Deshapriya receives a “clarification” from Shavendra
The Chief Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has received a clarification from Army Commander Lt. General Shavendra Silva over the latter appearing in a newspaper advertisement supporting Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidential bid.
Deshapriya told RepublicNext today Oct 18, that he had received the clarification letter yesterday.
The Army Commander’s appearance on the advertisement caused much debate as United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Ajith P Perera acting as an election agent for the New Democratic Front lodged a complaint with the Elections Commission against the Commander’s appearance in the advertisement last Tuesday (15).
The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) lodged a separate complaint about the advertisement.
The Chief Elections Commissioner told the media last Wednesday (16) that it is “wrong for the Army Commander to appear in an advertisement for a candidate” and noted that he has written to the Secretary to the President Udaya R Ratnayake and Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Gen Shantha Kottegoda to give an explanation in that regard.
Meanwhile speaking to RepublicNext, Army spokesman Major General Sumith Atapattu said that in the letter, the Army Commander has explained that the statement appeared in the advertisement was made some years ago and had been used by a party unknown to him in this ad.