Just, fair election impossible in East – UNP
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 May 2008, 16:09 GMT]
United National Party (UNP) parliamentarians and supporters led by its General Secretary, Tissa Athanayake, staged a protest demonstration Tuesday around 2:30 p.m in front of the election office in Colombo calling for the removal of arms from the paramilitary Pillayan group and to conduct the election for the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) in a just and fair manner. Meanwhile, the UNP parliamentarian Laxman Kiriyelle has accused the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry for involvement in distributing blank polling cards and warned that the government is preparing itself for a large scale election rigging.
Mangala Samaraweera, leader the Peoples Wing of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the leader of the people’s division of UNP, parliamentarians Ravi Karunanayake and Mahruf, besides several others participated in the protest demonstration.
“A just and fair election in the east is impossible as totalitarianism and violence hold sway here,” Tissa Athanayake said in his address to the demonstrators.
“We learn that fake polling cards are being manufactured and they being forcibly taken away from voters,” he added.
“Our repeated requests to the government to strip Pillayan group of weapons remain unheard and UNP is sure to win in this election if the election is conducted freely,” he further said.
“We did not want to contest in the EPC election but decided to do so to prevent government victory if we refrained from contesting it,” Tissa Athanayake said.
Meanwhile, Tissa Athanayake speaking in the House of Reprensentatives Tuesday said that there are 12 camps of Pillayan paramilitary group in the three districts of Batticaloa, Trincomale and Amparai, according to media reports.
He informed the House that Pillayan paramilitary group has 2 camps in Ea’raavoor and Vazhaicheanai while the rest of the camps are located in Chengkaladi, Batticaloa, Kalladi, Aaraiyampathi, Kokkaddichchoalai, Thoppikkal and Tricomalee.