Forced recruitment of traders by Colombo to contest elections in Jaffna, Vanni

[TamilNet, Monday, 24 January 2011, 22:29 GMT]
Colombo’s terror campaign and abductions in Jaffna and Vanni now aim at forced recruitment of traders to contest local bodies elections under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLFP ticket, sources in Jaffna said. In recent days, many leaders of traders associations in Jaffna were abducted by SL Army officers coming to their houses and were taken to Colombo. They were not told why were they abducted and where were they being taken. They were later released in Colombo after forcefully getting signatures from them to contest elections in Jaffna and Vanni, under the SLFP. The traders said they didn’t want to contest but were afraid of their lives. Meanwhile, R. Ankajan, SLFP coordinator in Jaffna, is ‘recruiting’ university students to campaign in the elections.

Last week, the SL colonial commander in Jaffna Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe gave a hint that the terror situation would escalate with the elections.

Representatives of traders associations, including the president and secretary of the Jaffna chamber of commerce were abducted to Colombo and were intimidated to sign candidature forms to contest the elections under SLFP.

The traders in Vadamaraadchi and Thenmaraadchi regions were particularly targeted.

In Pazhai, Pachchilaippa’l’li, Poonakari and Karaichchi in the Ki’linochchi district also the occupying military intimidates traders to contest under SLFP.

Rajapaksa’s SLFP and Douglas Devananda’s EPDP are contesting under the common tag of the ruling Colombo’s United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA). But SLFP doesn’t get suitable candidates. That’s why the forced recruitment, sources in Jaffna said.

UPFA has to mainly challenge the TNA and at the same time the SLFP and EPDP also have to compete with each other.

For quite some time now the occupying SL military in Jaffna was pressurising them to contest the elections under Rajapaksa’s SLFP, traders in Jaffna said. As they were rejecting the proposal they were abducted by the Army officers who personally went to their houses, the traders further said.

The shocked traders are now afraid that if they don’t contest the elections, their lives would be in danger.

A few weeks ago, some top people in Colombo fleeced huge amounts of money from some traders who were abducted from Jaffna.

In last November Colombo ordered the temples in Jaffna not to toll bells on the Heroes Day. Fatal attacks on temple priests followed that. An education officer was killed on the same day when Colombo implemented the singing of Sinhala anthem by school children in Jaffna.

The visit of Indian Foreign Minister amidst such oppression and trade galas conducted in Jaffna by the Indian High Commission in the terror environment, when there are no signs of the recognition of the national aspirations of Eezham Tamils by India, show that the ongoing terror campaign against Tamil civilians gets the full blessings of New Delhi, said a university academic in Jaffna.

Meanwhile, on its part, India is carrying out its own intimidation programme for a ‘home grown’ solution, by pressurising the TNA to come out with its own mouth denouncing the unity of the North and East, informed sources said. TNA, intimidated by India, will participate the provincial elections for a truncated and further diluted 13 Amendment, the sources further said.

Voting for one of the collaborators, whether forced or natural, is the option for Eezham Tamils.

Collaboration polity marches victoriously, declared Douglas Devananda a few days ago while speaking along with Mahinda Rajapaksa.


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