The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Three arrested for threatening candidates in E Sri Lanka

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.


2 soldiers, 25 Tamil Tigers killed in Lanka clashes

At two soldiers and 25 Tamil Tigers were killed in fierce clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled northern region, officials said in Colombo on Tuesday.

As many as seven Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) rebels were killed in a confrontation with the security forces at the Giant Tank area in Vavuniya Monday, PTI reported here quoting official sources.

The bodies would be handed over to the International Red Cross Committee soon, officials said.

Another 10 rebels were killed in a spate of clashes in the northeast of Uilankulam in Mannar, the Defense Ministry said.

The clashes also left two soldiers dead and nine injured, it said.

Separately, security forces found bodies of two LTTE cadres in the general area of Pallaikuli in Mannar after clashes, the army said.

In another incident in north of Parappakandal in Mannar, troops captured four LTTE bunkers in a raid Monday that left at least six rebels dead and 10 wounded, the Defense Ministry said.