Monday, April 12, 2010

Sri Lanka: Thousands Of IDPs Prevented From Voting

Photo Courtesy of Anupama Genegoda/Perambara

By Cassandra Mascarenahas - Over 30,000 people in the districts of Vavuniya and Mullaitivu were denied their right to vote at the parliamentary elections that were held last week according to TNA member Suresh Premachandran. “This was not a democratic election, there was much confusion amongst the voters in Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu when it came to voting on Thursday – the government denied the people of these areas of their right to vote,” proclaimed Premachandran.

Thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) who were resettled in Jaffna were told that they would have to return to Vavuniya and Mullaitivu to cast their vote and were provided buses for this purpose. The buses however were halted and turned back in Kilinochchi.

In another similar situation, resettled people in Mullaitivu were refused polling cards to vote In that area and were told that they had to go back to the Vavuniya camps to vote, throwing the people into confusion and as a result many people did not end up casting their vote.

Despite these problems, the voters in the North and North-East managed to show their support for the Tamil National Alliance as the TNA managed to get 13 seats, the highest number of seats received by a party in the North-East.

Premachandran was hopeful that the TNA would receive a National List seat as well although he admitted that it was hard to confirm anything at this point.

© The Sunday Leader

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