28 May 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 05/12/2008, 00.00

    SRI LANKA

    Eastern provincial elections: Rajapakse’s coalition wins amid fraud

    Melani Manel Perera

    In the first local elections in the eastern provinces in 20 years the ruling party alliance wins. For Sri Lanka’s president this is a sign of popular support for his anti-terrorism policies. But opposition parties and independent observers complain about irregularities and widespread intimidations.

    Colombo (AsiaNews) – Elections to provincial councils in eastern Sri Lanka were only a “fraud” which President Mahinda Rajapakse’s ruling coalition used to impose itself on its adversaries using “violence and intimidation,” this according to Nimalka Fernando, head of an elections monitoring organisation called the Campaign for Free and fair Elections (CAFFE).

    For CAFFE well as other groups and opposition political parties these elections were “manipulated” to consolidate the stranglehold of the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the controversial Tamileela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP) party.

    For the first time in 20 years voters in mixed Sinhalese, Tamil and Musims Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee cast their ballot to choose among 1,300 candidates to the local provincial council. The UPFA took 20 of the 37 seats.

    The elections were made possible by government forces’ takeover of the area last year after being under Tamil Tiger rebel control for years.

    For some observers these elections represent a first attempt by the central government to institute limited political devolution to meet Tamil demands for autonomy.

    Rajapakse’s Sinhalese-controlled central government wants to transfer power to the TMVP, a Tamil-dominated party. However, the latter is more like an armed militia than a political party. It was established by a Tamil Tiger faction that broke away in 2004 and joined the government in the fight against its former comrades. But the TMVP is accused of murders, abductions and recruiting child soldiers.

    In announcing his party’s victory President Rajapakse said the results show popular support for government policies in agriculture and in the fight against terrorism.

    But the opposition United National Party and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress have complained about widespread election fraud and reject the results.

    CAFFE has reported 175 complaints of irregularities, including 26 cases of physical assault and 35 cases of threats.

    The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) and the People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) have reported similar findings.

    The latter has reported that election observers were not given access to 21 polling stations and that hundreds of voters have complained about physical and verbal intimidations.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    22/08/2008 SRI LANKA
    Amid violence and intimidations two Sri Lankan provinces go to the polls
    Tomorrow voters in Sabaragamuwa and North Central provinces will cast their ballots. The Elections Commission reports more than 150 attacks against candidates and parties in the last few weeks. The Congress of Religions calls for “free and fair” elections.

    23/01/2010 SRI LANKA
    International observers to monitor January 26 vote
    Sri Lanka to elect president in a climate of increasing violence. More than 700 incidents during the election campaign and at least 4 dead. An international commission will visit the Asian nation during polling to prevent fraud and violence.

    01/04/2010 SRI LANKA
    Leaders of all Sri Lankan religions committed to holding free and peaceful elections
    An Interfaith Coalition, which brings together representatives of the four main religions, calls on all candidates and citizens to act without violence in the elections on 8 April. The joint commitment to ensure a free vote.

    04/03/2008 SRI LANKA
    Election in Batticaloa a foregone conclusion
    NGOs want to stop the 10 March local elections, claiming that voters are being intimidated and that the poll will only strengthen the central government’s hold over the area and militarise the local administration. The Elections Commission has however dismissed all the accusations.

    08/04/2010 SRI LANKA
    Shadows and irregularities cloud Sri Lanka’s "free elections"
    The supervisory committees denounce censorship in the media and violence in various parts of the country. President receives support from TV astrologers. Leading personalities from Catholic and secular world express doubts over the vote. Archbishop of Colombo: protect multiculturalism and protect minorities.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution

    Sergio Ticozzi

    The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.


    CHINA
    Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent  a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".

     


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®