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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Sri Lankan elections: a conspiracy to prevent Tamils from ..

[b]Sri Lankan elections: a conspiracy to prevent Tamils from voting[/b]

[b]By Deepal Jayasekera – World Socialist Web Site [/b]

In the communally charged atmosphere of Sri Lankan politics, a conspiracy is underway to prevent large numbers of Tamils in the war-ravaged northern and eastern provinces from voting in the November 17 presidential elections. In what is an unlikely alliance, the Colombo government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)—each for their own political purposes—are seeking to obstruct Tamil voters from exercising their basic right to vote.

On November 9, a Supreme Court brought down a ruling imposing serious restrictions on the rights of Tamils in areas controlled by the rebel LTTE to vote. The decision confirmed that no polling booths would be established inside LTTE-controlled areas and that voters would be forced to travel to “cluster” booths inside army-held zones. This requirement is just one of a series of obstacles that voters must overcome to cast their ballot.

The Supreme Court decision was in response to a “fundamental rights” petition filed by the presidential candidates of the Sri Lanka Progressive Front (SLPF) and Sri Lanka National Front (SLNF). The SLPF is a front for the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)—their media time and votes all go towards the SLFP candidate Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.

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