Sri Lanka election watchdogs condemn attack on TNA candidate’s house and election monitors

Jaffna: Local election monitor campaign for Free and Fair elections (CaFFE) today condemned the attack on the house of the main Tamil party Tamil national Alliance (TNA) candidate Ms. Ananthi Sasidharan and the election monitors in Jaffna.

According to another election monitor, the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections ((PAFFREL) a group of about 100 “unidentified people” dressed in clothing similar to Army uniforms have attacked the candidate’s house in the midnight of Thursday and damaged the nearby parked vehicles.

The candidate who was at the house during the attack had fled the house unharmed through the back door along with her three children, PAFFREL said.

The group has also attacked the election monitors who came to assist the victims injuring eight people including an election monitor. It has been reported that her house has been used for campaigning activities.

Ms, Sasidharan, who was the wife of ‘Elilan’, the former LTTE political head of Trincomalee, was also attacked on September 17th by an ‘unidentified group’ while campaigning, CaFFE said.

Another election monitor accredited by the Election Secretariat to monitor the polls, Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) as also condemned the attack.

“CMEV is particularly concerned about the alleged involvement of the military as the perpetrators of this attack,” the election monitor said.

“Throughout the campaign, there have been a number of allegations of threat and intimidation of voters and electioneering on behalf of particular candidates by military personnel in uniform and by Military Intelligence and Civil Defence personnel,” CMEV said in a communiqué.

The CMEV called upon the Election Commissioner and all relevant authorities to ensure that the military involvement ceases and that all allegations in respect of incidents of violence and malpractice are investigated and the culprits brought to book.