Sri Lanka to close polling stations if there is violence: monitor

Aug 22, 2008 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan elections watchdog says it has been assured by the elections commissioner that polling stations where violence or irregularities take place at Saturday’s provincial council polls would be closed. Rodrigo quoted the elections commissioner as saying that there had been no violence in the last 36 hours after army troops were deployed in the two provinces going to the polls.

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) chairman Kingsley Rodrigo told a news conference he had got the assurance at a meeting with elections commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake.

Rodrigo said the talks were aimed at ensuring a free and fair election.

The elections campaign for the provincial council polls in the North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces has been marred by violence.

Rodrigo quoted the elections commissioners as saying that it was the first time the decision was made to close polling stations where there are irregularities.

Dayananda was not immediately available for comment.