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Sri Lankan Tamil party sweeps provincial polls

Published: 22nd September 2013 11:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2013 11:07 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Sri Lanka's main minority Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has swept to victory in the provincial council elections held in the Northern Province after 25 years, official results showed Sunday.

The party led by R. Sampanthan and former Supreme Court judge C.V. Wigneswaran as the chief ministerial candidate secured 30 of the 38 seats for the newly-formed council, Xinhua reported.

The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) got seven seats and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress one seat.

The elections were held in five districts in the Northern Province, most of which were under Tamil Tiger rebel control for nearly 30 years, before the rebels were defeated in May 2009.

In Jaffna district, the TNA won over 84 percent of the votes while the UPFA was a distant second with just around 14 percent of the votes. A total of 273,821 people voted in the district.

In the former Tamil Tiger-controlled Kilinochchi district, Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) won 81 percent of the total votes while the UPFA managed just 17 percent of the votes.

Elsewhere in the Northern Province, ITAK won 62 percent of the votes in Mannar, 66 percent of the votes in Vavuniya and 78 percent of the votes in Mullaitivu.

The TNA contested the polls calling for self-determination in the Northern Province for the Tamils, but stayed short of calling for a separate Tamil state which was the main demand of the rebels during the war.

The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has accused the TNA of creating communal discord through its election manifesto.

However, the government hailed the peaceful conduct of the polls. Minister Susil Premjayantha said the polls gave the people in the Northern Province a chance to decide their future.

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