In an interview with Daily Mirror, EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said his office mulled action against these candidates. “The commission noted seven candidates supporting one main candidate and six supporting the other,” he said.
When asked how these candidates canvassed for the main contenders, he said their authorised agents were seen on stages of the main candidates. Besides, he said, the secretaries to political parties represented by these candidates addressed election rallies in support of either of the two main contestants.
“The increase in cash deposit required for contesting the election and denial of registration for parties doing so will serve as deterrents,” he said.
There are 35 contestants in the fray this time. Mr. Deshapriya said this had resulted in an unnecessary workload for the commission. “Ballot paper will be too long this time. We need additional ballot boxes,” he said.
He said the stock consisted of over 1,040,000 sticks in 5200 cartons. The contraband was brought to Sri Lanka as a shipment on August 07, 2018 in a 40-foot container, he said. “The container had declared to the customs as imported electronic items and it was taken to customs custody during the scanning. The container was addressed to a person in Colombo but the customs officers found out that the address was fake,” he said. 26 boxes of electronic items were stacked inside the container to cover the cigarette boxes, Mr. Silva added.