The EPRLF (Vartharajah) faction which is also contesting the local government elections in the East has raised concerns about TMVP cadres carrying weapons in the run up to the poll.The newly formed party, Pathmanabha Eelam People s Liberation Front commonly known as the EPRLF (Vartharajah) faction, is fielding candidates for the March election in alliance with the EPDP and PLOTE.
In an interview with the Daily Mirror, EPRLF National Organizer E. Thurairatnam said there was no need for the TMVP to carry weapons since the LTTE had been wiped out from the province. There is no strong presence of LTTE cadres in the province today. So, why does the TMVP remain armed, posing a threat to democracy, he asked. Mr. Thurairatnam who had earlier been a member of the North-East provincial council said this situation had posed a threat to holding free and fair elections in the Batticaloa district.
In these circumstances we do not believe there will be a free and fair election, he said.
Asked as to why they were contesting the poll in such a situation, Mr. Thurairatnam said his party took this step in the hope of strengthening democracy even amid difficulties.
However, TMVP s Batticaloa Municipal Council Mayoral Candidate Pradeep Master said his party had confined their armed cadres to the jungle areas and would be contesting the poll with police protection.
He said as far as he was concerned the ground situation appeared to be calm and peaceful for any political party to conduct their campaigning.
Even the UNP and the TNA could have fielded their candidates. It is their democratic right, Pradeep Master said.