Sri Lanka holds first post-war elections
Sri Lanka is holding its first post-war elections in the Tamil-dominated north since the civil war ended in the south Asian island.
Voters in the northern towns of Jaffna and Vavuniya went to polls on Saturday after eleven years to elect local councilors. The region was formerly controlled by the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, who were defeated by government forces in May after four decades.
Voters will choose between a broad government coalition, the main opposition party and an umbrella group supportive of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Over one million voters are expected to vote, officials say.
“The voting is in progress without any serious incidents and will be carried out throughout the day until Saturday evening,” an election official said.
The government has described the elections as a step towards normality in the country. Colombo, however, has banned foreign journalists from going to the northern towns to cover the voting.
Al Jazeera – Sri Lanka holds post-war elections
Sri Lanka has held its first post-war elections in two Tamil-majority cities in the north.
Polls in Jaffna and Vavuniya, as well as elections in the southern province of Uva, closed late on Saturday after a lacklustre turnout from the 125,043 eligible voters.
Results are expected on Sunday.
The Jaffna and Vavuniya polls were to elect 34 members to municipal councils and come three months after the military defeated Tamil Tiger separatists.
While the government has described the polls as a step towards normality in the country, it banned foreign media from the north during the polls.