"Parts of dead dogs were thrown in front of and inside the campaign offices of the supporters of the Tamil National Alliance - says Fernando - a clear sign that someone wants to intimidate them." The Women's Political Academy points out that "the opposition candidates are most affected, and in many cases fail to conduct their election campaigns." The body calls on the election commissioner to encourage candidates to continue with their campaign until 23 July.
Even if elections are being held throughout Sri Lanka, similar incidents only took place in the Northern province, particularly in Jaffna. The area where the majority of the population is Tamil, has been the hardest hit during and after the long ethnic conflict: the monitoring centre for internally displaced persons (IDPs) records more than 220 thousand IDPs throughout the country, mostly in the northern province. And the government, which for months has launched a series of development programs to jump-start the economy of the country and rehabilitate its image - even in the eyes of the international community – fears loosing consensus (and elections) in Jaffna.
Nimalka Fernando finally recalled that the CEDAW Committee has sent a special recommendation to the government to increase the political participation of women. But the current climate is also likely to have a negative impact on the tendency of women to vote. Similar incidents are "a clear violation of rights - reaffirms the Women's Political Academy - and a threat to free and fair elections."