Batticaloa voters seen favouring UNP

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 December 1999, 10:00 GMT]
As voting continues in the eastern Batticaloa district, TamilNet correspondents there say voters' sentiments favour Sri Lanka's opposition United National Party (UNP).

The voters' opinions are generally along the lines that none of Sri Lanka's main political parties willing to solve the ethnic issue, but the ruling People's Alliance has had the opportunity.

During the last presidential election President Chandrika Kumaratunge received 144,725 votes (87.3 percent ) in this district, while the UNP candidate, Shrimathi Dissanayake, received 14,812 votes (8.93 percent).

A young man at one centre told a TamilNet correspondent "I voted for Chandrika (Kumaratunga) in the last election; the problem was not solved. Lets give a chance to Ranil (Wickremasinghe) this time."

The Batticaloa District has 270,197 eligible voters of whom only 113,635 reside in the Sri Lanka Army controlled areas.

76 of the 314 polling centres in the District are in the SLA controlled area.

For voters from the areas of Vavunathivu, an area controlled by the Liberation Tigers, their booths are clustered at Parameswara College near the Vavunathivu SLA camp.

However low voter turn out has been reported at this polling booth. Residents said Tamil paramilitaries were loitering at the centre.

In the Kattankudy area, PA activists have made transport arrangements for their supporters to go to the polling stations, while the UNP has arranged boat service for voters from the Naaseevanthivu area to cross the Valaichenai lagoon to reach the polling station at the Hindu College in Valaichenai.

 

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