Sri Lanka's ruling party wins local council polls

13:41, July 24, 2011      

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Sri Lanka's ruling party won local council elections over the weekend but failed to secure the support of war displaced people who have been resettled in the north of the country.

The Sri Lankan elections department announced Sunday that the United Peoples Freedom Alliance led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa won the polls in 45 of the 65 administrative bodies in the second leg of the elections.

The first leg of the election was held in March this year and the ruling party won the polls in 205 of the 234 administrative bodies.

A key minority Tamil political party which once supported the ideology of the Tamil Tiger rebels won the elections in the north of the country.

The Tamil National Alliance won the polls in Jaffna and also secured one council in Killinochchi, a former rebel controlled town.

Former war refugees in the north of Sri Lanka were casting their votes for the first time after they were resettled while it was also the first local council election in Kilinochcchi after more than 25 years.

The victory by the Tamil National Alliance in the northern polls meant that the former refugees and others in the area were demanding a political solution to their concerns, analysts said Sunday.

Leading up to the election the Tamil National Alliance said the minority Tamils needed a political solution which will enable them to live in security and dignity, fulfilling their legitimate political, economic, social and cultural aspirations.

The Sri Lankan government and the Tamil National Alliance have been having negotiations on reaching a solution to the Tamil concerns.

A bitter 30-year conflict between Tamil Tigers rebels and the Sri Lankan government came to a bloody end in 2009 following the defeat of the rebels.

Thousands of Tamils were believed to have been killed during the final stages of the battle while thousands more were displaced.

Source: Xinhua
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