Voting said smooth, sporadic incidents

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 December 1999, 09:02 GMT]
Polling this morning was reported to be trouble-free in most parts of the island where elections are being held, with independent monitors reporting isolated incidents of violence. According to Additional Commissioner of Elections a voter turn out of 40 percent had been recorded by noon today.

The highest voter turn out has been recorded in the Polannaruwa District, with about 60 voters have cast their votes till noon, according to sources at the Election Commissioner's office.

Reports said in the northern Jaffna, a voter turn out of 12 percent has been reordered until noon, while between 35 and 40 percent has been recorded in the eastern Batticaloa district.

These voters had trekked long distances from the early hours of the morning to reach clustered polling booths in the army controlled coastal belt of the Batticaloa district.

Independent poll observers say they have received several complaints of intimidation from the Central, North-central and North-western provinces.

In the Kurunegala District, north-east of Colombo, one person was killed when supporters of the ruling People's Alliance (PA) and the opposition United National Party (UNP), clashed at Thummalasuriya in the Bingiriya electorate.

Two Policemen were assaulted allegedly by supporters of the PA at the polling booth in Dambeliyadda in Wariyapola in the Kurunegala district.

PA supporters had also assaulted members of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (People's Liberation Front) in Spring Valley in Hali Ela in the Badulla district and in Panwila and Ulapane in the Kandy district this morning, according to the observers.

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Police escorts distribution of ballot boxes, 20 December, a day before the presidential election.Photo:TamilNet
The observers said they have also received complaints from Anuradhapura, Kurunegala about election officers being chased away from some polling booths in the area.

"We are presently investigation the incidents" they added.

In the central province, estate workers have complained that they were not able to cast their votes as they have not been granted leave.

 

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