Polling stations in SLA side of checkpoints

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 2004, 03:18 GMT]
During a meeting with Government Agents (GAs) from Vanni electoral district and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) commanders held in Vavuniya Wednesday evening it was agreed to locate polling stations in the SLA side of checkpoints at Omanthai, Madhu road and Uyilankulam, for residents of LTTE controlled areas in Vanni district to vote, sources said.

Vanni electoral destrict encompasses Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu districts.

Government Agent (GA) of Vavuniya, K.Ganesh, GA for Mannar district, V.Viswalingam, GA for Mullaitivu Ms. Emilda Sugumar, Vanni SLA commander, Major General Sisira Vijesuriya, and SLA commanders in-charge of the Omanthai, Uyilankulam and Madhu Road checkpoints attended the meeting, sources said.

SLA commanders and GAs agreed that on the election day only voters will be admitted through the checkpoints with expedited checking based on the National Identity cards. SLA commanders also assured arrangements will be made such that every one who comes to the checkpoint area will be able to vote, according to sources attending the meeting.

SLA commanders also agreed that only Sri Lanka Police will be deployed in large numbers to maintain order at the polling booths.

GA Ganesh said decisions to allow people living in Liberation Tigers controlled areas to exercise their voting rights were made based on the following four principles:

  • Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and other parties should make every effort to conduct the elections in a fair and just manner.

  • All parties to make every effort to ensure that all eligible residents can freely exercise their franchise as embodied in the Sri Lanka constitution.

  • Sri Lanka's Supreme Court accused the Sri Lanka Army personnel for denying people in LTTE controlled area their right to vote during the last general election. This situation should not be repeated in the forthcoming elections.

  • All parties should abide by the contents of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the LTTE and GoSL which is serving as the foundation for the prevailing peace.


The GAs agreed to arrange the free bus transportation for all voters from LTTE-controlled areas to the voting booths.

 

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