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India hopes Rajapaksa will fulfil Tamil promise

Jan 27 (IANS) With President Mahinda Rajapaksa heading for a landslide win in the first election after the LTTE rout, India is hoping he will use the electoral boost to fast-track the long-deferred devolution package for the Tamil minority and bring permanent peace to the island nation. The poll results, in which Rajapaksa beat his closest rival Sarath Fonseka who commanded the army to crush the LTTE rebels, more..

Democracy in Sri Lanka: new lessons added to old ones

Jan 27 (TN) Mahinda Rajapaksa gains a victory of big margin in the presidential elections of Sri Lanka and this has not surprised Tamil nationalist circles. The voters of Sinhala Nation have very clearly endorsed a regime accused of genocide and war crimes against Tamils. Democracy insisting the need to recognise two Nation States in the island is an old lesson. But, the new lesson is to the International Community, especially to the West that is slipping for the third time within one year, more..

Sri Lankans vote for stability by re-electing Rajapaksa

Jan 27 (DPA) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected for a second term Tuesday, promising economic stability after his success in ending the separatist war that plagued the country for 26 years. He convincingly defeated his closest rival, former army commander General Sarath Fonseka, winning 57.8 per cent of the vote. Fonseka polled 40.1 per cent. Rajapaksa, who decided to confront the Tamil rebels of the LTTE in 2006, six months after he was first elected, more..

Seeking justice after Sri Lanka's elections

Jan 27 (HP) The decisive re-election of Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday presents the president with a momentous choice. He can continue the Sinhalese nationalist policies that defined his first term, or he can address the serious grievances of the minority Tamil population that lay behind the country's 26-year-long civil war. That turnout in the predominantly Tamil north-east was only 30 percent, more..

Cumulative - Districts

Anuradapura298,448 (66.3%) 143,761 (31.9%)
Badulla 237,579 (53.2%) 198,835 (44.6%)
Batticoloa 55,663 (26.3%) 146,057 (68.9%)
Colombo 614,740 (52.9%) 533,022 (45.9%)
Digamadulla 146,912 (47.9%) 153,105 (49.9%)
Galle 386,971 (63.7%) 211,633 (34.8%)
Gampaha 718,716 (61.7%) 434,506 (37.3%)
Hambantota 226,887 (67.2%) 105,336 (31.2%)
Jaffna 44,154 (24.8%) 113,877 (63.8%)
Kalutara 412,562 (63.1%) 231,807 (35.4%)
Kandy 406,636 (54.2%) 329,492 (43.9%)
Kegalle 296,639 (61.8%) 174,877 (36.4%)
Kurunegala 582,784 (63.1%) 327,594 (35.5%)
Matale 157,953 (59.7%) 100,513 (38.0%)
Matara 296,155 (65.5%) 148,510 (32.9%)
Monaragala 158,435 (69.0%) 66,803 (29.1%)
NuwaraEliya 151,604 (43.8%) 180,604 (52.1%)
Polonnaruwa 144,889 (64.9%) 75,026 (33.6%)
Puttalam 201,981 (58.7%) 136,233 (39.6%)
Ratnapura 377,734 (63.8%) 203,566 (34.4%)
Trincomalee 69,752 (43.0%) 87,661 (54.1%)
Vanni 28,740 (27.3%) 70,367 (66.9%)
Total6,015,934 (57.9%)4,173,185 (40.1%)

Cumulative - All Island

CandidateVotes (%)
Mahinda Rajapaksha6,015,93457.88%
Sarath Fonseka4,173,18540.15%
M.C.M. Ismail39,2260.38%
Achala Suraweera26,2660.25%
Channa Gamage23,2900.22%
Mahiman Ranjith 18,7470.18%
Anura Liyanage14,2200.14%
Sarath Manamendra9,6840.09%
Kanagalingam Sivajilingam9,6620.09%
U.B. Wijekoon9,3810.09%
Lal Perera9,3530.09%
Siritunga Jayasuriya8,3520.08%
Wickramabahu Karunaratne7,0550.07%
Idroos Ilyas6,1310.06%
Wije Dias4,1950.04%
Sarath Pinnaduwa 3,5230.03%
Mohamed Musthaffa3,1340.03%
Seelarathana Thero2,7700.03%
Senaratna De Silva2,6200.03%
Aruna de Soyza2,6180.03%
Sarath Kongahage2,2600.02%
M.B. Thaminimulla2,0070.02%

Sri Lanka holds on to a hard pillow

Jan 28 (FE) Mahinda Rajapaksa appears to have won a second term as President of Sri Lanka. How else could it have been? According to Reporters Without Borders, which monitored the coverage of two state-owned television stations for seven days prior to the polls, over 96.7% of the 1,539 minutes of airtime on the race was devoted to the President and his followers. more..

Sri Lanka’s economy onwards and upwards

Jan 28 (AT) The continuity inherent in incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa's election victory, based on early returns, is likely to further strengthen confidence in Sri Lanka's economic revival after decades of civil war. Indeed, such is the present strength of the economy, which is forecast to grow as much as 6% this year, that few observers believed even a surprise victory by his chief rival, would have had a significant negative impact on the present boom. more..

Sri Lankan opposition journalist still missing after three days

Jan 28 (IPI) Sri Lankan independent journalist and political analyst Prageeth Ekneliyagoda has been missing since the evening of 24 January, just two days before a snap presidential election, amidst growing concerns that he may have been abducted for political reasons. As results for the election came in, on 27 January, state media declared incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa the victor. more..

Debrief News - 27. 01. 2010

Fonseka leaves the hotel

Jan 28 (DM) Presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka, who was holed up at a leading hotel in Colombo, left the premises a short while ago and is now on his way to his house, an aide of General Fonseka told Daily Mirror online. The General had been at the hotel since last night and refused to leave the premises today claiming there were moves to arrest him. He also said that his security contingent had been removed by the government and that now he was under threat. more..

Sri Lanka president’s election win disappoints Tamil expats

Jan 28 (CSM) The decisive win of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Tuesday’s election comes as disappointing news to the influential community of Tamils living overseas, many of whom are still reeling from his government’s defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last year. Mr. Rajapaksa’s main challenger, Sarath Fonseka, was no hero to Tamils either. As Army chief, he led the ruthless campaign that routed the rebels from their stronghold in the island’s north and finished the 26-year war. more..

What exactly did the Elections Commissioner say?

Jan 28 (LT) Sri Lanka’s most controversial and ugliest election ever, the 06th Presidential Election concluded this evening (27th) on a questionable note. The final result was announced by an obviously agitated Elections Commissioner. The Commissioner also chose the occasion to make a speech that analysts said was loaded with meaning and abhorrence of what had been a turbulent task of overseeing a violent election. more..

Resentment simmers in Sri Lanka after presidential vote

Jan 28 (LAT) Sri Lanka's president won reelection by a sizable margin, state media reported today, following a bitterly fought campaign against the island nation's former army chief. President Mahinda Rajapaksa received 57.9% of the vote, compared with challenger and former general Sarath Fonseka's 40.6%, Sri Lanka's electoral commission reported. But the acrimony and sharp-elbow tactics witnessed during the seven-week campaign showed little sign of ending with the announced results, more..

Sri Lanka’s President wins re-election but is challenged

Jan 28 (NYT) Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, declared victory in his race for a second term Wednesday, but his main challenger, a retired army general who had been a close ally until a few months ago, rejected the tally and demanded a new vote. Official results gave Mr. Rajapaksa, who ran on his victory against the Tamil Tiger insurgency, an 18-point advantage over his nearest opponent, Sarath Fonseka, the general who carried out the successful military operation against the Tigers. more..

Sri Lankan President Faces New Challenges in 2nd Term

Jan 28 (Xinhua) The result of Sri Lankans' choice made between the war president and the war general was clear on Wednesday. The incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa won the island's sixth presidential election with a comfortable margin. Elections Commissioner said Rajapaksa had won 6,015,934 votes or 57.88 percent of the total while his main challenger former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka won 4,173,185 or 40.15 percent. more..

Sri Lanka reelects President; loser protests

Jan 28 (Time) The tight electoral contest predicted between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and retired Army commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka failed to materialize when Sri Lanka went to the polls on Tuesday. Instead, Rajapaksa won easily — with 57.9% of the vote, by official count, 1.8 million more votes than Fonseka, who received around 40%. But Fonseka immediately rejected the result, alleging vote-rigging, prompting a tense standoff. more..

Fonseka leaves hotel after stand-off

Jan 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s defeated opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka left a luxury hotel in Colombo unimpeded on Wednesday after being holed up there all day surrounded by troops, an AFP reporter witnessed. He drove out of the lake-side hotel complex in a black BMW in a motorcade of several cars, which was stopped briefly by the soldiers before they allowed him to continue to a safe house in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka 're-elects' President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Jan 28 (BBC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has won Sri Lanka's first election since Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated after 25 years of civil war, state TV has reported. The final results are yet to be declared but Mr Rajapaksa appears to have won more than half the votes cast. With nearly 85% of the vote counted, the Elections Commissioner gave Mr Rajapaksa 4.99 million votes compared to 3.39 million for his rival. more..

An island still divided

Jan 28 (IE) Elected by over 60 per cent of the voters, Mahinda Rajapaksa has retained the presidency of Sri Lanka. In a tense electoral battle, which saw over a 70 per cent turnout, Rajapaksa beat his rival and erstwhile army chief Sarath Fonseka by 1.8 million votes. Rajapaksa won comfortably in many parts of the Sinhalese-dominated south and central provinces, but Fonseka emerged a clear favourite in the Tamil-dominated north and Muslim- and Tamil-dominated eastern province. more..

Sri Lankan President wins re-election

President Rajapaksa wins Sri Lanka election with landslide

Jan 28 (National) The Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, swept through a surprised opposition, winning convincingly Tuesday’s presidential election but failing to placate minority Tamils or prevent post-election violence by supporters. The unprecedented margin of victory will, however, help the president to steamroller the opposition in parliamentary polls due anytime before April, providing him with the power and more..

Sri Lanka’s uncertain election

Jan 28 (FT) Sri Lankans have voted in the first peacetime election in more than 25 years. But what should be a moment of celebration and optimism is fraught with danger. The incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has been declared the clear winner by the country’s electoral commission, vindicating his decision to call a poll two years early in the hopes of capitalising on his military victory over the Tamil Tiger separatists. more..

Build bridges to Tamils in Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (Telegraph) Sri Lanka's president says he has been re-elected in a race against the former head of the army by a margin of some 20 percentage points, even though the election campaign suggested a far closer contest. General Sarath Fonseka is disputing the result; but his allegations of electoral fraud will be difficult to prove. It is also possible that President Mahinda Rajapaksa did win by a comfortable margin, since more..

Failing the promise of Sri Lanka’s peace

Jan 28 (National) The forceful conclusion of Sri Lanka’s 26-year civil war has been matched only by the sheer mess politicians have made of the peace in the subsequent eight months. The incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa declared victory at the polls yesterday, but far from a mandate, the victory – if it stands – is marred by campaign violence and dirty electioneering. The irony is that the decisive military victory over the Tamil insurgency more..

Editorial: Sri Lankan denouement

Jan 28 (Hindu) Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential election has exceeded all expectations, including the most optimistic projections made within the President’s camp on the basis of hard-nosed pre-election opinion polls. The 17.73 percentage point margin of win is a reaffirmation of the maturity and good sense of ordinary voters who, given a choice between an experienced political leader in the saddle and an unpredictable adventurer sponsored by more..

People can now unite: Rajapaksa

Jan 28 (Hindu) Minutes after he was declared the victor in the 2010 presidential election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told reporters that the outcome of the poll demonstrated the maturity of the people of the island nation. Of the 14 million voters, nearly over a million exercised their franchise. Flanked by his two brothers, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, more..

Conservative Sri Lankan polity vote to be grateful instead of change

Jan 28 (LP) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa is in the path of a massive victory in the presidential for his re-election. Pre-election malpractices like misuse of public property and the election day violence and blockade of Tamil votes also seem not affecting the end result. Minority communities have voted against Mahinda Rajapaksa. But the majority Sinhala community voted him overwhelmingly. more..

Statement following the election of President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Jan 28 (PR) President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a historic and resounding victory in the Presidential Election held yesterday (26), the first free and fair election in which the entire country could participate in nearly three decades, and also the first such election since the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka in May last year. The people of Sri Lanka have spoken and they have voted for an end to division, more..

Sri Lanka votes in President Rajapaksa

President’s new term time for accountability

Jan 28 (HRW) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and key international actors should take steps to bring accountability for Sri Lanka's grave human rights violations so that the thousands of victims will not continue to be denied justice during President Mahinda Rajapaksa's second term, Human Rights Watch said today. The human rights situation in Sri Lanka deteriorated markedly during Rajapaksa's first term, and he failed to hold perpetrators accountable. more..

After the vote

Jan 28 (IE) The victory may not be as emphatic as Mahinda Rajapaksa expected when he advanced the presidential election by almost two years. His main opponent, former army chief Sarath Fonseka, is reported to have taken about 40 per cent of the vote in a campaign that assembled a rainbow coalition of Rajapaksa’s political opponents. Rajapaksa and Fonseka, his army chief who successfully ended the LTTE insurgency last year to abruptly retire from his post and more..

India may give cold shoulder to Fonseka’s protection plea

Jan 28 (ET) Former Lankan Army chief Sarath Fonseka on Wednesday reached out to India for protection following incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s landslide victory. It is understood the former Army chief asked for India’s protection soon after armed troops surrounded his hotel. Gen Fonseka accused the government of trying to have him assassinated and rejected Mr Rajapaksa’s electoral victory. more..

Promote peace and dev: SL bishops tell new president

Jan 28 (CNA) Bishops’ Conference president, Bishop Vianney Fernando, has appealed to newly re-elected Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make peace and development the nation’s priorities. “We hope that the elected president will work to promote peace and development in the nation: these are priority concerns,” Bishop Fernando told Agenzia Fides. The incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa has won 58% of the vote and more..

Rajapaksa has ‘lot to do’ to lure mobius after Sri Lanka vote

Jan 28 (BN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will need to use the platform of the biggest election victory in 16 years to heal the wounds left by a civil war and lure the investment he needs to rebuild the economy. Rajapaksa won 58 percent of the vote in the Jan. 26 election, defeating his former army chief Sarath Fonseka. As troops ringed Fonseka’s downtown Colombo hotel and the opposition alleged voting irregularities, more..

Luxury backdrop to Sri Lankan poll drama

Jan 28 (BBC) In the lobby of the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel, the pianist played, Japanese tourists took photos and waiters glided by with the trays for high tea. Later, a wedding reception gathered to enjoy the ambience of Colombo's newest five-star. But, outside, soldiers armed to the teeth swarmed up to those coming and going, checking every person and every single vehicle. more..

Sri Lanka now needs healing touch

Jan 28 (LG) It is gratifying that the Presidential election in Sri Lanka has been conducted at reasonably good standards and a firm verdict has been given by the electorate. Obviously, Sri Lanka now needs a prolonged period of reconstruction in an atmosphere of peace and good will and a healing touch. What is really important is not as to who has won the election but how the victorious candidate would approach the various issues confronting Sri Lanka. more..

General dies a political death -Part One

Jan 28 (LG) Background: Time is about 3:20 pm (1520hrs) Baghdad time; Date is 13 December 2009. I am writing this analysis well in advance (but have updated this from time to time as things changed, such as TNA endorsing SF etc, up until 10 January 2010). I know this presidential election is too close to call. But I do not need the computer-generated advanced or complex statistical models to do an analysis to make a prediction given the public mood, political violence let loose, more..

Ban voices relief at relatively peaceful conclusion to Sri Lankan presidential poll

Jan 28 (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed relief today that Sri Lanka’s presidential elections have concluded relatively free of violence and he reiterated his call to the country’s political parties to abide by the official results and to pursue any concerns peacefully. Sri Lanka’s Department of Elections announced today that the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected President more..

Dear Mr. President

Jan 28 (GV) Dear Mr. President, I’d like to congratulate you in advance for your impending victory of the Presidential election in the following days to come. With the SLFP consolidating their power through the provincial council polls in the aftermath of the war, a presidential re-election and another term with you as President seems inevitable. The potential in Sri Lanka knows no bounds; therefore boundaries must be clearly drawn so that this potential is not exploited by more..

Sarath Fonseka letter to Sri Lanka Elections Commission

Jan 28 (BBC) Excerpts of a letter by Gen Sarath Fonseka to Sri Lanka's Elections Commission, following his defeat in the presidential poll. The letter has been translated from Sinhala. Dear commissioner of elections. Before and after handing over the nomination papers, President Rajapaksa's election campaign has made great use of state resources. Further, there have been threats, intimidation and accusations levelled against me. Many of my supporters were intimidated. more..

Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate in hiding

Jan 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's defeated presidential candidate who failed in a bid to unseat incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse was in hiding Thursday in Colombo after warning of possible attempts on his life. Former four-star general Sarath Fonseka was resoundingly defeated in the country's first post-war election and was then stripped of his 80-strong state security team which he said he needed to keep him safe. more..

The Sri Lankan election, the LTTE and Tamil nationalism

Jan 28 (wsws) The LTTE has splintered into many rival factions since its military defeat last spring. Whatever their differences, all the factions pursue essentially the same bankrupt nationalist course, seeking to woo great-power support for establishing a separate capitalist state on the north and east of the island and manoeuvring with Sri Lanka’s bourgeois Sinhalese elite. more..

Tensions high as incumbent wins Sri Lankan presidential poll

Jan 28 (wsws) A tense political situation continued in Sri Lanka yesterday as incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse was declared the winner in Tuesday’s presidential election. Despite the large margin of victory, opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka refused to concede defeat and announced he would challenge the result. Speaking to reporters, Fonseka denounced the result as distorted and said he would launch a legal challenge. more..

4th Galle Literary Festival from today

Jan 28 (LP) The Galle Literary Festival which is organized for the 4th time will take place from the 28th of January to the 01st of February 2010 in Galle. Various activities from Author talks to other fun activities are lined up for adults and children during the five days. The festival will kick off today at 7.00 pm at the Dutch house in Galle. more..

Books for Jaffna library

Jan 28 (LP) Over 350 multi sectional books were donated to the Jaffna Library recently. Over 365 books were which were donated by the Asia Foundation and 5000 by the “Room to Read” organization were handed over to the library by Governor, Northern Province, Major General GA Chandrasiri. Books were also gifted to the school children in the area. Hon. Minister, K.N. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, more..

General Fonseka: A silver line in dark clouds

Jan 28 (LG) General Fonseka stepped into the presidential fray of 2010 at a time when no single opposition party had the confidence of nominating a candidate to take on President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The level of militarisation of the political firmament and concentration of power was such, that no ordinary politician was thought able to take on the challenge. Many would undoubtedly commend General Sarath Fonseka for having bolstered democracy a little bit and more..

'Alex' Kuhendrarajah and the Australian media

Jan 28 (LG) The waves of boat people in October 2008 made headline news in Australia. So did ‘Alex’ of the Jaya Lestari. The Australian media stirred the pot: they ran with both the hares and hounds. They catered to the sympathy for these people among Australians of liberal disposition who regard all asylum-seekers as victims of intolerable situations. more..

Likelihood of continuous political instability

Jan 28 (LG) The election in Sri Lanka ended yesterday and while the official result was announced declaring the incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapakse, as the winner the common candidate for the opposition, retired general, Sarath Fonseka, rejected the result. He stated to the media that the election was rigged, violence was used throughout the election, there was heavy corruption evident throughout the election, the media was abused in favour of more..

Words to be engraved in every household

Jan 28 (LG) Two of Sri Lanka’s senior most civil servants, just yesterday stated how terrible the system of administration of the country has become. On is the election commissioner and other is Retired army commander with 40 years of experience, Sarath Fonseka. In essence what they both talked about is the same: how the system has so callapsed, that you can not any longer expect professional conduct from the civil service. more..