Tamil nationalist songs in Jaffna Polls campaign CaFFE complains to Elections Commission

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By 2018-01-14

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan

Campaign for Free and Fair Eelections (CaFFE) has complained to the Commissioner of Elections that several political parties in the Northern Province are playing songs echoing Tamil nationalism that were used during the LTTE period, in violation of election laws.

On Friday United People's Freedom Front (UPFA) politician Angajan Ramanathan had aired such songs while opening his party office at the Jaffna Municipal Council, Executive Director/CaFFE Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon told Ceylon Today.

He added that the photograph of President Maithripala Sirisena was prominently displayed while the music, echoing Tamil
aspirations was being aired.

Although such a tactic may not have a major impact on the elections however, it's a violation of the rules where race and ethnic based campaigns are prohibited, he further said. He added that similar activity was taking place in areas of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu by several parties including the main Opposition Tamil National
Alliance (TNA).

He noted some of the TNA candidates 'silently' carried out campaigns airing such songs projecting Tamil nationalism.

CaFFE urged the political parties to refrain from such activities in order to hold a fair election that are not based on nationalist aspirations.

Tennakoon who met with several party leaders in Jaffna on Friday expressed his displeasure at the candidates who are using the LTTE as a tool to win elections.

"We have observed and monitored such malpractices in the Northern Province and we urge you to respect the law of the country," Tennakoon told the leaders.

Meanwhile, the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) leader Suresh Premachandran told Ceylon Today during the last General Elections the ex LTTE cadres' Party known as 'Rehabilitated United Liberation Tigers Front' also aired songs of the LTTE in the presence of the Army.

"This is not a new thing to use such music," noted Premachandran.

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya was not available for a comment.

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