Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) calls on all political parties and the public to be vigilant about the malpractices relating to the use of public property during the upcoming Provincial Council elections.
Several surveys conducted by TISL during previous elections in Sri Lanka revealed the use of public property for election work blatantly violating the Election Law as stipulated in the Constitution. Public property is defined as any movable or immovable property belonging to, used by, or maintained by the Government.
According to the provisions in the Constitution, officials and other competent authorities have been given the responsibility of adhering to instructions given by the Commissioner of Elections relating to public property. However, the use of government vehicles including helicopters for election propaganda is a common practice during every election thereby totally ignoring the instructions by the Commissioner.
TISL wishes to reiterate the need for those responsible for the protection and maintenance of public property to ensure that these are not being used by any political party or independent group for election propaganda activities. This is specially applicable in the use of government vehicles which are either owned by the government or loaned vehicles used by government institutions.
TISL also points out that those responsible should not make available premises such as schools, playgrounds belonging to the government to candidates or their supporters belonging to any political party free of charge. This practice has been completely prohibited.
Anyone who notice the illegal use of government vehicles or public property during the time of electioneering can complain to the Office of the Elections Commissioner (Tel: 2868444) or ‘Shelter for Integrity’ (Tel: 20 55 255).