By Yohan Perera
The objective of the government’s move not to allow foreigners to visit the North without permission from the defence authorities may be to carry out a mass election malpractice like in 2005, the main opposition UNP alleged yesterday.
UNP Leadership Council member Lakshman Kiriella made this allegation with regard to a recent statement made by Defence Spokesman Ruwan Wanigasooriya that foreigners visiting the North were required to obtain permission from the Ministry of Defence.
“According to Briadier Wanigasorriya any foreign national wishing to travel to the North should obtain permission from the Defence Ministry. It is obvious that the regulation is to prevent acceptable international monitors and others travelling to the North during elections and to allow biased monitors who support the government entry to the North. It is clear that the government was ready for a massive election malpractice like in 2005,” Mr. Kiriella said while stressing that all right thinking people should oppose this move.
Brigadier Wanigasooriya, speaking to reporters in Colombo recently said foreigners visiting the North were required to obtain permission from the Ministry of Defence.
He said defense authorities had received credible information that some elements were trying to destabilize the North and create disharmony among ethnic communities of the country. The Defence forces added by registering with the Ministry of Defence, the authorities would be able to assist them in their movements in the province.
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