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Elections Chief hails first presidential poll without serious incidents

The Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Deshapriya, says that he is happy to note that the 2019 Presidential Election held on Saturday ended without any very serious incidents of violence.

“Very happy to say that we don’t have very serious incidents of what we call as violence.” But there has been one incident of blood spill at that infamous area known as Noori Estate in Deraniyagala, he said.

“The culprit is that notorious guy’s son. Suspect. I can’t say (culprit). We still have to investigate it,” he said speaking to reporters at a press briefing after the close of polls.

He said that although the incident had initially been reported as a stabbing carried out with a knife, it has now been reported as a stabbing carried out with a broken bottle. “However, he has been arrested.”

The other major incident, he said, was the report of shots being fire at buses carrying voters in Thanthirimale late last night. “Luckily there were no injuries to anyone,” he said.

 The stated that the incident had occurred at around midnight yesterday when a group of voters were traveling from Puttalam to Mannar.

Deshapriya said he is happy to say that no one was injured  and that only one tyre of the bus had been damaged.

“And these voters have travelled there and voted without any obstruction.”

The Elections Commission chairman said that there have been a total of 7 incidents of violence related to the election from areas including Puttalam, Deraniyagala, Welimada, Yatihena, Haputale and Samanthurai.

“But those things are very, very minor incidents. Normally every Saturday in Sri Lanka we can here this much of violence,” he said.

Deshapriya said that he thinks this is the first presidential election they have finished without any serious incidents.

He expressed his gratitude all the politicians including the candidates and political activists and civilians, officers, civil officers, police officers and journalists.

He also extended his special thanks to the President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker, the Leader of Oppositions and political party leaders for working together to conduct this free and fair election.

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