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Last updated: 10 January, 2010 - Published 13:51 GMT
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Presidential candidate's envoy 'arrested'
Dharmasiri Lankapeli (r) attending the funeral in Velvetithurai (photo: Tamilnet)
Mr. Lankapeli has been delivering speech on behalf of Dr. Karunaratne
A presidential candidate in Sri Lanka has accused the police of arresting his representative while delivering a speech at a funeral in Jaffna.

Presidential Candidate of Left Front Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne accused the police of being racist and violating election laws by arresting his representative Dharmasiri Lankapeli in Velvetithurai.

Mr. Lankapeli has been delivering an address in Sinhala language on behalf of the Left Front leader at the funeral of Thiruvenkadam Velupillai, the father of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

'Despicable act'

Mr. Velupillai passed away while in government's protective custody on 07 January.

The police, claiming that the address in Sinhala might provoke ethnic tensions, have removed the public address system while Mr. Lankapeli was speaking, according to Dr. Karunaratne.

"This is a very despicable action by the police," he told BBC Sandeshaya.

He also strongly condemned police action to disrupt a funeral ceremony.

"Any sensible person would not commit such an act," he added.

'No arrest'

Mr. Lankapeli was later released by the police after recording a statement.

However, the police have denied arresting Mr. Lankapeli.

Police spokesman SSP IM Karunaratne told BBC Sinhala service that only a statement was recorded from Mr. Lankapeli on Public Address Regulation violation.

The police have however allowed all the Tamil speakers, including politicians from Tamil Nadu, to deliver their speeches in Tamil, Dr. Karunaratne said.

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