Voters throng polling booths in thousands
Despite minor hiccup at Trinco:
Voters with greater enthusiasm lined up before the polling stations
to cast their votes at the Provincial Council polls for the Eastern
Province which was held yesterday after twenty years according to the
Governor of the Eastern Province Mohan Wijewickrama.
“Despite the LTTE attack in Ampara on Friday where eleven innocent
civilians were killed and the attack on a Naval vessel at the Naval base
in Trincomalee yesterday, the voters in the districts of Trincomalee,
Batticaloa and Ampara cast their votes with greater enthusiasm to
restore provincial council administration in the East.
The Easterners have sent a clear message to the LTTE and its stooges
that they are determined to establish peace and democracy in the region
which eluded them for the past two decades with the polling that took
place yesterday”, Governor Wijewickrama said.
He said that unlike the recent local Government polls in the
Batticaloa district, there was a good number of political parties and
independent candidates contesting in the yesterday’s Provincial Council
“It is interesting to note that several ex-militant outfits,
including the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal, the breakaway party from
the LTTE with other Tamil, Muslim and major national political parties
contested the polls following a one month long campaign throughout the
districts of Batticaloa, Ampara and Trincomalee.
The election officials did a commendable job with making all
necessary arrangements to see the polls are taking place without any
hindrance,”the Governor added.
The election officials said the polling began in all three districts
at 7.00 am where a large gathering of voters were present. Along with
the election monitors the police and the security forces were deployed
in the vicinity of all polling stations.
A total number of 27,000 police personnel were deployed along with
3500 soldiers in all three districts according to Military spokesperson
Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara.
Brigadier Nanayakkara said a mortar attack was launched from
Kanchikudichcharu jungles by the LTTE towards Pannalagama village in the
Ampara district. Four villagers, including a ten year old child were
injured and they are out of danger.