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JVP routed in Lankan local polls again

The JVP, which is supporting the Mahinda Rajapaksa Govt from outside, secured only one council this time, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: May 22, 2006 18:13 IST

The radical Marxist and Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which was routed in the first phase of the Sri Lankan local bodies elections held on March 30, continued its dismal run in the second phase held on May 20.

The JVP, which is supporting the Mahinda Rajapaksa government from outside, secured only one council this time, as against five won by the ruling United Peoples' Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and four by the opposition United National Party (UNP).

On March 30 too, the JVP had won only one council.

Though the UPFA did well this time too, it lost the prestigious Colombo Municipal Council to an independent group representing the UNP.

The loss of Colombo can be explained by the fact that it has a very large Tamil and Muslim population, which supports the UNP traditionally.

But the loss of Gampaha by the UPFA's allay the Liberal Party, should cause concern because this is supposedly an UPFA stronghold.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) kept up its promise by sweeping the Eastern district of Amparai winning four councils

Political meaning of JVP's defeat

Given the dismal performance of the JVP in the second as well as the first phase of the local elections, political observers expect President Rajapaksa to be less eager to please that party in crucial areas of decision-making like the national ethnic question and economic matters.

The JVP is bitterly opposed to the government's peace policy, including Norwegian facilitation and international involvement, and also to economic liberalisation.

It wants military action to finish the LTTE menace once and for all.

First Published: May 22, 2006 18:00 IST