Controversy surrounds the move to hold the May Day in Ampara to promote the UPFA-TMVP alliance contesting the first ever elections to the Eastern Provincial Council scheduled for May 10.
The decision taken in Parliament against the backdrop of last Sunday s assassination of Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle has shocked the security establishment.
Unfortunately the security top brass is reluctant to advise the political leadership against going ahead with what one official called a high risk and suicidal adventure.
Well informed sources said the government wanted to go ahead with the meeting despite the LTTE threat.
The sources asserted the government would like to flex its muscles, particularly in Ampara to offset the formidable UNP-SLMC alliance. The sources said the focus of the government campaign would be on Digamadulla electorate where the UNP-SLMC alliance had the edge over the ruling coalition.
Security sources said a large political gathering in Ampara could cause catastrophic result. Although government security forces had destroyed all major LTTE bases in the Eastern Province, the LTTE has the capacity to mount operations, a senior security official said.
The LTTE struggling on Jaffna and Vanni fronts in the face of a relentless military campaign would strike at any given target, he said, asserting nothing could be as vulnerable as a May Day rally in Ampara.
Providing a fool proof security plan would be impossible, sources said. The presence of breakaway LTTE faction TMVP would make matters worse.
In the immediate aftermath of Fernandopulle s assassination, the Rupavahini said people had requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa and ministers to restrict their travel until the army brought the Vanni under their control. The sources said state TV station wouldn t have carried the message without express orders from the government.
These sources said it would have been better if the government restricted public engagements even on some false pretext.