With about 10 days left for the Northern Provincial Council Election, Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan has written to President Mahinda Rajapaksa requesting him to confine the military to the barracks.

In the letter dated September 9, the senior parliamentarian has said the heavily militarised atmosphere in the north is “not at all conducive to the holding of a free and fair election”.

Observing that the military, without invitation, engaged with the civilian population, Mr. Sampanthan said this involvement had continued even after the election was announced, and had strayed well into election related activities.

The involvement, he said, was the “biggest obstacle” to the conduct of a free and fair poll on September 21, requesting the President to look into the matter.