Jan 07, Colombo: Chairman of the Election Commission Mahinda Deshapriya says that election propaganda activities in religious places are prohibited regardless of the faith.
"Politics at religious places, be it Buddhist, Islam, Catholic, Christian, or Hindu, is not allowed," the Election Chief said.
The Election Commission Chairman made this comment while speaking at a program held in Galle District Secretariat on Sunday (January 07) under the patronage of Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundera to enlighten the senior police officers in the Southern Province about the forthcoming local government polls.
A number police officers from the Galle, Elpitiya, Matara, and Tangalle police divisions and other government officials in the province participated in the meeting.
The Election Commission Chairman and the Inspector General of Police briefed the Police officers on several important instructions for a free and fair conduct of the 2018 Local Government Election.
Speaking further, Election Commission Chairman Deshapriya said his institution has received many complaints alleging of conducting election propaganda activities in religious places.
"We are obligated to take actions regardless of whether we receive complaints. Don't bring religion into politics," he told the officers.
Mahinda Deshapriya said that it does not mean that people have to stop the religious activities that take place within temples, kovils or churches but if the monk at the temple or Mawlawi at a mosque or Poosari at a kovil is going to bless a candidate everyday publicly then the officers have to inform them that they are violating election laws.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission Chairman thanked the police for making a separate hotline (0113024884) available to lodge complaints regarding the harassment of female candidates for the local government polls.
The IGP ha planned to conduct workshops in all the provinces to inform the police officers on the 2018 local government election. Today's workshop is the second of the program and the first was held in Uva Province on 27 December 2017.