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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

PAFFREL expressed concern over the effective ...............

[b]PAFFREL expressed concern over the effective disenfranchisement of the Tamil voters by the LTTE.[/b]

[b]Colombo,, 18 November, ([/b] People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) expressed its deep concern over the effective disenfranchisement of the Tamils especially in the North and East of the country in the concluded presidential election.

“Almost total absence of participation in the polls and an atmosphere of violence and intimidation in much of the North and East have significantly affected elections. It has compromised the democratic process and institutions,” lamented PAFFREL in a statement released to the press.

The statement pointed out that prior to the elections, the LTTE made announcements that the Tamil people had no reason to be interested in these elections, but could exercise their vote if they so desired.

Subsequently the NGO involved with the monitoring of the Presidential elections 2005 said, “This was accompanied by calls by several pro-LTTE organizations who instructed the people not to take part in the elections.” “When there was doubt as to the LTTE’s position, the LTTE again reiterated its stance that the Tamil people had no reason to be interested in the elections,” the statement clarified.

According to the statement, it was alleged that on the night preceding the election, and on the day of the polls, there were several incidents of violence that served to heighten the atmosphere of intimidation that existed in the North and East.

PAFFREL further underlined, “ There were three grenade explosions in the night in Jaffna. On the day of elections only a small proportion of people came out and voted, in the region of less than one percent. People stayed indoors and shops were closed. There was hardly any voting by people from the LTTE-controlled areas.”

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