Oct 18, Colombo: Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), an election watchdog in Sri Lanka has requested the National Elections Commission (NEC) and security forces to investigate whether there is an organized group spreading rumors on incidents that are related to national security.
Issuing a statement CaFFE said that doubts have surfaced whether attempts are being made by certain factions to obtain an advantage at the upcoming Presidential election.
The Police spokesman, SP Ruwan Gunasekara also stated that about 5000 rumors that are disrupting national security has been in circulation.
CaFFE said that there were rumors about bomb blasts in three separate areas on Wednesday. There is a possibility that these were deliberate.
Sri Lanka Police yesterday requested the public not to be misled by rumors about suspicious vehicles parked near schools and churches and panic.
The Ministry of Defense emphasized that the rumors that bombs have been placed near schools and churches are completely false. The Ministry strongly advised the people to refrain from spreading false information that makes the public panic.
CaFFE acting executive director Manas Makeen said if some parties believe that they can get an advantage in the election by spreading rumors that will be a serious problem.
"Immediate legal action must be taken against those who spread fake news on national security. CaFFE too had set up a monitoring body to collect and investigate rumors that are being spread across social media," he said.
The election monitor says it has received 179 election related complaints since the day the election was announced and the majority of them regarding misusing state property and violating election laws.