Which way the vital Wanni vote?
Boycott call by two groups but LTTE stand on presidential poll still unclear
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 buildings.

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.

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