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Sri Lanka's ruling alliance wins local polls

President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led ruling coalition United People’s Freedom Alliance won in two of the three provincial and local elections held on Saturday, the first to be held since the defeat of the separatist LTTE in May.

world Updated: Aug 09, 2009 20:31 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

President Mahinda Rajapaksa-led ruling coalition United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won in two of the three provincial and local elections held on Saturday, the first to be held since the defeat of the separatist LTTE in May.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), considered to be pro-LTTE, emerged the single largest coalition the urban council election of the northern district of Vavuniya.

In the final official results declared on Sunday, the seven-party alliance of UPFA won 25 of the 34 seats in Uva province council. The main opposition, United National Party (UNP) won seven seats.

The UPFA also 13 of the 23 seats in Tamil-dominated Jaffna where elections were held after 11 years. They got eight seats. Jaffna, which has a huge army presence, had seen only 25 per cent polling.

President Rajapaksa called the victories ``outstanding’’ and a ``victory for all who love our motherland.’’ He added that the victories were also ``victory of our policies to stabilise democracy.’’

Meanwhile, defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that the arrest of the new LTTE chief, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, also known as KP, had completely crushed the rebels.

“The arrest of the LTTE mastermind KP has thwarted completely the possibilities of LTTE raising its ugly head again,” Rajapaksa was quoted as saying by the state-run Sunday Observer.

According to Rajapaksa, Pathmanathan, better known as KP, was arrested in an Asian country and flown to Colombo on the night of Aug 6.

“Pathmanathan was busy re-establishing the LTTE. He even went to the extent of forming a ‘transnational’ government. However, the timely and the prompt action (has shattered) all his plans,” Rajapaksa said.

“It is vital at this juncture to protect the details and other information relating to countries and the officials who played their part in nabbing Pathmanathan,” Rajapaksa said.

The government has remained silent on the details of KP’s arrest though reports suggest that he was caught from a hotel in Kuala Lumpur.