High voter turn-out in North-East

[TamilNet, Saturday, 16 November 2019, 23:48 GMT]
The people in the North-East have voted in large numbers in the SL presidential elections held on Saturday. The Tamil voters have ignored the calls for boycott as they didn’t want to see the return of the war-time SL Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the next president and opted to back Sajith Premadasa, the lesser evil of the two main candidates. The Chairman of the SL Election Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya, has described the polls as the most peaceful presidential election in the history of the island. However, war-displaced Tamil-speaking Muslims transported from Puththa’lam to cast their votes in Mannaar were attacked by the supporters of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Sinhala extremists, as well as former Tamil paramilitary operatives employed by the SL military in the past, were campaigning against the Muslims.

Community efforts to bring eight of the Tamil parties to make a united position on the SL presidential elections went futile.

The mainstream party ITAK chose to break the understanding reached between the six parties on not backing any of the mainstream candidates from the South unless they agreed to fulfil the most urgent and the fundamental demands articulated by the Tamil parties.

The other Tamil parties also failed to make a united position on backing a Tamil candidate.

The highest turn-out percentage was recorded in Hambantota, the home electorate of both the leading candidates in the South.


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