Police say opposition claims of pre-election violence in N. Sri lanka exaggerated

14:17, July 19, 2011      

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The military and police said Monday that opposition party claims of a violent political campaign ahead of the upcoming local elections in northern Sri Lanka are exaggerated.

"In Jaffna, there have been just 17 complaints of violence," deputy police chief Gamini Navaratne said.

He said overall some 96 people had been arrested for non- compliance with election regulations in campaigning for 65 council elections across the country. The police had also seized 18 vehicles involved in illegal activities.

Only 22 of these 65 elections are in the north, but opposition parties have complained about harassment by government supporters mostly in the northern town of Jaffna.

The military spokesman Major General Ubhaya Madawela denied that plans are underway to deploy the army in Jaffna.

"Election will be conducted under police protection. The army will intervene only if asked to do so and if only the police found they could not manage," Madawela said

The main Tamil party Tamil National Alliance and the Marxist JVP said that widespread intimidations by government-allied parties in the north have marred the free and fair nature of the election.

Source: Xinhua
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