First incident of election violence in Batticaloa
[TamilNet, Sunday, 29 February 2004, 12:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police Sunday reported the first incident of election violence in the Batticaloa district. Assailants suspected to be supporters of a political party contesting the April polls to Sri Lanka's Parliament shot at a candidate of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Front late Saturday night at his residence in Araiyampathy, a large, densely populated village 6 kilometres south of Batticaloa, Police in the eastern town said.
The UNF candidate, Mr. Sinnathamby Suntharampillai, 63, was wounded by a bullet that had grazed his hand when one of the assailants fired a shot to threaten him, according to neighbours who witnessed the incident.
''The assailants smashed furniture and other household goods before they left'', one of them said.
No one has been arrested in connecion with the incident so far, Police said.
Mr. Sundarampillai contested the general elections in December 2001 as a candiate of the New Left Front, a Colombo based minor group of Marxist parties.