TNA candidates justify their demand for police powers


By Dasun Edirisinghe reporting from Jaffna

Candidates from the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Democratic Unity Alliance (DUA), contesting the Northern Provincial Council election, from the Jaffna District, had justified their main demand for police powers to the provincial administration, as the police had failed to act on their complaints, they said.

TNA candidate K. M. Thambirajah said that the father of a UPFA candidate had come with a gang, in several vehicles, with stickers displaying the photos and slogans of the candidate and had threatened him at gun point in the Jaffna town on August 20, but the police did not take any action even after he had lodged a complaint.

He said that Jaffna police directed him to the minor offences branch when he visited the police station to lodge a complaint.

"It cannot be a minor offence as he threatened me at gunpoint and damaged my vehicle," Thambirajah said adding that they also didn’t take any action against several vehicles with candidates’ photos and their numbers, violating the election law.

He alleged that the police emergency number 119 too did not act on complaints made by TNA candidates.

There were genuine people in the police service, but they were helpless in the hands of the political leadership and were not allowed to work independently, Thambirajah said accusing that the ruling party politicians of controlling the police.

"That is one of the reasons we ask that police powers be given to the PCs," the candidate said.

Thambirajah said that they would organise the police better than other provinces under a TNA administration after September 21.

"Our chief ministerial candidate, former Supreme Court judge C. V. Vigneshwaran has the capacity to handle legal issues better than anyone in the fray," he said.

Jaffna Municipal Council member and TNA candidate in the Northern Provincial Council election, Vindan Kanagaratnem said that police and Army intelligence collected details about him from neighbours in order to harass him.

He said that TNA supporters who engaged in election campaign at Delft were assaulted by an EPDP gang that came in a Pradehisya Sabha vehicle, with posters of Minister Douglas Devananda on August 12.

"Delft police is still refusing to record our complaint, even though our supporters were also injured in the attack," Kanagaratnem said.

Kanagaratnem said that police did not remove the posters or cut outs of the UPFA candidates, but blocked the legal propaganda of the TNA and other opposition parties.

Nallathambi Vinayagamurthy Subramaniam, a TNA candidate from the Jaffna District, said that posters of the UPFA candidates pasted in the run up to the General Election in 2010, still remained in the Peninsula.

Jaffna District candidate from the Democratic Unity Alliance (DUA) Arulpragasam Jayendran said that they faced no harassments from other parties except the UPFA, but police did not take action to stop it.

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