As voting commenced in the historic Northern provincial poll earlier today several tricks were trotted out including the publication and circulation of a fake Uthayan newspaper which observers say is aimed at confusing Northern voters.
The Uthayan is a popular Jaffna-based newspaper owned by Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Sarvana Bhavan.
The fake eight-page Uthayan that was circulated in Jaffna today had headlines claiming that the TNA had pulled out of the Northern provincial electoral race. It also featured a story claiming that TNA candidate Ananthi Sasitharan had crossed over to the government.
The TNA says fake posters featuring its Chief Ministerial Candidate Justice C.V. Wigneswaran have also come up in some places around Jaffna. Wigneswaran’s candidate number is 10 but the poster makes it appear his number is 7.
Meanwhile election monitors report some incidents of intimidation and violence in the Northern Province, with the military in some areas alleged to have chased away voters from polling booths. Voter turnout that started off slow when polls opened at 7 a.m. has picked up as the morning wore on, observers on the ground say. More than 700,000 people are registered to vote in the Northern Province today.