Ten thousand Tamil voters deprived from voting in Sabaragamuwa election
[TamilNet, Saturday, 23 August 2008, 21:26 GMT]
Nearly 10,000 Up-Country Tamils who are eligible to vote were deprived from voting on Saturday at Ratnapura and Kegalle districts in Sabaragamuwa provincial council elections as they did not have National Identity Cards (NIC), a senior Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) member told media in Colombo.
The CWC has lodged protest with the Sri Lankan Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake.
Many of the Up-Country Tamils have applied for the NICs several months ago.
Also, a large number of Indian origin Tamils had applied for their NICs through a mobile service arranged by the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) in July.
On Saturday's election when the voters submitted the counterfoil at the polling station, they were turned away.
Most of the applicants' NICs were being held at the Divisional Secretary's Office in their respective electorates. Some of the NICs which were handed over to Village Officials (GS officials) were not distributed to the applicants.
The voters affected were from Panawatte, Lavent, Kelaniya, Halgolla, Nagasthenna, Edrapola and Yatidariya estates in the Yatiyantota electorate and Keselwatta, Noori, Maliboda, Sapumal Kanda and Maha Oya in the Deraniyagala electorate and also Morralioya, Jesterfor, Hatamata and Ruwanwella estates in the Ruwanwella electorate.