Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No groups allowed to carry arms in Sri Lankan north election

COLOMBO, July 13 (Xinhua) -- No group would be allowed to carry arms in the run-up to the local council election next month in the Northern Province in Sri Lanka, the police said on Monday.

The Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Urban Council are to go to polls on Aug. 8, the first elections since the government's elimination of the Tamil Tiger rebels in May.

"No one would be permitted to carry arms. If anyone wants security we will provide them with security," the deputy inspector general in charge of the Northern Province, Nimal Leuke told reporters Monday.

He said the police would ensure the upholding of law and order in the province.

Some of the political parties contesting the election had raised fears of armed groups carrying out intimidation of their activists.

The last Municipal Council election was held in Jaffna in 1998.

Elections were not possible since then due to the security situation.

However, with the end to the armed challenge by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May, the government says it is keen to re-establish democracy in the areas ravaged by the three-decade-old conflict.
>> Full Story