Sumanthiran alleged of exerting Colombo’s influence to tamper with preferential vote counts

[TamilNet, Saturday, 08 August 2020, 01:05 GMT]
The supporters of two leading candidates of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the Jaffna electorate vehemently protested against an alleged move to tamper with the preferential vote counts in Jaffna to the favour of MA Sumanthiran, who was ranked fifth for the most part the counting process. Two of TNA’s candidates, Dharmalingam Sitharthan (PLOTE) and Sashikala Raviraj (ITAK) were carefully following the development to ensure that the hierarchy of their party doesn’t exert back-door influence to alter their preferential vote counts. The supporters of Sitharthan and Sashikala alleged that the government officials were acting on instructions from their superiors. SL Police and STF commandos were providing security to Mr Sumanthiran, and they assaulted the protesters outside the counting centre. When Sashikala left the centre, she refused police protection.

Sashikala is the widow of TNA Jaffna District Parliamentarian Maamanithar Nadarasa Raviraj, who was assassinated in Colombo in November 2006.

The daughter of the late Raviraj, when contacted by TamilNet narrated what she had witnessed during the counting of preferential votes.

The representatives of various political parties were witnessing the counting. Their supporters standing outside were continuously kept informed about the results.

For a long time, Sumanthiran was ranked fifth without the possibility of getting an elected seat at the SL Parliament.

In the meantime, Ms Sashikalar Raviraj went on record stating that her chief coordinator was under pressure to step her out, leaving her victory to Mr Sumanthiran.

“My mother, Mrs Sashikala Raviraj, was unofficially congratulated for coming 2nd from TNA in Jaffna and Kilinochchi district. However, since 90% of the results were completed by 6.30 PM, the total results were on hold,” wrote Praviina Raviraj, her daughter in a Facebook post from the counting centre.

“Sumanthiran who was nowhere near 4th place suddenly made it to the 2nd,” Ms Praviina said.

“When candidates are not permitted inside the final counting booth, it was witnessed MA Sumanthiran and his right hand Sajanthan were seated along with the elections officers at the final counting area,” she wrote in her Facebook post.

Sashikala Raviraj's post in Facebook
Sashikala Raviraj's post in Facebook
Praviina Raviraj's post in Facebook
Praviina Raviraj's post in Facebook
Praviina Raviraj's post in Facebook
Praviina Raviraj's post in Facebook
Raviraj statue on 07 August 2020
The supporters of Mrs Raviraj expressed their grief by putting black mask to his statue and binding the hands and legs with red and yellow pieces of cloth

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