Sri Lanka Presidential Elections: Gun Men Fire On Buses Carrying Muslim Voters; No Casualties Reported

Currently, there is a close competition between the two presidential contenders, Sajith Premadasa and Gotbaya Rajapaksa

Image Credit: localdvm.com

Amid the ongoing elections for Presidency, in northwest Sri Lanka, a group of gunmen fired at buses carrying Muslim voters, on Saturday, November 16, 2019. However, no casualties were reported despite a convoy of more than 100 vehicles getting attacked, said the police.

The attackers burnt tyres on the road and set up makeshift roadblocks to hinder the convoy of buses.

“The gunmen opened fire and also pelted stones,” an official from the police said.

Speaking of those who were attacked, then the Muslims were traveling from the town of Puttalam to the district of Mannar, where they were to vote, as per their registration, according to an official.

Currently, there is a close competition between the two presidential contenders, housing minister Sajith Premadasa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa (former chief of defence ministry and brother of Mahinda Rajapaksa) from the opposition. And both the Tamil and Muslim voters are crucial for deciding their fate.

Coming back to the gunfire on Saturday, then one of the three election commissioners, Ratnajeevan Hoole, said that there was a failure from the side of authorities as they weren’t able to provide adequate protection to internally displaced minority Muslims.
“They (Muslims) were sure that a disturbance like this would happen,” said the commissioner.
Speaking of the situation around the presidential election, then the local media reports are also saying that there’s a strong presence of the military in Jaffna, which belongs to Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority. And that it could influence the voter turnout, thus leading to Mr. Rajapaksa’s victory.

Source: The Guardian

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