PC Polls smooth: UNP in desperation
No major incidents were reported by the three Returning Officers of
the three districts except for unconfirmed allegations levelled by two
anti-government election monitoring organisations. But the main
opposition UNP has made several unsubstantiated allegations of vote
Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, in Ampara, said the voter
turn out was slightly lower than expected due to LTTE’s terror acts. He
said if not for Friday’s bomb blast in the heart of Ampara and last
morning’s LTTE mortar attack at Pannalagama village, the voter turn out
would have been even higher.
Head of the People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections, Kingsley
Rodrigo, an independent monitoring group, said Saturday’s PC election
was calm in more than 80% of polling boots, though there have been a few
incidents reported in some areas. “There have been a few reported
violations but overall, it has been a free and fair election.
Several other local and international monitors too had same views,
though a few isolated incidents were reported from Valaichchenai and
other nearby towns.
The LTTE had resorted to various terror acts to intimidate and keep
voters away from polling booths. Despite the threats and violence, 46
percent of the province’s nearly one million registered voters had cast
ballots by noon. The final voter turn out topped 65% when the voting
closed at 4 p.m. yesterday. UPFA General Secretary,
Media and Mass Communication Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said
that no major incident that would affect the final results of the
Eastern provincial polls has been reported though various allegations
have been made by the UNP as a sign of desperation move. He said that
the election is being conducted peacefully.
The LTTE suicide bomb, sickeningly described by them as “the
enchanting weapon of noble purpose” has been used to rescue the Ranil -
Rauff UNP coalition when defeat was staring in the face, the Asian
It said suspected underground goons of the doomsday coalition were
using terrorist tactics to disrupt the elections in the East. The
prediction came true as the LTTE exploded a sea mine in Trincomalee and
planted a parcel bomb that killed 12 people in Ampara. The Tigers also
fired mortars at a village in Ampara to keep voters away..
“Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP preaching democracy and
freedom from the roof tops were now locked in an unspeakable attempt to
thwart the will of the people.
The LTTE is using terror to sabotage the elections. This was doomed
to fail as the people was fully aware of these tactics and went to the
polls no matter what obstacles were put in their path,” the Asian
Tribune report added.