is average in other provinces in which the Local Government polls are held.
“We are unable to give any percentages yet but in comparison to the other areas, the voter turnout in the North is quite low,” he said. However, Jaffna District Secretary Emilda Sukumar said that the voter turnout was about 22.41% by noon while Mulathivu District Secretary A. Pathinathan said the voter turn out in Thunukkai was 40.6%.
Speaking on the incidents of the alleged collection of polling cards by an unidentified group in Kilinochchi, Commissioner Deshapriya said that although they have received several complaints concerning the matter, they still have not been able to confirm them.
“However, in light of the complaints, we have made announcements in the areas in both Sinhala and Tamil, encouraging the voters to cast their vote even if their polling card is not available,” Commissioner said. Through the announcements, the voters have been made clear that they will be able to cast their vote by using the IDP Voter ID card or the IDP registration card at their relevant polling stations.
According to election monitoring body CaFFE (Campaign for Free and Fair Elections) their observers have confirmed 14 incidents of polling card collections in the Kilinochchi district.
CaFFE Director Ranjith Keerthi Tennakoon said that most number of such incidents were reported from the Karachchi Pradeshiya Sabha in the Killinochchi District where a group of armed, unidentified persons had been forcibly collecting voters cards in the areas of Raamanadha Puram, Vattakachchi, Malayala Puram and, Bharathi Puram throughout last night.
“Similar incidents have been reported from more than 20 villages. People who refused to give away their polling cards had been assaulted and some had even been heavily injured. Identical incidents were reported from the Pallai Area in the Pachchillapallai Pradeshiya Sabha as well,” he said. (Daily Mirror Online)