Speculation is rife in Batticaloa that former LTTE Eastern Commander Karuna Amman is planning to disrupt election activity in the area, both in the run up to the November 17, presidential election and on polling day itself.
Highly placed political sources having close links with the Karuna group told the Daily Mirror that leaflets were soon to be distributed in Batticaloa warning people not to cast their votes for the UNP presidential candidate, Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The Karuna group had issued statements all over Batticaloa, saying that irrespective of who won the November poll, they would soon wrest control of the Eastern Province, the sources said.
Meanwhile, military sources in Batticaloa confirmed the reports, adding that the Karuna faction was also posing a threat to the UNP election campaign in the area.
?There is a strong feeling Karuna might try to disrupt or prevent UNP election activity in these parts of the country?, the military officer said.
There were several reports that undercover Karuna cadres were planning to station themselves inside polling stations to note those casting their ballots for Mr. Wickremesinghe.
However, when contacted by the Daily Mirror, UNP Kalkudah Electoral organizer, K. Poopalaretnam refused to comment on the alleged threats.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Batticaloa LTTE media secretary, Selvam said there was no such group as the Karuna faction operating in the East. Selvam charged that government and paramilitary forces were using the Karuna name to lunch attacks against the LTTE.
The Karuna faction which broke ranks with the Wanni leadership in February last year has been conducting sporadic attacks on LTTE targets in the east, often prompting a furious backlash from the Wanni faction.
On October 26 Karuna cadres ambushed a three man LTTE camp in Vakarai, killing one cadre, this attack too had been carried out by the army, Mr. Selvam charged.
He said the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission was investigating the attack.