Sri Lanka opposition parties cry foul over government victory

09:54, July 25, 2011      

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Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance said Sunday that their landslide win in the weekend's local council elections was a vindication of government policies.

"There is a clear message not only local but international that at the end of a 30-year war in the north the people were able to select the political party of their choice freely," Susil Premajayantha, a senior minister and the ruling party general secretary said.

The United People's Freedom Alliance won 45 of the 65 councils on offer. However they could win only two of the councils in the north, which is former Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold.

"The government's openness and its democratic nature had been clearly endorsed in the result," Premajayantha said.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) dismissed the government victory as one achieved through unfair means.

"There was a massive abuse of state resources and personnel. The military was never used for election purposes like in this election," a UNP statement said.

The Marxist JVP or the People's Liberation Front said the government victory was undemocratic as the opponents were not allowed to campaign freely.

"This was a plundering of public opinion by the government using the entire state machinery," a JVP statement said.

Veerasingham Anandasangaree of the Tamil United Liberation Front, which gained control of two councils in the north, said the government used state resources to encourage people to vote for the government.

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