A clash between two factions of the SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s UPFA alliance in Jaffna ended up in gunfire on Tuesday in Thenmaraadchi, Jaffna. SLFP Jaffna organiser Mr Ankajan Ramanathan’s group and Mr Saravananthan’s group in Thenmaraadchi were chasing each other in vehicles, from Kodikaamam to Chaavakach-cheari. At the end, Saravananthan’s squad smashed vehicles belonging to Ankajan’s squad. Ankajan’s father Ramanathan, who was armed with a handgun, opened fire on Sarvananthan’s group, seriously wounding a Saravananthan supporter, the sources further said. Ankajan’s’s gang was also behind the death threat to a TNA candidate in Jaffna, Mr Thambirasa.
Following the complaints of death threats to the TNA MP, SL Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya had instructed the SL police in Jaffna to remove arms from private persons. But, backed by SL presidential sibling Basil Rajapasa, Ramanathan’s squad is in possession of modern guns, informed sources said.
Sarvananthan, who had defected from the UNP and joined the UPFA recently and the SLFP’s official organizer of Jaffna district, Ramanathan Ankajan, have been competing with each other in recent times.
Sarvananthan, who comes from Kodikaamam in Thenmaraadchi, was a business co-partner with the late T. Maheswaran, who was assassinated in Colombo in 2008.
Sarvanathan entered into politics after T. Maheswaran, and was elected as a councilor to Chaavakach-cheari town council in the last civic elections. Later, he joined the UPFA.
Sarvananthan, backed by SL presidential sibling Basil Rajapaksa, is a UPFA candidate in the provincial council elections. The SL military in Thenmaraadchi also backs him.
But, Ramanathan Ankajan gets the backing of SL military commander in Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and the blessings of another SL presidential sibling, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Mr Mudiyappu Remedius who is a human rights lawyer, Mr Shiraz, a Muslim representative, Mr Ponnambalam, a fishermen society representative and Mr Akilathas, a trade union representative from Vadamaraadchi, are the others encouraged as UPFA candidates by the commander of the occupying SLA.
The ruling Rajapaksa alliance has been encouraging various agents as independent groups and UPFA alliance partners to split the votes in the North in the forthcoming provincial council elections.