Residents in the islands of Jaffna said that candidates from the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) had threatened and harassed them.
One of the recent suspects in a rape case was an EPDP candidate, they charged. ‘When an election comes up, the politicians make promises, but they give us nothing,’ one of the islanders said.
Others said that an EPDP candidate had told residents in the Thellipelai area in Mallayam to vote for him, and they had promised to do so under duress. However when the results came in it was evident that many in the area had voted for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). On discovering this, the EPDP candidate had threatened the residents, the people claimed.
EPDP MP Douglas Devananda was not available for comment. However a member of the EPDP clarified that the suspect in the rape case had been a member of the EPDP a long time before the incident. He also said that the Tamil media was to be blamed for sensationalizing such incidents out of proportion, pointing out that ‘these cases happen in the South, too, but the media does not give as much prominence to them.’