Nominations called for local elections in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 03 December 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Commissioner of Elections called nominations for polls to the local government bodies in the Jaffna peninsula. Nominations have to be filed between December 16 and 12 noon December 23.

The dates on which the elections are going to be held, however, were not announced.

Nominations have been called for elections to 17 local government bodies in the peninsula.

Of these thirteen are Pradeshiya Sabhas, three are the urban councils of Valvettithurai, Pt. Pedro and Chavakachcheri and the municipal council of Jaffna. The thirteen Pradeshiya Sabhas are Kayts, Delft, Velanai, Valigamam west, Valigamam north, Valigamam southeast, Valigamam south, Valigamam east, Vadamaradchi southeast, Pt. Pedro, Chavakachcheri, Nallur and Pachchilaipalli.

Local government elections in Jaffna were postponed by the Sri Lankan President late last year after all Tamil parties in Colombo made strong representations to her that the conditions in the peninsula were not conducive.

Several Pradeshiya Sabhas such as Valigamam north and Pachchilaipalli are largely occupied by the Sri Lankan army, and the Pradeshiya Sabha of Vadamaradchi east is not under the Sri Lankan army's control.

The security situation in the areas of the other local government bodies is not stable.

Rigging and corruption is inevitable in these circumstances, said an ex-Tamil militant group leader who operates in Jaffna.

The magnitude of the rigging and corruption that is possible when elections are held in Tamil areas held by the Sri Lankan security forces was underscored in the report of the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry which probed the gross malpractices in the elections to the local government bodies in the eastern province and to the Vavuniya Urban council in March 1, 1994 which was put out last evening.

 

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