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Author Topic: Sri Lanca elections  (Read 4979 times)
dunn
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« on: April 02, 2004, 06:02:49 pm »
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High turnout in Sri Lanka poll
 
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lankans took to the polls in large numbers to vote in a general election which could determine the future of the peace process with Tamil Tiger rebels.

Polling ended at 4:00 p.m. Friday with monitors saying about three quarters of more than 12 million eligible voters cast their ballots.

Security was tight with soldiers out if force but there were few incidents of violence, making it one of the calmest in years in Sri Lanka despite initial fears of much bloodshed.

There was also no early indication whether the election would break a political deadlock that has frozen efforts to revive the peace process.

Full results are expected Saturday with all 225 seats in the nation's parliament up for grabs.

The election is primarily a face-off between President Chandrika Kumaratunga's party and that of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Kumaratunga called the election nearly four years early after disagreement between her and the prime minister over concessions granted to ethnic-Tamil rebels as part of the peace process.

But Sri Lankans say these latest elections -- the third in four years -- will not help solve the problem and they are doubtful whether it will foster much-needed stability.

Latest opinion polls show a tight race between the two parties in the country's 13th parliament since independence from the British in 1948.

With neither expected to take a decisive victory, they will need to turn to smaller parties -- ranging from one tied to the rebels to another led by Buddhist clergymen -- to forge a coalition or get legislation passed.

Face off
The two main parties differ strongly on how to approach peace talks with the Tamil Tiger rebels, who have been fighting for more than two decades for a separate homeland in the island's north.

A fragile truce between the government and the rebels has been maintained over the past two years.

Before the ceasefire came into effect, more than 65,000 people were killed with the tropical island's economy, one of Asia's poorest, wracked by the violence.

In 2001, Wickremesinghe's opposition United National Front swept aside Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party, forcing the long-time adversaries to work together in an uncomfortable constitutional cohabitation.

While both the president and prime minister believe that a lasting peace is the only way for Sri Lanka, they agree on little else.

In November, Kumaratanga declared a state of emergency, taking over the defense, interior and information ministries and escalating the row over the direction of the nation's peace process.

Kumaratunga says too many concessions were made to the rebels, and has promised in recent days to pursue a peace process of her own.

"We have already formulated methods, procedures, strategies and tactics to start off the peace process," Kumaratunga said.

But Wickremesinghe -- who is seen by many as the architect of the peace over the past two years -- says he is the only politician who can talk with the Tigers.

He has promised a permanent peace and says Kumaratunga has sabotaged the process for selfish reasons.

"People will support us to finish the unfinished business," Wickremesinghe said.

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Sibboleth
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2004, 05:56:24 am »
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Early results: Freedom Alliance=45% UNP=35%
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Rococo4
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2004, 11:32:17 pm »
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just testing my signtaure in something no one reads
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Rococo4
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2004, 11:35:12 pm »
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again
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Rococo4
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2004, 11:43:45 pm »
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Yes
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WMS
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2004, 10:59:52 pm »
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Well, the results are out: http://www.slelections.gov.lk/2004/index.html

And the Freedom Alliance (pretty much the left according to Elections Around the World) got 105 seats, while the conservative United National Party got 82, some party I've never heard of but which appears to be a Tamil party of some type got 22, and a few others got single digit numbers of seats.

I'll leave analysis to Al and Dunn...
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2004, 05:29:34 am »
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The UNP did worse than I thought they would... this should have been a very close election but wasn't.
Apparently the UNP's support collapsed in the Sinhalese villages near Tamil country, where the UNP had won by big margins last time around.
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dunn
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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2004, 05:45:10 am »
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Well, the results are out: http://www.slelections.gov.lk/2004/index.html

And the Freedom Alliance (pretty much the left according to Elections Around the World) got 105 seats, while the conservative United National Party got 82, some party I've never heard of but which appears to be a Tamil party of some type got 22, and a few others got single digit numbers of seats.

I'll leave analysis to Al and Dunn...
It ia a Tamil praty and it gots 22 seats b/c of the sysrem (mainly regional) compare to the Budhist party that won almost the same amount of votes but got only 9 seats
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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2004, 06:08:41 am »
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the UPFA are left alliance              - 105
the UNP are conservative                   82
the ITAK are Tamil seperatist              22
thr JHU are budhists                              9
the SLMC    are o/c muslims                  5
the UCPF are left wing Sihalees            1
thr EPDP are Tamil region  party           1
   
« Last Edit: April 09, 2004, 06:09:57 am by dunn »Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2004, 07:32:34 am »
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Sri Lanka has a weird newspaper that has a political editorial posisiton that is to support the incumbent government. This means that they change their political allegiance if the government loses an election. That about sums up my knowledge of Sri Lankan electinos. Wink
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2004, 01:04:06 pm »
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The UNP did worse than I thought they would... this should have been a very close election but wasn't.
Apparently the UNP's support collapsed in the Sinhalese villages near Tamil country, where the UNP had won by big margins last time around.

I was also very surprised at the poor showing of the UNP -I knew that Kumaratunga was gaining increasing momentum during the course of the election campaign but I was still expecting the UNP to be in a strong position to form a government after the election.

In my opinion this does not bode well for the peace process. Kumaratunga has had to make some alliances with some parliamentary parties that may be very antagonistic toward any concessions that the government may choose to make toward the Tamil Tigers. I think the talks will remain deadlocked and I fear that the violence will resume.

Having said that, I do not consider that circumstances would have been much better had the UNP been victorious in the parliamentary elections. The infighting and bickering between the President and the Prime Minister would have continued and this would have continued to derail the peace process.

So perhaps it was a no win situation after all. I wonder
(1) How long this present parliamentary government will survive
(2) What the eventual impact of this election result will be on the presidential election in a few years time
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Sibboleth
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2004, 01:20:06 pm »
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A no-win situation is an accurate description...
Next presidential election: Wickramasinge (sp?) v Runatunga (sp?)... Wink
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"I have become entangled in my own data, and my conclusion stands in direct contradiction to the initial idea from which I started. Proceeding from unlimited freedom, I end with unlimited despotism. I will add, however, that there can be no solution of the social formula except mine."
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