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Three arrested for threatening candidates in E Sri Lanka
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08:18, February 20, 2008

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At least three people have been arrested for issuing threats to candidates ahead of local elections in eastern Sri Lanka, police said Tuesday.

A police spokesman in the Batticaloa district told Xinhua by phone that three people, all Muslims from the Kathankudy area were arrested alongside printed material which had been used to issue death threats on candidates.

The Batticaloa district is scheduled to hold elections on March10 to appoint local councilors to nine local councils.

The candidates from the TMVP (Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal) party had complained of death threats received allegedly from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.

The three people arrested will be investigated for their links with the LTTE, the police said.

The election in the east will be the first since the government in July 2007 claimed that the entire Eastern Province had been cleared of Tamil Tiger rebels.

The independent election monitoring group, People's Action for Free and Fair Elections has said armed groups roaming around in the area pose a threat to the prospect of a free and fair election.

The government now say that provincial council elections in the Eastern Province will also be held in the near future as the government is in full control in the region.

Source: Xinhua

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