Free election in Jaffna improbable – Manickasothy

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009, 04:31 GMT]
Abimanasingham Manickasothy, the chief candidate of the Independent Group II contesting Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, told TamilNet Saturday that with the paramilitary groups operating with the government blatantly breaching election regulations with the blessing of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the police by intimidating and issuing death threats voters will not be free to cast their votes to the candidates of their choice. Despite the promise of Jaffna district Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to remove all wall posters, paramilitaries, alleged to be allied with the government, paste election campaign posters of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) during curfew hours in places where the SLA is present, flouting election regulations, Manickasothy added.

Free election in Jaffna improbable

“Who else could go about pasting election campaign wall posters in Jaffna town during SLA curfew hours and in places where there are SLA sentry posts and checkpoints located close to each other than persons who have the blessings of the SLA and the police?” Manickasothy asked.

“Posters calling voters to vote for the Betel symbol of the UPFA are pasted around the wall poster displaying the images of Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse and Minister Douglas Devananda and the police are afraid to remove the posters for fear of loosing their jobs,” Manickasothy said.

Free election in Jaffna improbable
Free election in Jaffna improbable

“Some senior officers have told me that the police and SLA turn a blind eye to the breach of election regulations,” he added.

“If election regulations are openly flouted in this manner it is obvious that the paramilitaries would not allow the people to vote freely,” he said.

“Government ministers and political leaders invading Jaffna to campaign for the UPFA continue to offer promises in the hope of winning the JMC election at any cost,” he further said.


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