A discussion set to take place at Jaffna University on the proposed new constitution for Sri Lanka was banned by the Election Commission on the grounds that it would disadvantage certain political parties while benefiting others at the upcoming local government elections.
The Tamil People’s Council, an organisation led by the Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran, was set to hold a discussion on the interim report of the constitutional assembly at the university on Tuesday.
In a letter to the university’s Vice Chancellor, the Election Commission said it had received a complaint that the event would strengthen some political parties or weaken others.
The commission ordered the suspension of the event, stating that such events with the participation of university lecturers were inappropriate during election time.
Jaffna University’s Head of Law and speaker at the discussion, Guruparan Kumaravadivel, described the decision as “preposterous reasoning”.
Following the change in venue of the event to Jaffna’s Veerasingham Hall, the new venue was also contacted by the Election Commission which again pointed out that it had received a complaint that the discussion would strengthen certain parties, groups and candidates while disadvantaging certain others.
The Election Commission said in its letter that the venue was obliged to ensure that no discussions of a political nature took place during election time.