Less than one percent cast vote in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 November 2005, 12:28 GMT]
Election officials in Jaffna secretariat said in a low voter turnout only 2168 votes (0.3% out of 701,938 registered) were cast in Jaffna district. Low number of incidents of violence were reported during the election day where Jaffna district voters appeared to have heeded the call for total boycott by several student organizations.

With 2326 postal votes cast in Jaffna the total for Jaffna district is 4494 (0.6% of registered voters).

According to Batticaloa District GA R.Punniyamoorthy, 44% of 313,728 eligible voters had voted in Batticaloa district.

The highest recorded voting was in the Kurunegala district where 85 per cent of the registered voters turned up to vote.

The total number of registered voters in Kurunegala is 1,124,076.

The Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said that the final result will be out by Friday morning.

In many polling booths in Jaffna there were no votes cast, in many booths less than ten votes were cast, according to election observers.

In Jaffna town Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) cadres were transporting residents to polling booths. Near Jaffna Hindu College, in an altercation with protesting youths, S Balasubramaniam (63) of Arasady was injured and have been taken to Jaffna Teaching Hospital, sources said.

Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers and police have attacked youths attempting to set road blocks along roads leading to voting booths in several incidents of violence reported in Jaffna district.

In Vembadi region in Thunnalai, 3 km south of Point Pedro, Mamaangam Prabha (24) was arrested by Security Forces. Residents in Thunnalai say that Prabha is still in custody.

There are also reports Security forces attacking the public and youths in Thumpalai area, 1 km from Point Pedro.

Jaffna district co-ordinator for Peoples Action For Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL), a Colombo based election monitoring Non Governmental Organization, said that residents in LTTE controlled areas of Kilinochchi and Vadamaradchy east had totally boycotted voting even though all transport and security arrangements were in place.

Security has been further tightened and road patrols by Security Forces have increased as ballot boxes were being transported to the Jaffna secretariat for counting, sources said.


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