TNA supporters injured in first violence in Northern polls campaign

Monday, 19 August 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Violence reported from EPDP stronghold of Delft Island say polls monitors
The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) verified the first incident of election related violence on Saturday, 17 August. Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) or the TNA lodged a complaint that one of their candidates, V. Kanagaratnam and his supporters were assaulted in the Delft Island on 15 August while campaigning, CaFFE Executive Director Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon reported yesterday. Meeting CaFFE election observers in Mannar, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP S. Adikkalanathan said that TNA candidate V. Kanagaratnam and his supporters were staying at a house when they were attacked. The attackers have been identified as EPDP members; among those was the Delft Pradeshiya Sabha chairman. The MP added that their supporters had been asked not to return to Delft, the polls monitors said. Three TNA supporters were injured during the attack and were admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital. “Adikkalanathan told CaFFE that the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) has been targeting Tamil National Alliance (TNA) candidates competing for the coming Provincial Council elections and that he expects these attacks to increase in the coming weeks. Meanwhile the EPDP has stated that the party will conduct an investigation on the matter to verify the TNA’s claim,” Tennakoon said. Polls monitors warn that the attack portends that the campaign in Jaffna may take a violent turn as the election date draws near. His attack and the expectation of further violence hints that the campaign in Jaffna might take a violent turn as the election draws near. “This incident adds to the fear psychosis created among opposition party candidates by being questioned by groups stating that they are from military intelligence,” the CaFFE Chief said. (DB)