Members of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had opened fire and had run amok at an election office of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna in Maneragala, JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said at a hurriedly organised media briefing in Colombo a while ago.
This is the first instance of firearms being used in election related violence in the run up to the forthcoming Uva Provincila Council elections.
The gang had ransacked the platform set up for the political rally to be addressed by party leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake later today, he said.
Silva said the gang had opened fire at its offices set up lawfully to coordinate the election in the district,
“This is a clear act of intimidation. Creating a fear psychosis and violence would deny campaign rights for the opposition,” he said.
Mr. Silva said a Police complaint had been lodged in this regard.
“We found empty cartridges within the premises of our office in Moneragala,” he said.
“The UPFA gang were outsiders as identified by our party members who were at the scene. The unruly gang came in Land Rover Defender vehicles which are normally used by defence authorities.
“They have destroyed the decorations made by us for the rally. After that, the gang ran amok firing gunshots in the air to intimidate supporters,” Silva said.