UNP opposes calls to delay elections
[TamilNet, Friday, 19 June 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Buddhist clergy of the Malwatte, Asgiriye, Amarapura Nikaye and Raman Maha Nikaye chapters requested the Sri Lanka Government today to postpone the Provincial Council Elections until the island's war was won.
They said that the Sri Lankan security forces are successfully fighting the "terrorists" in the north and east of the country, and that the troops could not be withdrawn now to take up election duties.
Meanwhile, the Working Committee of the main Sri Lankan opposition, the United National Party (UNP), which met in Colombo today, decided not to support the request made by the Government to postpone the forthcoming Provincial Council (PC) election, said UNP sources this evening.
The UNP Working Committee met today to discuss this issue following a request made by the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Prof. G.L. Peiris, to the opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinge yesterday.
The PC elections are scheduled for August. However, the exact date has not been announced yet.
However, political observers in Colombo said today that it is unlikely the Government will hold the elections as planned.
The Sri Lankan government might use the prevailing war situation in the Vanni or the Emergency Regulations to postpone the elections at the eleventh hour, they added.