Tactics of intimidation are allegedly being employed to delay election-related printing in order to postpone the local government polls, according to sources at the Government Printing Department.

Ballot papers are yet to be printed although they were to be dispatched to the districts today (14) in time for three-days of posting voting from February 22.

According to certain media, the government printer is coming under pressure to delay the printing, while a strike is being planned to disrupt the activity.

Unlike previous occasions, no police protection has so far been given for the printing process either.

However, senior official of the Department denied attempts were being made to delay the printing work.


Govt. blocks funding - Patali


Meanwhile, MP Patali Champika Ranawaka charged the government is now plotting to block funding for the election after failing in all its attempts to put it off for the 21st time.

Addressing a rally in Panadura, he said that unable to postpone the LG polls through parliament or the judiciary, the cabinet has now decided to halt funding to the Election Commission.

There are rumours that the commission was not getting the money to hold the election, he said.


No printing on credit, EC told


Meanwhile, the government printer informed the Election Commission yesterday afternoon that printing work cannot be done on credit.

The EC has estimated a Rs. 461 million cost for the printing purposes of the LG polls.

Its chairman Nimal Punchihewa said the matter would be raised at a meeting with party secretaries tomorrow.


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