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DateLine Tuesday, 26 August 2008

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Saturday’s polls peaceful - Elections Chief

Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said Saturday’s North Central and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council Elections were conducted peacefully except for some minor incidents.

Dissanayake in a release yesterday thanked voters who complied with the legal requirement to prove their identity with a document at the election.

“The Grama Niladharies, Superintendents of Estates and Principals of Estate Schools shouldered the responsibility to issue temporary identity cards. I am aware that a certain number of voters were not issued a ballot paper for want of identity cards. To

Soon after nomination of candidates was over, publicity was given through a notice published locally and through the media on July 8, 2008. The Secretaries of Political parties and Leaders of Independent Groups were made aware of the requirement in writing. The issue was discussed at length on July 14, 2008 with Secretaries of Political Parties,” he said.

Dissanayake said, it is regretted that some civil organisations who showed interest in the election process did not make any attempts in this matter.

“This step will however, make the voters more aware of the requirement and also help in implementing the law more effectively in future.”

He also said decisions made with continuous consultation with Secretaries of Political Parties contributed to successfully conclude the election.

Dissanayake said: “I highly appreciate the services and co-operation extended by District Returning Officers, their staff and officers and other staff of the District Elections Offices and of the Elections Secretariat in successful conduct of all the election related activities. The co-operation and assistance given by State officers and election professionals is praiseworthy.

The Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector-General of Police (Election), the Deputy Inspector Generals of Police in charge of the Districts and all other Police Officers also made their contribution towards the effort from the time nominations commenced.

I also wish to thank Police Officers who manned the co-ordinating officers at Divisional Secretariats in the four districts and the Elections Secretariat from the day prior to the election and on the date of poll and helped to find solutions to complaints and inquires.

I also wish to thank the Inspector-General of Police and Army personnel who assisted him in maintaining law and order and helped in protecting property of the State, public and candidates.

I also wish to thank the Government Printer and his officers for identifying our needs from the time the notices of nomination were published and completing all printing requirements on time, the Post Master-General and his staff for completing on schedule the task of delivery of poll cards and handling of postal votes packets and Sri Lanka Telecom, Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Ceylon Electricity Board and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for their services.

The Elections Observers deployed by the Observer Organisations contributed towards the success of the poll.

“The services by the Director of Information and his staff in transmitting the election results to the media are also appreciated.

I also wish to record with appreciation the co-operation extended by media organisations and the media personnel who helped in dissemination of information to the public.”



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