171 candidates vie for six Vanni seats
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 February 2004, 11:28 GMT]
Ten different registered parties and nine independent groups are presenting 171 candidates for the forthcoming elections in the Vanni district for six seats. In the last elections held in 2001, 207 candidates from 23 groups competed in Vanni, according to Vanni election offiicials.
Selvam Adaikalanathan and N. Sivasakthi Anandan from Tamil National Alliance, Noordeen Mazoor and Badiudin Rizard from Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and Dharmalingam Siddarthan from People Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) who were successful in the 2001 elections are competing again.
Parliamentarian from TNA, Raja Kuganeswaran, failed to obtain candidacy this time and is not contesting the elections. Parliamentarian, Appapillai Vinayagamoorthy, from All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) who obtained a seat in Jaffna in the 2001 elections is currently contesting in Vanni.
New Left Front (NLF), Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bumiputhra, Peoples United Front, United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA), UNP jointly with SLMC, TNA competing under Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi, PLOTE, Jathika Hela Urumaya fielding Budhist monks as candidates, Ruhunu Janatha Party, and Eelam Peoples Democratic Front (EPDP) are the ten parties standing for elections in Vanni.
Nine independent groups led by A.K.Sihabdeen, Punchi Appuhamige Karunaratne, Abdul Majeed Raheem, Hameed Mohamed Saleem, Sithikul Akbar, Mohamed Sadiq, Abdul Kapoor Navasdeen, Sellathurai Ramanathan, M.S.Lyagath Ali Khan and Appuhamige Sujeeva Chandrasekara have submitted nominations to contest in Vanni, according to returning officer in Vanni.
The independents comprise of six muslim groups, two Sinhala groups and a Tamil group.
Speaking to reporters after submitting the nomination papers, Selvam Adaikalanathan said, "This election will demonstrate to the international community the unity within the Tamil Nation. TNA hopes to win a number of seats to command a significant presence in Sri Lanka's parliament.
"Until a solution is found to the Tamil National question we will not be bought by accepting Ministries," he added.
"War will be inevitable if both Sinhala major parties reject our proposals. The decision is totally in the hands of the Sinhala political leaders," said Mr.Adaikalanathan