NUA rigs, clashes with UNP in east

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 10 October 2000, 12:39 GMT]
At least fourteen people were wounded and three vehicles smashed up in clashes between the National Unity Alliance (NUA), the multi-ethnic front of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, and the United National Party (UNP) Tuesday in the Muslim towns of Kattankudy and Eravur in Batticaloa.

The TamilNet correspondent said that the NUA had intimidated UNP polling agents in many parts of Kattankudy and rigged the polls. But polling was smooth and free of violence in the Tamil areas he said. However, according to him, two armed Tamil groups operating with the Sri Lanka army were seen rigging the polls the relocated and clustered polling centres in Kallady and Vavunathivu near Batticaloa town.

Many voters came from the western hinterland of the district controlled by the Liberation Tigers to cast their votes in polling booths relocated and clustered at several centres in the coastal region held by the army.

The Muslim towns of Kattankudy, 5 kilometers south of Batticaloa and Eravur, 14 kilometers north, remained tense as a consequence of the clashes and a shoot out.

A UNP supporter was wounded when a gunman allegedly working for NUA candidate Mr.Basheer Segu Dawood opened fire during a confrontation between the two parties this morning in Eravur Police sources said. A UNP candidate's van was smashed up by NUA supporters in Eravur. They (NUA activists) smashed up another UNP Van in Kattankudy.

The UNP charged that the Police and the army are turning a blind eye on violence and rigging by the NUA. However, Police said that they are patrolling both towns to prevent any escalation of the clashes between the UNP and the NUA in the Muslim towns.


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