TULF leader and Jaffna mayoral aspirant V. Anandasangaree yesterday alleged that a Tamil Minister with the backing of the government was terrorizing the residents of Jaffna in the run-up to the Municipal Council elections.
“Not only the TULF, even other political parties are helpless as thugs unleashed by this particular minister are roaming around Jaffna with none able to challenge or subdue them. Bicycle gangs and armed groups are a common sight in Jaffna these days. They are preventing other political parties from doing election work,” Mr. Anandasangaree alleged and said he had still not launched his campaign for the election.
He said Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation’s Tamil service was broadcasting several hours of propaganda and state institutions such as the People’s Bank and the National Lotteries Board had taken out full page advertisements in support of this minister.
Mr. Anandasangaree said it was a matter for regret that the government had ignored his pleas to put an end to this organized campaign of intimidation and stressed that in such a hostile climate he could not think of carrying out any electioneering in Jaffna.
He said the August 8 Municipal Council election was a golden opportunity for the residents of Jaffna to express their franchise after 1994 but unfortunately their rights have been hijacked by this man and the government had turned out to be a willing supporter of his crimes.
Mr. Anandasangaree said the meeting of the All Party Committee on Development and Reconciliation convened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week was mostly a one-man show and that he did not get an opportunity to air his views in respect of the Tamil community in the North.
He said he would have to re-think whether the TULF should participate at the next meeting as it would definitely be a waste of time if this Tamil minister was allowed to monopolize the meeting at the cost of the other Tamil representatives.