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TMVP of Vote Rigging In Local Poll in Batti – Party Claimed

Picture: Deputy Leader of a breakaway faction of the LTTE the TVMP "Pillaiyan" walks after to cast his vote at a polling station in Valachchenai today. Residents in the Batticaloa district went to vote in the first local elections for some fourteen years, after the goverment secured the East from the LTTE in 2007. Local rights activists do not expect the vote to be free and fair as the government has failed to disarm rival rebel groups who are seeking election to run the district's local affairs.AFP

(March 10, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF), the political wing of EROS has accused the TMVP (Tamil Peoples Liberation Tigers) of vote rigging at the local election polls today. The TMVP and the Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF) have contested head on head and tensions between the EDF and the TMVP have been rife, according to the Party sources.

Nesan Shankar Raji, senior leader and spokesperson for EROS stated in a communiqué that he had credible information from his members who were dispatched to monitor the voting booths that several locals who had approached the polling booths in Batticaloa and Amparai were carrying false National Identity Cards and had been apprehended by EROS members as a result who were monitoring the booths. “The TMVP know perfectly well that the EDF is a threat to them and this is why they have resorted to sending locals to cast their vote carrying false I.D. cards” said Nesan Shankar Raji. It is said that these people were either paid by the TMVP or forced to cast their votes at the polling booths carrying false identity documentation.

The TMVP has also made a counter allegation against the Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF) of vote rigging. Vote rigging is nothing new in Sri Lankan local or parliamentary elections. The Sri Lankan Election Commission have very little resources in order to fully monitor the elections and prevent vote rigging.

The Government of Sri Lanka also has failed to accommodate independent election monitors to oversee these elections. Many see these elections as a farce. The polling stations are now closed and the votes will be counted soon. The TMVP has contested in alliance with the Government under the UPFA ticket and the Eelavar Democratic Front (EDF) under EROS has contested independently.

- Sri Lanka Guardian

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