TISL calls for prosecutions in cases of misuse of public property

Transparency International Sri Lanka’s (TISL) election monitoring arm the Program for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR), renewed its call today on law enforcement authorities to prosecute offences of misuse of public property during the 2020 Parliamentary election.

TISL’s Executive Director Asoka Obeyesekere said, “We welcome the recent acknowledgement by the Chairman of the Election Commission of Article 104GG of the Constitution, which allows for the prosecution of public officials who fail to comply with directives issued by the Commission. We also call upon the Commission, the Attorney General’s Department and the Sri Lanka Police to acknowledge the growing discontent amongst the public over the perceived absence of prosecutions and convictions for election law violations”.

TISL, which is the only election monitor with a sole focus on the misuse of public property, has deployed a network of 160 observers at the electorate level and 25 observers at the district level to monitor and report on election law violations.

TISL has also opened two hotlines for the public to report incidents of misuse of public property during election campaigning. The public can report abuses by calling 076-322-344-2 or 076-322-366-2. TISL also encourages members of the public to share photographic evidence of alleged misuse of public property via WhatsApp to 076-322-344-2 or via e-mail to pppr@tisrilanka.org.

Obeyesekere added, “the misuse of public property is one of the most commonplace violations of election law. When such offences are left unprosecuted, it erodes public trust in the integrity of our elections. Whilst we commend the prompt preventative actions that have been taken by authorities, which often escape the attention of the public eye, we re-iterate the need for accountability for offences committed”.