One killed in election-related violence in Sri Lanka

Colombo, June 30 (IANS) At least one person was killed and two others injured in violent incidents which were reported across Sri Lanka in the past 24 hours ahead of the August parliamentary elections, election monitors said on Tuesday.

Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon, executive director of the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CAFFE), told Xinhua news agency that the incidents had occurred between supporters of the two main political parties, the United National Party (UNP) and the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

Tennakoon said that police were probing the latest incident which was reported on Monday night at Ratnapura in Sabaragamuwa province, when a supporter of the UNP was attacked and killed by a group of unidentified men while on way to organise an election campaign for a female UNP parliamentarian.

“The victim was politically active and police are probing to ascertain whether this incident was politically motivated or not,” Tennakoon said.

Other incidents which took place in Mahiyanganaya in Uva province, Anuradhapura in the North Central province and Kurunegala in the North Western province were between supporters of the UPFA and UNP.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved parliament last week and announced that parliamentary elections will be held on August 17 to elect a new house.

Election monitors have said they hope to invite at least 50 foreign observers to monitor the polls.

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