Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has ordered officials of the Ratnapura Bus Depot to produce the cash receipts issued for the release of 25 buses to transport people to a political rally in Panadura today.
Earlier, election observers including People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) had in writing requested Mr. Deshapriya to inquire into allegations that state buses had been used to transport people for the political rallies in the run-up to the presidential election. PAFFREL said, in another instance of the blatant abuse of state resources, 25 buses had been released from the Ratnapura Depot alone for this purpose.
Mr. Deshapriya had asked the depot authorities to produce the cash receipts issued for the release of buses for the use of political parties, to be scrutinized by election officers.
Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said anybody could hire buses from the Sri Lanka Central Transport Board after making the necessary payments. (Kelum Bandara)