The government is carrying out a systematic and calculated psychological operation to create a fear psychosis in the North leading to the July 23 Local Government (LG) elections, claim election monitors. The army and police are openly obstructing the election campaign of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), and intimidating the candidates, said Campaign For Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) spokesperson, Keerthi Tennakoon. “The first meeting of the TNA was attacked and during their subsequent meetings the authorities deployed hundreds of army soldiers who videoed those who attended those meetings. The people will not turn up when that is the case,” he said.
Meanwhile JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath told LAKBIMAnEWS that there is no freedom of movement, expression, or peaceful assembly in the North, and an election held in such conditions will be nothing but a sham.
“Minister Pavithra Vanniarachchi even lives in the navy commander’s official residence. Ministers give various incentives to the masses,” Herath said.
“It is a ‘Mary had a little lamb’ scenario. Whenever our supporters do door-to-door campaigns the army follows them and this scares the people. Certain areas in Killinochchi are made totally out of bounds for candidates’, he added.
However, government spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that apart from occasional misunderstandings there were no serious incidents, and the misunderstandings too occurred as the security forces had not been properly informed whenever there was a need to do so.