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Tamil parties sweep northern province polls in Sri Lanka

D P Satish, | dp_satish

Updated: September 22, 2013, 8:03 AM IST
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Tamil parties sweep northern province polls in Sri Lanka
The TNA's CV Wigneswaran, a retired judge of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court is set to be the chief minister of Northern Province.

Jaffana/ New Delhi: Finally, the Tamils of Northern Sri Lanka will be ruled by their own the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in semi-autonomous Northern Provincial Council. According to reports from Jaffna, the TNA has registred an impressive victory by winning 30 seats in a 38 member Provincial Council.

The TNA's CV Wigneswaran, a retired judge of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court is set to be the chief minister of Northern Province.

The President Mahinda Rajapaksa's UPFA has got just 7 seats and the SLMC has won 1 seat. The Pro-Rajapaksa Tamil Party run by a minister Douglas Devananda of EPDP has been routed failing to win even a single seat. The voting took place for the first time in 25 years on Saturday. The Northern Province was out of bounds for democratic political activities due to a three decade long war with the Tamil militant group the LTTE. The war ended in the decimation of the LTTE in May 2009.

"The TNA secured a great victory today at the Northern Provincial Council Elections despite heavy odds - blatant violations, voter intimidation and violence against its candidates. We bow to the resilience of our people. - TNA 30, UPFA 7, SLMC 1," TNA MP Sumanthiran told Colombo Telegraph.

According to Tamil Eelam mouthpiece 'Tamil Net' , More than 66 per cent of the voters, who have cast their votes in the NPC elections on Saturday were overwhelmingly in favour of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and have categorically rejected Colombo's political parties. Despite all manipulations, the TNA has secured 81 per cent of votes in Ki'linochchi polling division and 78% in Mullaiththeevu polling division, according to the official results released so far. The emerging pattern in Jaffna district also indicates a similar trend. The TNA is expected to secure at least 30 seats of the 36 seat NPC. Two more seats are nominated and the TNA will get them.

Despite demographic manipulations, threats, intimidations and the psy-ops war waged by the occupying Sri Lankan military, the people have been firm in passing their message, Tamil political observers in Jaffna said.

The people have rejected all Simhala parties including the opposition Ranil Wickramasinghe's UNP and former military commander General Sarath Fonseka's Democratic Party.

Quoting election commission sources, the 'Tamil Net' reported that In Nalloor electorate, the TNA has polled 23,733 votes, the UPFA 2,651 votes, the UNP 148 votes and Fonseka's Democratic Party 19 votes. A similar trend is observed in Jaffna and Uduppiddi electoral divisions.

In Kanke Santhurai, the TNA has polled 19,596 against UPFA polling 4,048.

In Ooraaththu'rai (Kayts) electorate, which has been under the grip of the EPDP for several years, the TNA has polled 8,917 votes for the first time against 4,164 votes by the UPFA alliance.

The TNA, which has vowed to press a demand for "self-rule" for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamils in the majority Sinhalese nation of 2 Crore people, won the districts of Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mullaittivu and was leading by huge margins in the other districts, including Jaffna.

The election commission said 68 per cent of the 719,000 electorate in the Northern Province voted on Saturday. There were wide spread reports intimidation and poll code violations by the Sri Lankan Army in an attempt to keep Tamils away from polling stations.

But, the Government in Colombo has strongly denied such allegations as baseless, motivated and a propaganda by the LTTE sympathisers.

First Published: September 22, 2013, 8:03 AM IST
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