Former President cancels gift distribution event in Polonnaruwa after Election officials object
ECONOMYNEXT – Elections Commission officials are praising former President Maithripala Sirisena for calling off an event he was the chief guest at today when officers told him it was a violation of guidelines for candidates.
The former President who is contesting the upcoming Parliamentary General Election as a candidate from the Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna was to act as the chief guest at an event held to felicitate students who had passed the Advanced Level examinations.
Several Hundred students and their parents and well-wishers had gathered at the Maithripala Sirisena Buddhi Mandapaya Convention centre in the town this morning.
The students were to receive books and plaques from the former President.
However just as the event was about to start, officers from the Elections Commission told him that there had been a complaint against the event as it violated the Election Law.’
The Deputy Commissioner of Elections Polonnaruwa Piyumi Attygalle told EconomyNext that her office had received a telephone call this morning saying that an event where gifts were being distributed was being held under the auspices of the former President.
She said her officers then went to the location and found that the complaint was correct.
Thereafter when Sirisena arrived, the officers had spoken to him and explained that it could not be held due to the guidelines given for the election period.’
“The former President understood the situation and was very cooperative with our officers and we value that attitude greatly,” Attygalle added.
Thereafter Sirisena asked for a microphone and spoke briefly to the gathering.
“I have been informed by the Elections Department that this event cannot be held during the election period and therefore as someone who obeys the law have decided to leave this place for now,” he said.
He added that the event can take place after the elections take place on August 5. (Colombo, June 15, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana