Curfew announced in election province
[TamilNet, Monday, 25 January 1999, 16:40 GMT]
Sri Lankan Police announced a curfew to be enforced in the Puttalam and Kurunagale districts in the North-Western Province of the island from 11 p.m. The curfew is in anticipation of a further escalation of violence during the night.
The curfew will last until 9.00 a.m. tomorrow morning.
|An anti-riot squad patrols the streets of the northwestern Sri Lankan town of
Wennappuwa as a violence-marred local election got underway.
Meanwhile an officer at the Elections Commissioners Department said that the Commissioner of Elections is meeting the Sri Lankan President to discuss the possibility of cancelling today's election.
An independent election monitoring group, the Centre For Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has reported widespread violence and malpractice.
The group reported that polling stations had been taken over and members of the electorate supportive of opposition parties prevented from voting.
Major opposition political parties have already appealed for the cancellation of the elections.
The elections will be taken as a key indicator of the Government's popularity and a verdict on its military campaign in the North-eastern Tamil areas of the island.