'General' rigging in Jaffna claimed

[TamilNet, Thursday, 23 December 1999, 10:55 GMT]
The large number of votes garnered by fringe and extremist Sinhala political parties based in the south in the presidential polls held in Jaffna, indicated general rigging had been conducted, officials in the northern town said Wednesday.

Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga won in the Jaffna region by a majority of 4,038 votes at the polls concluded Tuesday.

Total number of valid votes was 111,568. The number of rejected votes was 5,981. The number of people listed as eligible to vote is 612,770.

Kumaratunge of the People's Alliance (PA), polled 52043 votes while her main opponent, Ranil Wickremesighe of the United National Party (UNP) scored 48005 votes.

However, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the Leftist candidate who was widely expected to garner a significant number of Tamils votes in the north due to the general mistrust of the UNP and PA, got a paltry 3394.

This was despite an appeal by the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) which urged Tamil voters not to choose either of the main parties and to vote for Vasudeva instead.

The results in Jaffna showed that there had been general rigging, Kachcheri sources told TamilNet correspondents last night.

Parties and individuals barely known in Jaffna have got more votes in the northern town than in some Sinhala majority areas of the island, they said.

The extremist Sinhala Buddhist group, The Maha Sammata Bhoomiputra Party, led by the little known Harischandra Wijetunga has managed to get 818 votes in the peninsula while the Liberal Party got 1368, they said.

The Liberal Party is a marginal political group based largely among English speaking coterie of Sinhala intellectuals in Colombo.

The leftist leader contesting the Presidential elections on his own got 3394 votes, the officials said.

And one of the independent Sinhala candidates, W.Y.M Ranjith, a totally unknown quantity in northern politics, managed to score 1873 votes.

The UNP claimed several weeks ago that preparations for rigging were underway in several areas of the island.

The appointment of the paramilitary Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP) as President Kumaratunge's polling agents in Jaffna had raised concerns in UNP circles. Gunmen of the EPDP operate alongside the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) in counter-insurgency operations in Jaffna.

The concerns were heightened when cadres of the EPDP went to the Jaffna Kachcheri and removed the voters register on December 3.

The cadres had vowed the ballot boxes will be full on polling day irrespective of whether the Jaffna people turned for voting or not, Kachcheri officials said.

A senior SLA source in the north told TamilNet last week the majority of the SLA's rank and file is opposed to the EPDP rigging the polls in Jaffna though the UNP had also implied the connivance or acquiescence of a senior military official in the peninsula.

Presidential Election -1999, Jaffna District
Electorate Kumaratunga (PA) Wickremasinghe (UNP)
Nallur 5125 4834
Kayts 3377 3580
Kankesanthurai 5324 2271
Vadduloddai 6854 4232
Pt.Pedro 30624270
Manipay 9194 5003
Udupiddy 4664 5685
Chavakachcheri 3430 7494
Jaffna 3471 3263
Kopay 6607 5941

 

Latest 15 Reports
01.07.20 13:22  
New secret unit among four SL military and police squads competing to arrest Tamil youth in North
30.06.20 22:10  
Tamils blocked from accessing properties near SL Navy training base in Champoor, Trincomalee
29.06.20 23:29   Photo
Moragoda advising Gotabaya prompts Sinhala parties to scrap Provincial Councils
28.06.20 22:06  
India privileging BRIC/RIC over Quad ‘discordant’, says former US top diplomat
27.06.20 22:11  
Indo-Pacific expert wants US to seek opportunities in ‘Sri Lanka’
26.06.20 21:24  
Russia steps up influence on New Delhi to uphold “multilateralism” against US “rules-based order”
25.06.20 23:53  
Pompeo talks about US reposturing troops, mentions India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia
24.06.20 23:36   Photo
Devananda circumvents court order, manipulates Jaffna fishers to allow poachers from South
23.06.20 22:03  
Sinhala encroachment of pastureland continues unabated in Batticaloa
22.06.20 18:17  
SLMC Chairman: Time for joint Tamil-Muslim efforts
21.06.20 23:11   Photo
Ex-councillor: Poverty-stricken Tamils at receiving end of SL military brutality in North
20.06.20 23:53   Photo
Tamil man killed, Sinhala Army opens fire at motorbike rider at Mukamaalai in North
19.06.20 23:30  
Dr Amir Ali: SL Archaeology aims to obliterate Tamil traces, shrink territory of Muslims in East
18.06.20 21:02  
Colombo steps up surveillance harassment on organisations operating in East
17.06.20 22:12  
SL military cordons off Jaffna islet with war-time like harassment, families fear reprisals
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=4421