Sri Lanka polls: Gunmen fire on bus, no casualties reported

Vikash Aiyappa

Colombo, Nov 16: Gunmen have opened fire on a bus carrying Sri Lankan voters on polling day. No casualties have been reported.

Saturday's election is taking place, nearly seven months after homegrown radicals pledging loyalty to the Islamic State terror group detonated suicide bombs at three churches and three posh hotels, killing 269 people, seriously hitting the tourism industry, one of the main forex earning sectors of the country.

Lankan media quoting the police said that an unidentified group hurled stones, and opened fire on two buses carrying voters, in Mannar.

"I also call upon all of you to act in a peaceful manner while safeguarding law and order in the wake of the announcement of election results," Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had urged.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) has urged the Elections Commission of Sri Lanka (ECSL), to prosecute individuals and parties who have committed offences against public property in the run-up to the 2019 presidential poll.

As at the beginning of the campaign moratorium on November 13, TISL's election-monitoring arm, the Program for the Protection of Public Resources (PPPR) had received 112 complaints and had submitted 88 verified complaints to the ECSL, Colombo Gazette newspaper reported.

Meanwhile, several countries have issued travel advisories as Sri Lanka prepares to vote at the Presidential election, a separate report said.

The United States, United Kingdom and Australia are among the countries which have issued travel advisories for Sri Lanka, the report said.

The United States has alerted American citizens of the potential for demonstrations before, during, and after the November 16 presidential election, according to a Colombo Gazette report.

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