Devananda to contest elections under Rajapaksa's ‘Betel Leaf’ symbol
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 23 June 2009, 10:56 GMT]
Sri Lankan Minister and General Secretary of Eelam Peoples’ Democratic Party (EPDP), Douglas Devananda, announced Tuesday in Jaffna that his party will contest the local government elections of Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) and Vavuniyaa Town Council (TC) under ‘Betel Leaf’ symbol, the common symbol of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA), sources in Jaffna said. Mr. Devananda has been under pressure from the ruling SLFP to join the party in recent times, giving up the "Eelam" identity, according to informed sources, which also revealed that Devananda was forced to give up his plan of contesting under his party symbol Vee'nai.
Douglas Devananda at Srithar theatre in Jaffna on Tuesday
20 EPDP candidates and 9 from other coalition parties in the UPFA will consist of the total 29 contesting JMC election while 6 EPDP candidates will contest in Vavuniyaa TC election, Douglas Devananda said among his supporters assembled in Srithar Theatre, the main office of EPDP in Jaffna, Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, the government is actively engaged in launching some 'development' activities in Jaffna peninsula with the view to lure in voters.
Opening up of roads which had remained closed for public use for a long time, lifting fishing ban and announcing to resume 24 hours electricity supply to the peninsula are also some of the propaganda activities launched by Colombo.
Douglas Devananda handed over 5 omnibuses to Koa’ndaavil Depot of Sri Lanka Transport Board to be used in local transport services and gave agricultural implements to the farmers in Jaffna Tuesday.
“Though the parties contesting along with EPDP have different aims of their own, here we stand united to achieve a common goal,” Douglas told his supporters.
“We are contesting these elections not for the sake of us but for the people to live freely and that is why we had chosen to contest under the Betel Leaf symbol”, he further said attempting to justify his decision.