President as Minister of Interior responsible for political killings: Kapukotuwa

Mar 3 (IL) The United National Front (UNF) yesterday alleged that there was a clandestine move by certain elements to get rid of UNF candidates who pose a threat to United Peoples' Freedom Alliance at district level.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Front's General Secretary Senarath Kapukotuwa alleged President Chandrika Kumaratunga of being responsible for the assassination of the Batticaloa UNF candidate Sinnatambi Sundarampillai, as she is in charge of Defence and Interior.

Mr. Kapukotuwa also claimed that sufficient security had not been provided for Mr. Sundarampillai and Batticaloa Hospital where he was undergoing treatment for injuries caused when some unidentified gunmen broke in to his house on Friday and shot him, 'following orders from above'.

"The President who claimed that the Defence and Interior Ministries were taken following a threat to nationals security, keeps silent when election candidates are murdered in cold blood," he said. The UNF General Secretary also alleged that UNF candidates were not provided with security due to orders from above, despite threats against UNP candidates.

The release also said there was reason to entertain suspicion regarding the withdrawal of security for former Ministers John Amaratunga and Thilak Marapana