Escalating political violence
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 30 December 1998, 13:57 GMT]
The United National Party's candidate for Chief Minister at the forthcoming North-Westernn Provincial Council elections, Mr. Gamini Jayawickarama Perera, has sought Police protection amidst escalating elections related violence.
Mr. Perera has sent a letter to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and to the UNP General Secreatary, Mr. Gamini Atuokorale, stating that he has been informed about a group of thugs who have arrived in the North-Western Province to harm him and his supporters.
He has also warned his UNP colleges to be aware of the threat.
Yesterday four UNP members and supporters were wounded when gunmen, suspected to members of the ruling People's Alliance (PA), fired with automatic rifels on the vehicle in which they travelling.
The attack took place at the Mahaheliya junction in Wariapola, Kurunagela district, yesterday morning around 11.30 a.m.
The UNPers were rushed to the Kurunagala hospital. The van was also damaged in the firing.
Mr. Gamini Jayawickarama Perera has accused a thug identified as 'Upali', who works for the ruling party's chief candidate, S.P Nawinna, as being responsible for the attack.
The PA, however, has denied the allegation.
The special Police division that was set up this week to deal with the escalating election violence in the north-western province said that the incident is being investigated.
Meanwhile three men, including the brother of a local thug, were murdered at Malabe, on December 28 around 2 a.m. after a gang fight, said Sri Lankan Police.
They said that the group was fired at with a T-56 assault rifle and 9 mm pistol while they were travelling in a three-wheeler at Eliyawatta.
The Inspector General of Police has said that more police officers have been sent to the North-Western Province to control the escalating political violence.
He said a special group of police personnel, consisting 40 inspectors, 40 sergeants and 200 police men, have been appointed to control the violence there.