Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 28 June 2009





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Several political parties in the fray:

‘Election fever’ in Jaffna

Jaffna is caught up with election fever after many years with political parties holding several public rallies.

For more than a decade Jaffna based political parties were unable to engage in any form of election-related activities due to LTTE threats in Jaffna.

Following the submission of nomination papers at the Jaffna District Secretariat last week, the political parties in the fray have begun their campaigns, holding meetings with loud speakers echoing for long hours in the night. Posters of various political parties and their candidates have also come up in every nook and corner in the Municipal limits of Jaffna.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Gamini Navaratne, who is in charge of elections said that extensive security measures have been taken in Jaffna and Vavuniya to ensure free and fair Local Government polls.

People who accept UPFA policies can join the UPFA. Everybody should at this critical point unite to propel the country to achieve the development targets set under the Mahinda Chintana, said UPFA General Secretary and Education Minister Susil Premajayantha. Referring to the Jaffna and Vavuniya Local Government polls nomination lists which included EROS, TELO and EPDP representatives the UPFA Secretary said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had also stressed recently that all citizens should work for the country sinking narrow differences.

The UPFA election campaign in Jaffna is managed by Social Services and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda while Resettlement and Relief Services Minister Rishard Badiudeen and Vavuniya District Parliamentarian Sumathipala will lead the campaign in the Vavuniya district, he said.

The Jaffna and Vavuniya LG polls will be held on August 8, the same day as the Uva Provincial Council elections.

Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader V. Anandasangaree will contest the Mayoralty of the Jaffna Municipal Council. Anandasangaree said that the TULF was contesting the election with the objective of bringing about a change in the Jaffna political landscape.

According to a spokesman for the Elections Department 174 candidates from six political parties and two independent groups are vying for 29 seats in the Jaffna Municipal Council while there are 15 seats in the Vavuniya Urban Council for the 135 candidates from six political parties and three independent groups.

There are 100,417 registered voters in Jaffna and 24,626 in Vavuniya. The Elections Department will set up 85 polling stations in Jaffna and Vavuniya.

Meanwhile, six-hundred candidates representing the main political parties including the UPFA, UNP, JVP and independent groups are vying for 32 seats in the Uva Provincial Council.

The Basnayake Nilame of the Ruhunu-Kataragama Devalaya Shashindra Kumara Rajapaksa leads the Moneragala district UPFA group while the Uva - Paranagama SLFP chief organiser and former Chief Minister of the Uva Province A. H. Buddhadasa heads the Badulla district UPFA group.

Over 500,000 voters are eligible to vote in the Badulla district and over 300,000 in Moneragala.



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