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Free election in Jaffna improbable – Manickasothy

[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 July 2009 09:18 No Comment]

Abimanasingham Manickasothy, the chief candidate of the Independent Group II contesting Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election, said to TamilNet Saturday that people casting their votes free of intimidation and death threats is improbable as paramilitary groups operating with the government continue to breach election regulations with the blessing of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the police. Despite the promise of Jaffna district Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to remove all wall posters, paramilitary men alleged to be operating with the government paste election campaign posters of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) during curfew hours in places where the SLA is present, flouting election regulations, Manickasothy added.

“Who else could go about pasting election campaign wall posters in Jaffna town during SLA curfew hours and that too in places where there are SLA sentry posts and checkpoints located close to each other than persons who have the blessings of the SLA and the police?,” Manickasothy asked.

“Posters calling voters to vote for the Betel symbol of the UPFA are pasted around the wall poster displaying the images of President Mahinda Rajapakse and Minister Douglas Devananda and the police are afraid to remove the posters for fear of loosing their jobs and hence their reluctance,” Manickasothy said.

“Some senior officers have told me that the police and SLA turn a blind eye to the breach of election regulations though fully aware of it,” he added.

“If election regulations are openly flouted in this manner it is obvious that the paramilitary men would not allow the people to vote freely,” he said.

“Government ministers and political leaders invading Jaffna to campaign for the UPFA continue to offer promises in the hope of winning the JMC election at any cost” he further said.

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