A group of more than ten ministers of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) currently staying in Trincomalee district on the eve of election to the Eastern Provincial Council were reportedly engaged in intimidating voters to vote for their candidates and the Tamil village level officers are intimidated for not co-operating with them in this regard, civil sources in Trincomalee said Saturday. In the meantime, participation in the provincial elections on Saturday was as low as 35% in the city and 40% in remote areas in the early hours of the day. However, reports from remote areas indicated active participation later in the day. In Ampaa’rai district, the attendance was at 60%. In Batticaloa district, 62% of the votes were polled, the officials said. Muslim voters in Ee’raavoor, Kaaththaankudi and Vaazhaich-cheanai divisions actively participated, news sources in East said.
The SL ministers escorted by UPFA gangs have been threatening the village level officers called GS officers to get signatures from Tamil voters that they would vote for the ruling party.
One such incident took place at Linkanakar, a suburb in Trincomalee city where Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senarathne had threatened a GS officer to get signatures from the Tamil residents of the area. The village officer was intimidated and abused by SL Minister Rajitha Senarathne when he refused to carry out his order in the presence of residents of Linkanakar.
SL Minister Rajitha Senarathne had promised 70 Tamil families with electricity supply to their homes soon. Mr Senarathne had warned them that they would repent later if they fail to vote for the ruling UPFA.
Tamil voters were also further warned by the Colombo minister to extend their support equally to all political parties contesting PC election and not only to Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
The village officer who was abused and threatened by the SL Minister has made a complaint to the Trincomalee Divisional Secretary that he is unable to return to Linkanakar to perform official duties.
Trincomalee DS who is a Tamil had brought the incident to the notice of the Sri Lankan Government Agent of Trincomale district who is a retired Major General of the Sri Lanka Army.
The SLGA had told the DS that he would look into the matter after the election is over, news sources said.