09/23/2013, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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The Tamil party wins elections in the North, hit by civil war

by Melani Manel Perera
It is the first time after 30 years of ethnic conflict that the Northern Province returns to vote. The new governor is C.V. Wigneswaran, former Supreme Court judge. Many boycott attempts, even a few hours before the opening of the polls.

Colombo (AsiaNews) - The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main Tamil party of Sri Lanka has won the provincial elections in the north of the country: the first after nearly 30 years of civil war. The people went to the polls on September 21. The TNA won all five districts of the Northern Province - Jaffna, Kilinichchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya - winning 30 seats out of 38. C.V. Wigneswaran (see photo), ran in the elections as a candidate of the Tamil party. He said he was "ready to work with the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa to address issues," adding that "now southern politicians must agree to work with the Tamils​​."

A few hours before the opening of the ballot boxes fake Tamil newspaper were distributed, to confuse the population and push them not to vote for the TNA. Hours before the vote men dressed in black with their faces covered by helmets attacked the elderly by stealing their ballots. Wigneswaran is a former judge of the Supreme Court.

In recent months there have been several attempts to boycott the vote. The most contested - even the Church - dates back to early July, when a ultra-nationalist Sinhala party (Jathika Hela Urumaya) called for the repeal of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Enacted in 1987 in full civil war, it created the provincial councils and made Tamil an official language of Sri Lanka ​​, like Sinhalese. In fact it was the first political and social recognition of the Tamil community. Particularly in the north, where it is the majority, and there were the bloodiest moments of the conflict.

 

 

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