Clustered booths enable rigging -TULF

[TamilNet, Monday, 29 October 2001, 19:33 GMT]
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has complained to the Commissioner of Elections that adequate attention has not been paid to the difficulties of Tamil voters when deciding upon polling stations in the Trincomalee district. Several polling stations are to be clustered near Mahindapura Sri Lanka Army camp and at Muttur Al Hidaya Maha Vidyalayam (school) for about 14,000 Tamil voters, said Mr.R.Sampanthan, the party's Secretary General.

Mr.R.Sampanthan, in a three page letter to the Commissioner of Elections has listed several serious shortcoming in the location of polling stations for Tamil voters.

sampanthan_r.jpgThe location of present clustered polling stations near Mahindapura Sri Lanka Army camp in Serunuwara division and at Muttur Al Hidaya Maha Vidyalayam could only result in the vast majority of the voters from Kaddaiparichchan, Chenaiyoor, Sampur, Koonitheivu, Illakanthai, Nallur, Eechilampathai, Vallaithoddam and Karukamunai not exercising their franchise on account of the grave inconvenience due to transport problem as they have to travel about 4 to 10 km, said Mr.Sampanthan.

Clustering of booths, according to election officials, is done to ensure that adequate security is provided to booths and voters.

However, critics of clustering polling stations say that on every occasion clustering has been resorted to, the overbearing presence of the military has intimidated voters and has led to election malpractice such as stuffing votes and intimidation of election officials.

"The cumulative impact of these serious shortcomings in regard to the critical question of polling can be very damaging to Tamil representation in parliament from the Trincomalee district," Mr. Sampanthan pointed out in his letter.

Mr.Sampanthan told Elections Chief that "security concerns could be addressed by soliciting the support of non-governmental organisations, and monitoring groups, both national and international, which could ensure a smooth poll without any disturbance when locating polling stations in areas which are not under the control of state armed forces."

The distance to a polling station from their residences is important in this regard, and the present arrangements have a very damaging impact on the voting rights of Tamil voters, Mr.Sampanthan said.

"If the poll is to be conducted in a fair and impartial manner it is very essential that the shortcomings listed in my letter are remedied before the polling stations are gazetted," stressed Mr.Sampanthan.

 

Latest 15 Reports
05.07.20 23:06   Photo
University students, Shivajilingam brave SL harassment to commemorate fallen Black Tigers
04.07.20 22:28   Photo
Monk commanding Sinhala-Buddhicisation of North-East threatens Tamil villagers in Batticaloa
03.07.20 19:28   Photo
After Naavat-kuzhi, Colombo targets Poonakari for Sinhala colonisation across Jaffna lagoon
02.07.20 22:26  
Colombo imposes restrictions on Tamil valour related symbolism in schools of North
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
25.06.20 23:53  
Pompeo talks about US reposturing troops, mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia
24.06.20 23:36   Photo
Devananda circumvents court order, manipulates Jaffna fishers to allow poachers from South
23.06.20 22:03  
Sinhala encroachment of pastureland continues unabated in Batticaloa
22.06.20 18:17  
SLMC Chairman: Time for joint Tamil-Muslim efforts
21.06.20 23:11   Photo
Ex-councillor: Poverty-stricken Tamils at receiving end of SL military brutality in North
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=6424