Mahinda’s Tamil avatar, from a prior election, 2010
This is an update from today’s voting in the north. There are reports of polling cards being taken (essentially at gun point) in high numbers. Journalist Dinidu De Alwis spoke to some of these people and the issue seems definitely credible. In the past elections have been pulled back for far less and, if memory serves, recent polling around Kandy was annulled because of election violations. Anyways, here’s a paraphrase of what I heard over the phone, from the ground.
In this Vadakachchi ten people came dressed in black wearing masks, four out six went in asking for polling card ID. One guy protested, he picked the the child up and put him aside, put gun against his chest. We sat down and talked to these people.
These people complained to the Army camp nearby. Army said there was no one there to take complaints in Tamil.
Senior Police officer heard of it and told those people to lodge complaints. People are scared to because they’ll end up screwed.
Numbers vary from 5,000-10,000 polling cards taken. We know that hundreds of cards were taken, but the unverified number. They’re saying its house to house.
Even if it’s a thousand, Kili has 60 something thousand.
Turnout at about 11 o’clock was 25-30%. Elephant Pass number 41, cops reported zero, small polling station. Navatkuli polling station UPFA candidate came and did (illegal canvassing). Paranthan Hindu College, there were two tin walls, some of the walls had a lot of posters. When asked the cops started removing them. 20-30 meters away, there was canvassing, they were distributing leaflets.
Follow Dinidu’s Twitter, I got to run.