The much hyped Eastern Provincial council elections were held last Saturday ( 10, May ) with the government winning 20 of the of the allocated 37 seats.United National Party won 15 seats and JVP and TDNA won 1 seat each.While the government hailed this as a major victory in the fight against terrorism the two major opposing parties and many independent observers complained about rigging and many incident of tampering. Blogger were divided in their opinions with some supporting it some criticizing the violations and some questioning the validity of Provincial councils.
Lanka Rising in his post The result of the election: the victory for democracy and defeat for separatist terrorism gives a very detailed analysis about the elections and the events leading up to it. There are few nice comments as well with some heated discussion :)
The long march of democracy in Eastern province started with the liberation of Mavillaru sluice gate from LTTE and restoring the supply of water for the innocent farmers in the area. It was a time when LTTE artillery were even targeting Tricomalee town and strategic Navy camp as a result of shameful CFA signed by UNP leader Ranil Wickramasingha and Prabakaran. The monks of JHU timely influenced the government to take speedy action at a time when new UPFA government seemed to be trapped with the CFA signed by previous UNP leadership. The success of Mavillaru operation not only prevented another attempt of LTTE to chase away Sinhala and Muslim farming community from Eastern province, but also mark the beginning or new democratic era in Eastern province.
Court Jester questions the validity and the use of provincial councils and also questions whether the government has truly liberated the Eastern Province in his post Provincial Council Elections and related issues.
I have long taken a dim view of these Provincial Councils: all they do is add another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy to an already inefficient administrative system. If anyone knows what value the provincial councils add to the public let me know.
The report goes on to state that “The LTTE had resorted to various terror acts to intimidate and keep voters away from polling booths”.
So the LTTE appears to be active again in the East. We are left to wonder if they re-infiltrated the cleared areas or whether they were actually cleared out as thoroughly as previously claimed.
Dennam Batey in his post Eastern Polls – Yet another ‘crucial’ (to whom it is crucial is questionable) election is over !!! criticize the usual post election statements where the winners take it all and the losers cry foul and points out that no party has yet to appoint an independent body to hold elections.
We can remember the days of UNP and CBK where hundreds and thousands of votes were rigged and laws were grossly ignored. Why cry only when you are in the opposition?
Deane's Dimension has a very different view of things in his post Terrorists and Government win in the rigged Eastern Polls where he states that terrorism is fine as long as the terrorists support the government.
See, it's often mistakenly thought there's a war against terror in Sri Lanka. Nonsense. Most Sri Lankans, the ruling party and particularly the president is fine with terrorrism as long as the terrorists are on ‘their’ side.