JMC election candidates complain of police malpractice
[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 July 2009, 13:01 GMT]
Candidates contesting Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election raised complaints about police and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in Jaffna assisting ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) persons pasting election campaign wall posters displaying the images of President Mahinda Rajapakse and Minister Douglas Devananda even during SLA imposed curfew hours in Jaffna town, in a meeting held by police authorities in Jaffna Sunday at Vembadi Girls’ College in Jaffna to discuss security arrangements for the contestants, sources in Jaffna said.
Pasting election campaign wall papers, an offence according to election regulations, is being committed by UPFA in Jaffna town with the blessing of the police and SLA, the contestants told the Jaffna district Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in the meeting.
They also pointed that the wall papers with the images of the President and Minister Douglas Devananda have been posted even on the walls of the entrance to Vembadi Girls’ College, the venue of the meeting itself.
Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) chief candidate V. Anandasangari said in the meeting that even the image of Father Chelvanayagam has been covered in black paint while the posters displaying the images of President Mahinda Rajapakse and Minister Douglas Devananda posted in their thousands remain untouched by the police who are bound to remove all wall posters.
The police high officials in response to the above accusations mentioned that they are forced to wait until instructions are given by their superiors in Colombo in the matter of removing the posters displaying the images of the president and the minister.
The contestants in the meeting pointed out that only the betel symbol in the posters of the president and the minister has been blackened.
Police and SLA due to political interference from Colombo and the ministers of the ruling UPFA currently in Jaffna for election campaign are reluctant to remove the wall paper in question, the contestants of other political parties and independent groups who participated in the meeting said.
The police turn a blind eye to the breach of election regulations in Jaffna, they added.