way the vital Wanni vote?
Boycott call by two groups but LTTE stand on presidential poll still
Will the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam call upon civilians in
the Wanni to boycott the November 17 Presidential elections?
Suspicion grew yesterday puzzling government officials and security
forces top brass who were busy setting up cluster polling booths.
This was after a second front organization of the LTTE, a so-called
“Makkal Padai” (People’s Force) distributed leaflets
calling upon civilians to refrain from casting votes. These leaflets
were also distributed in the Jaffna peninsula. In addition copies
have also been pasted on the walls of government offices and private
Earlier, the Student Organization of the Higher Education Institutions,
another front organization of the LTTE in the Jaffna peninsula,
told voters to boycott polls and thus demonstrate to the world that
“the land of the Tamils will no more trust Sinhala leaders”.
Parliamentarians of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the LTTE
proxy, who were summoned to Wanni on Friday for a meeting with Political
wing leader S.P.Thamilselvam were told to return to Kilinochchi
on November 10.
The MPs were to be briefed on Friday over the LTTE’s stance
towards the upcoming election. Reports from Wanni say the LTTE is
still undecided with a faction wanting to throw their support for
a candidate and the others opposing it.
Opinion in Colombo’s intelligence community is divided. Some
do not rule out the possibility of a boycott, particularly ahead
of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s “Mahaveerar
(Great Heroes) Day” address on November 27. Others, however,
say the move is nothing more than a “transparent ploy”.
They expect the LTTE to spring a surprise next week by allowing
civilians to cast their vote and by covertly backing one candidate.
Meanwhile arrangements to establish cluster polling booths are under
way. Polls Chief Dayananda Dissanayake is to meet Divisional Secretaries
of the North East on Thursday in Colombo to brief them on the measurers
taken to hold the polls in the area.
Following concerns expressed by various parties regarding the possibility
of the northern polls being rigged, the Commissioner is to brief
the Divisional Secretaries on the security measures and other steps
adopted by the Department.
Among the measures taken will be the deployment of a special Assistant
Returning Officer in every booth along with foreign monitors to
ensure a fair poll.