Colombo District UNP Parliamentarian Ravi Karuna-nayake, asked at a news conference in Colombo, as to what his estimate of the number of civilians remaining in Mullaitivu was, said "We have received the statistics but will refrain from revealing it, because the government would foolishly accuse us of being unpatriotic and supporting the LTTE."
The government, Karunanayake said, claims that the war was over and if that was so, the number of internally displaced people cannot keep increasing by the day. "If the war has really ended, Tamils civilians should be going back to their villages and not to refugee camps."
Accusing the government of using the war to seek political mileage, he said that the people need urgent solutions to their economic woes and not empty rhetoric. "The masses have been told to tighten their belts, but it has no qualms on spending billions of rupees on holding election after election, since January 2008 and that too ahead of time."
Karunanayake, said that the people have not received any of the relief promised, including fuel and electricity at reduced prices, despite world market oil prices falling drastically and the Supreme Court directive, on the CPC, to price a litre of petrol at Rs.100.
The campaigns for the Central and North Western Provincial Council Elections may be over but intimidation and violence against opposition candidates and their supporters continue, he observed. "With the government refusing to establish the independent commissions in terms of the 17th Amendment, one cannot expect a free and fair election. Many senior police officers, including the IGP, are all dancing to the governments tune. But we urge the people to exercise their vote, because that is the only way State terrorism can be countered and democracy restored," he said.