Sri Lanka Tamils demand army be confined before key vote
COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka's main Tamil party on Tuesday demanded troops be confined to barracks after accusing them of campaigning for the ruling party at key elections in the former separatist stronghold of Jaffna.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) told President Mahinda Rajapakse that soldiers were campaigning for his United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the Jaffna peninsula, where the minority party was expected to do well.
The TNA said soldiers were also selectively discouraging Tamils in TNA strongholds from voting at the region's first ever provincial council election, scheduled for September 21.
The vote is in line with Colombo's promise to the international community to share limited power with ethnic Tamils through a local council after the military crushed separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May, 2009.