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* Sri Lanka government denies claims that state employees deployed for election propaganda
Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 06:22 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 04, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka has denied that the government Authorities had deployed state employees for election propaganda in the Uva Province ahead of the upcoming election for the Council on September 20.

Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya today said the government has stressed that State employees had not been deployed for election propaganda as opposition parties have claimed when the issue was discussed at a meeting with the Human Rights Commission today.

The Human Rights Commission Wednesday decided to hold a special meeting today at 10.30 a.m. at the Human Rights Commission office to address the complaints received by the Commission regarding violating existing election rules by deploying of government employees for election propaganda in the forthcoming Uva Provincial Council Elections.

The Commission called the Elections Commissioner, Director General of the Divi Neguma Development Department, Secretary of the Ministry of Public Administration, Director General of the Combined Service, Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development and Additional Secretaries of Divi Neguma for the Meeting to clarify any difficulties that may arise in the course of their duties.

Deshapriya told reporters after the meeting with the Human Rights Commission that the Elections Secretariat had raised the concerns with the government as soon as the issue was raised and the government denied the claims.

Human Rights Commissioner, Dr. HRC Prathiba Mahanamahewa meanwhile speaking to media said the Human Rights Commission would request all Secretaries of Ministries and the heads of all the government institutions not to release any employees or public funds and properties for election campaigns.

Sri Lanka's Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission alleging that certain state officials have deployed government employees for election propaganda for the upcoming Uva Provincial Council elections.

JVP MP Vijitha Herath recently said that certain state officials have held meetings for Samurdhi Development Officers, Agricultural Research Officers and graduates recently recruited by the Ministry of Economic Development instructing them to enlighten the people in the Uva Province on government's development programs.

The Marxist party asked the state employees not to get involved in government's illegal moves and participate in election campaigns.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) also lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on Wednesday over the large scale malpractices in the Uva Province in the run-up to the September 20 polls.

The UNP accused that the government has made arrangements to deploy thousands of state employees including officials attached to divisional secretariats to Moneragala and Badulla districts for election campaigning in the guise of conducting an economic survey from September 04 -06. The party asked the government to conduct the survey, if it is genuine, after the elections.

The Human Rights Commission has noted that using state employees for election propaganda is a violation of country's election laws.

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