Dec 30, Polonnaruwa: An election monitor was attacked and threatened today during a clash between two groups of Buddhist monks supporting the government and the opposition in Polonnaruwa.
According to the election monitoring group Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), two groups of Buddhist monks- a local group of monks in support of Common Presidential Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and the Bodu Bala Sena in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa were campaigning in close proximity and a clash has ensued between the two groups.
A CMEV monitor had attempted to photograph the clash when he came under attack from the campaigning monks.
According to the election monitor, when he was attempting to photograph the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) group who had been distributing leaflets in support of the President near the Bank of Ceylon Kaduruwela Branch, he was attacked by a supporter of Siripala Gamlath (Deputy Minister of Lands & Land Development and UPFA District Coordinator of Polonnaruwa District. His camera was also snatched and later returned with the images and video related to the incident deleted.
A police complaint has been made with SSP G.A.N.L.Wijesena, Polonnaruwa, the CMEV said.