Ensure franchise to Tamil voters, TNA tells Cushnahan

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2004, 11:21 GMT]
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader Mr.R.Sampanthan has appealed to the European Parliament member Mr.John Walls Cushnahan to take immediate steps to ensure that voters in Liberation Tigers held areas in the northeast province to exercise their franchise freely and without any restriction in the polling stations located in no man zones in the forthcoming general election, sources said.

The democratic rights of voters in LTTE held areas should not be denied at any cost and they should be allowed to enjoy all basic rights like others in other parts of the country. Denial of such rights would certainly make serious impact on the peace process, Mr.Sampanthan stressed to Mr. Cushnahan, sources said

Mr.Sampanthan met with Mr. Cushnahan Monday evening in Colombo and briefed him about the uncertainty that prevails regarding the franchise of voters in LTTE held areas in the northeast province in the forthcoming general election. He told Mr. Cushnahan that polling stations could be located in no-man zones and the LTTE is prepared to allow Sri Lankan authorities to post their police for security of polling stations if they are located in no-man zones, sources said..

Mr. Cushnahan replied that he was not informed of the LTTE's position of allowing state police protection to the polling stations in no-man zones. This was the first time he heard about LTTE position in this regard, Mr. Cushnahan said.

He assured Mr.Sampanthan that he would take up this matter with the Commissioner of Elections when he meets the latter on Tuesday, sources said.

The Charge de Affaires of the European Union in Sri Lanka participated in the discussio.

 

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