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Sri Lanka police arrest more than 125 in run-up to local elections


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Sri Lanka police arrest more than 125 in run-up to local elections

2011-10-05 05:41:32 GMT+7 (ICT)

COLOMBO (BNO NEWS) -- More than 125 people have recently been arrested for violating Sri Lanka's election laws in the run-up to the local government elections, officials said on Tuesday.

Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Election Security, Gamini Navaratne, said that police have arrested 127 people for election law violations. At least 97 complaints of election law violations have been reported so far, including 60 regarding illegal propaganda activity, the Colombo Page reported.

The election watchdog Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said they have received 81 election violations, including eleven assaults.

Sri Lanka will hold elections on Saturday for 23 local government bodies which were not polled during the last two rounds on March 17 and July 23. Over 1.5 million voters will go to the polls at 1,167 polling centers island-wide, the newspaper reported.

On July 23, people in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged north cast an overwhelming majority of their votes to the candidates of the major Tamil party during the local government elections. Despite the massive campaign launched by the ruling party United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in the Northern districts where elections were held for the first time after 29 years, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), formerly controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels, won 18 out of 26 councils.

A victory for the ruling party in the Tamil-dominated districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu meant an endorsement for the government's reconciliation process which has come under criticism from the international community. A victory for the Tamil party, however, will strengthen the demands for self-rule in the Tamil-dominated area.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was militarily wiped out in May 2009, ending the 26-year-old civil war. The bloody civil war between the government and the Tamil Tigers left as many as 100,000 people dead. Both sides have been accused of war crimes and other human rights violations.

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-- © BNO News All rights reserved 2011-10-05

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