Poster problem as Sri Lanka police vow tough action

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) dissidents have been warned against using former president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s photo in their election propaganda material as he remained a member of the party, officials said yesterday.

The question of dissidents who formed the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) using the Rajapaksa photo in posters was taken up at a meeting between the independent Elections Commission and the police on Friday.

"Since the former president is not a member of the SLPP, it was decided that the SLPP cannot put up posters with his photo," an official at Friday’s meeting said.

He said police had been instructed to take tough action against any violators. The police had also requested the attachment of a senior officer from the attorney general’s department to speed up prosecutions.

The February 10 vote for 341 local councils is the first election since the establishment of the current independent Police Commission established in October 2015.

On Friday, the police took the extra ordinary step of calling for explanation from seven Deputy Inspectors-General (DIGs) for breaches of election law in their respective areas when nominations closed the previous day.

Several parties had taken out rallies in violation of the law and senior police officers were being faulted for not preventing them, a senior officer said. (COLOMBO, December 24. 2017)

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