By Faizer Shaheid
The first elections-related death was reported yesterday when the supporter of a UNP Gampaha District candidate was killed following a clash in the Dompe area.
The victim was identified as O.K. Piyasena, a supporter of the United National Party (UNP) candidate, for the forthcoming Provincial Council Elections, Harshana Rajakaruna. The alleged attacker has been identified as Wasantha, a supporter of a United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidate, who is a former MP.
A group of Rajakaruna's supporters had been engaged in a poster pasting campaign in Kimbulwilawatte, Dompe when the tragedy had taken place. A rival faction had confronted the group and a dispute had arisen between the parties. Although weapons had not been used, the victim had been assaulted mercilessly, police said.
Meanwhile, Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) confirmed the identity of the assailant and alleged the police had adopted an easygoing attitude towards the election law violations, which had thus resulted in the blatant disregard for the law in the Gampaha District. CaFFE said the election law violation count had escalated to 848, of which 102 were reported from the Gampaha region.
The victim had succumbed to injuries on admission to the Gampaha Base Hospital. A Police squad has been dispatched to conduct further investigations.