Independent contestant, Shaveen Bandaranayaka, the son of former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, who had managed to bag 149 votes at the recently concluded Parliamentary election has declared a detailed breakdown of his election campaign expenditure.
Shaveen had posted the declaration on his Facebook last week (14), providing a detailed breakdown of the expenditure incurred on his campaigning activities. According to the post he had spent a total of Rs. 178,164 between July 14 – August 14 to which included costs borne on leaflets, Facebook advertisements and newspaper advertisements. The highest expenditure had been on Facebook advertisements - Rs. 65,805 that amounted to a 37% off the total campaigning expenses.
He has noted the finances were borne through his personal savings.
Although Shaveen declared his campaign expenditure duly, despite being a first-time contestant many of the seniors in the field of politics in Sri Lanka are yet to follow suit. The issue of campaign financing and its impacts on a democratic political system was highlighted by several election monitors that held media briefings following the conclusion of the poll on Wednesday. It was pointed out by the Commonwealth observers that setting limitations on election campaigning is important as the campaign financing disparity among candidates can be a major hindrance to democracy.(Lakna Paranamanna)