An attack on the house of Tamil National Alliance candidate Ananthy Sasitharan by a group of men has come as a shock to many just a day before the Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial elections. A few of her supporters and an election monitor were injured in the attack.
While Ms. Sasitharan, whose house was attacked past midnight on Thursday, blamed the Sri Lankan Army and the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), which is with the ruling coalition, the Army has dismissed her charges as “baseless allegations”.
Ms. Sasitharan — who has been raising her voice for the cause of the disappeared — is the wife of Ezhilan, who was with the LTTE and reportedly went missing after his surrender in May 2009.
“Last evening, some people in motorbikes rounded up the house, and we knew there was going to be trouble. So I left and went elsewhere,” Ms. Sasitharan told The Hindu at her house located in a relatively quiet area in Tholpuram, near the northernmost tip around Vattukottai in the Jaffna Peninsula.
“Look how they have damaged the house,” she said, pointing to a portion of the ceiling which was damaged.
Just as she left her home, her supporters alerted Kanagaratnam Sugash, lawyer and election monitor with People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), who was attacked, she said.
Mr. Sugash, who was undergoing treatment at the Jaffna Hospital, said: “First there were about 12 people, most of them in Army uniform. In a while, there were many more people barging into the house, shouting ‘where is Ananthy?’”. According to her supporters, who were also being treated, the attackers made references to LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran, saying: “What he could not achieve in 25 years, you all want to achieve now? Are you asking for a separate state?” and reportedly beat them up. Some of the supporters seen at the hospital had injuries in the forehead, arms and legs.