Intra-party conflict fears

The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) believes that the violent clash which occurred between supporters of politicians Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon and Thilak Bandara in Naula, Matale yesterday (July 28,) is only the beginning of intra-party conflict between UPFA candidates in the district ahead of the provincial council elections in September.
CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon identified Matale, Kurunegala and Puttalam as areas where intra party rivalries may occur, a CaFFE statement said.
This is the second violent election related incident after nominations were called for and the most serious reported incident so far. Pramitha Tennakoon is the son of Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon and Thilak Bandara is a close associate of MP Lakshman Wasantha Perera.
CaFFE also stresses that clashes between UPFA candidates might be the biggest challenge for a peaceful election in Matale.
Meanwhile, it also said that journalist Rasika Dharshana Wijethilake, attached to the Independent Television Network (ITN,) who was undergoing treatment at Matale hospital due to injuries sustained during the clash, has left the hospital in the face of political intimidation. (Colombo Gazette)