Paramilitary 'safe houses' hinder peaceful PC election -JVP
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 08 July 2008, 11:06 GMT]
Candidates contesting on behalf of opposition parties in the North Central Provincial Council election are reported to have expressed fear that 'safe houses' used by the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) paramilitary in villages Thiruchcheanai, Muthgala, Madurangala, Thuruvilla, and Mannampiddi where about 5,800 Tamils are living, would hinder peaceful election, media reports said quoting M.Palitha Upul Kumara, a former councillor of the NCPC. Mr. Upul Kumara, a resident of Mannampiddi, is contesting the election on the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) ticket.
These villages are located in the Polonnaruwa district that comes under the NCPC.
Mangalam Master, a key paramilitary operative of the TMVP, is one of the candidates in the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) contesting in the Polonnaruwa district to the NCPC.
Opposition members based in Polonnaruwa complain that several TMVP 'safe houses' have been put up in the Welikanda and Dimbulagala divisions of Polonnaruwa and they have been manned by armed paramilitary personnel, according to a news report carried by the Daily Mirror of July 8.
The news report quoting UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake said the UNP has urged the government to disarm these TMVP personnel and ensure a free and fair election. Tissa Attanayake has also issued a handout revealing the names of such 'safe houses' in Welikanda and Dimbulagala.
The news report quoted TMVP spokesman Azath Moulana as saying that their military wing had been strictly confined to the jungle areas in the East.
"We field a candidate for the election on the UPFA list to ensure a Tamil representation in the NCPC. We have put up some political offices in some of those villages. Our military team will never come out of their jungle locations to create violence," Azath Moulana was quoted in the news item as saying.