Massive vote-buying plot in Mannar district - Bathiudeen | Daily News


 ‘Aimed at diverting votes away from Sajith’:

Massive vote-buying plot in Mannar district - Bathiudeen

A large scale clandestine cash-for-vote campaign may be attempted in the Mannar district over the next few days in the lead up to Voting Day on November 16, All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) leader Rishad Bathiudeen said in Mannar yesterday. He was addressing an election campaign rally of NDF presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. According to ACMC sources, information had been received that groups opposed to NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa were attempting to divert votes in the Mannar district away from Premadasa by distributing money to voters as an incentive to either desist from voting or to vote for other candidates at the Presidential election on November 16.

“We have been informed that in the coming days organised vote buying will take place in the Mannar area to defeat New Democratic Front (NDF) Sajith Premadasa and us. Do not be deceived by a few extra rupees,” an ACMC press communique quoted Congress leader and Minister Bathiudeen as saying.

The Vanni District MP and Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training Minister Rishad Bathiudeen joined NDF Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa and SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, to address an NDF rally in support of Sajith Premadasa held at the Mannar Sports Grounds yesterday (08).

The ACMC has pledged its support to NDF Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa at the forthcoming Presidential election.

“The forthcoming Presidential Election is not a regular Presidential Election but one that will be very decisive for Sri Lanka’s future. The ‘freedom’ or ‘slavery’ of Sri Lankan minority communities will be decided based on the outcome of this election,” ACMC Leader Bathiudeen and

“Therefore your vote needs to be cast very carefully. It is very important that we should be united. The Tamil speaking parties and minority parties are united is their support for NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa in order to safeguard them against an oppressive tyranny that will enslave them.

Our effort is to stand together to preserve our human dignity and stand against oppression of minorities of our own country.

The Minister said the forces that attacked minorities, minority leadership, minority businesses and trade and wanted anarchy here since the end of war have now banded together with the opposition Presidential candidate to enslave the minority communities.

“They are getting together with a view of enslaving the minorities. These racist elements should be defeated. Therefore, your duty in this is to vote for Sajith Premadasa on 16 November. Offer your prayers first on November 16 morning then be at the polling booth by 7am to cast your vote for Sajith Premadasa. Do not neglect or ignore your voting power. This challenge is not about two opposition Presidential candidates but about anarchy in our country and enslaving of minorities versus Sri Lanka’s democracy and justice. We should emerge from this challenge safeguarding our livelihoods, economy, our rights-this is our own country and we should not let anyone enslave us in our own country. The way to defeat such racist forces is to stand united as minorities. We should show that the minority voice needs to be respected when choosing the President of our country. We have been informed that in the coming days organised vote buying will take place in Mannar area to defeat Sajith Premadasa and us. Some wealthy persons in this area are preparing to hand out cash to buy your votes in favour of opposition candidate. Do not be deceived by a few extra rupees and do not sell your votes but cast your vote to bring the largest number of votes from Mannar for Sajit Premadasa’s win.”

Vote buying is illegal and a fraudulent practice in Sri Lanka, the ACMC communique points out. Section 66.(d) of Presidential Elections Act No. 15 of 1981 stipulates that any person “who sells or offers to sell any ballot paper to any person or purchases or offers” shall be guilty of “an offence and on conviction by the High Court, be liable to imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding two years and shall, by conviction, become incapable, for a period of seven years from the date of his conviction, of being registered as an elector or of voting at an election....”



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