A tense situation was reported from the Adalachchenai area in the Ampara District after two groups, comprising supporters of the SLMC and the UPFA, had reportedly clashed this evening.
According to initial reports received from PAFFREL, a group of people had stoned the motorcade of SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem who was campaigning in the east. This had sparked a major showdown between the supporters of the two parties.
However Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that the situation was under control. “The Police and the STF have been deployed and the situation is now under control though still tense” he said.
Three Election Offices of JNP (National Freedom Front) in Kantale have been attacked by an unknown group last night.The office located in Kantale Town was Jayantha Wijesekara’s election properganda office. The other two offices were at Raja Ela and Bathiya Gama. It is reported that offices have been severely damaged.
It is also reported that UPFA PC candidate’s election properganda office in Bathiya Gama- Kantale also attacked by a group of men last night.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan called on the Tamils in the Eastern Province to use their votes to defeat the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the upcoming Provincial Council election.
Sampanthan was addressing an election rally in Trincomalee in support of the TNA candidates in the district on Tuesday.
TNA Leader in his address said, “The UPFA and its cronies are all out to grab the votes of the Tamil speaking people in the Eastern Province by giving false promises. Therefore, the voters in the Eastern Province should not be carried away by the false promises of the UPFA. The sole intention of the UPFA is to show the international community that the Tamil speaking people are with them.
“The UPFA Government thought it had buried the political aspirations of the Tamil people when the war ended at Mullivaikal. However, the Tamils are more determined than before in winning their political rights through non-violent means.
The Socialist Alliance (SA) yesterday alleged that the forthcoming election to the Eastern Provincial Council could jeopardize the post-war national reconciliation process.
The government couldn’t be unaware of the ground reality, Senior Minister Dew Gunasekera, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka [CPSL] told The Island yesterday.
The SA comprises UPFA constituents, CPSL, Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) and the Democratic Left Front (DLF).
In a hard hitting letter, Ministers, Gunasekera, Prof. Tissa Vitharana (LSSP) and Vasudeva Nanayakkara (DLF) have told UPFA General Secretary, Petroleum Minister Susil Premjayanth that the SA has been compelled to go it alone as it has been deprived of an opportunity to field candidates on the UPFA ticket. They have reminded Minister Premjayanth that left parties were denied a chance to contest the May 2008 PC polls in the East as well on the UPFA ticket.
The SA will contest under the Lamp symbol which once belonged to the late Vijaya Kumaratunga’s party.
CaFFE – Campaign for Free and Fair Election welcome the self act by the TMVP when the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) contesting under the UPFA banner, when it came forward to remove their biggest cut out erected in Batticaloa town.
Earlier CaFFE complained about some of the illegal propaganda activities that had taken place in Batticaloa, to the relevant offices.
After the nominations, most of the propaganda materials were removed by the Police, and UPFA is the only political party which has already started campaigning in Batticaloa.
When CaFFE complained about large cut outs erected in the Batticaloa town, according to CaFFE TMVP itself came forward and voluntarily removed the huge cut out, after the complains made on this.
V. Suresh Kumar, former Chairman of the Kadawath Satara Pradeshiya Sabha in Trincomalee and a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) candidate in the forthcoming Eastern Provincial Council elections, was among the three suspects arrested by the CID in connection with human smuggling, Police Spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said.
According to police, the suspects have been involved in smuggling asylum seekers out to the Christmas Island in Australia.
The Sri Lanka Navy recently arrested two boats, ‘Namo Maria’ with 82 passengers on 11 July and ‘Sinhale,’ with 53 passengers on 20 July, for attempting to carry asylum seekers to Australia.
It was revealed the group of human smugglers had charged several Tamil civilians between Rs 120,000 and Rs 200,000 for the journey. Following investigations, the CID arrested 38-year-old Vellaithambi Suresh Kumar, 39-year-old Vellaithambi Sudaharan and 30-year-old Thandayudasami Karikalan on Tuesday in connection with the human smuggling operation.
It is suspected that Suresh Kumar has been liaising with the Tamil Diaspora and operating the human smuggling ring, while being an elected member of a local body. Since the three suspects are being held for human smuggling, there is no provision for bail.
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is contesting the Kegalla District of Sabaragamuwa Province in provincial council elections to be held on September 8. To meet the onerous requirements of the electoral law, the SEP submitted a full slate of 21 nominees, headed by Political Committee member A.R. Daulagala, which has been accepted by the election commissioner.
Kegalla, one of two districts in the south-western Sabaragamuwa Province, has a mixed Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim population of about 650,000. There are significant numbers of public sector employees, as well as plantation workers and small farmers. According to official statistics, 18.4 percent of the families live below the poverty line.
President Mahinda Rajapakse, using his extensive executive powers, arbitrarily dissolved the provincial councils in Eastern, North Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces and called fresh elections a year early. No official explanation has been given. Rajapakse’s ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) already controlled the three councils.
The Socialist Alliance, a key partner of the UPFA government has expressed its shock and unhappiness over the selection of its nominees for the Chief Ministerial post in the Eastern Provincial Council on the basis of ethnicity.
“Such a selection in the backdrop of a political culture prevalent on the basis of a preferential representation system leads to a tendency of polarization of voters on an ethnic footing, which will ultimately destroy the harmony among the various races residing in the Eastern Province, the General Secretary of the Socialist Alliance,” Raja Collure told Ceylon Today.
Such a development will seriously jeopardize the stability of the province, which in turn will seriously damage the post conflict reconciliation exercise, he said.
The partners of the Socialist Alliance thought by fielding candidates of the United Peoples’ Front Alliance (UPFA) to the Eastern Provincial Council elections a qualitative difference could be wrought on this unsavoury racist-conscious rivalry. But as in the case of local government elections in the Eastern Province in the Provincial Council Elections too that opportunity was deprived to the UPFA, Collure said.
The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) yesterday reiterated it will be with the government even though the party contests separately for the Eastern Province at the forthcoming Provincial Council election.
SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem addressing a media conference at the party headquarters ‘Dar- es- salaam’ yesterday said the decision of contesting under a separate nomination list was taken by the SLMC Executive Committee after a series of discussions with several government ministers, including Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha.
The SLMC decision of contesting separately was confirmed by these senior members of the UPFA who participated in the discussions, Hakeem said.
Then the decision was taken with the consent of these senior UPFA members .
He noted that the SLMC is still a part of the ruling coalition and the decision to contest the Eastern Province separately is not a threat to the government. The decision was taken especially to maintain the SLMC identity.
Presidential Spokesman Bandula Jayasekera said that Sri Lanka Muslim Congress did not get the blessing of President Mahinda Rajapaksa before going alone for the forthcoming Eastern Province Provincial Council election.
Despite its previous decision to contest the EP polls under the UPFA banner, the SLMC yesterday decided to contest the elections separately.