Shaky Ground

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

Sri Lanka was headed Saturday for a shaky coalition government as no clear winner emerged in parliamentary elections called to settle a power struggle that has set back the islands peace process.rn
The party of President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who has accused the incumbent premier of conceding too much to Tamil rebels, said it was prepared to form the next government even if it failed to win a simple majority in the 225-member parliament.rn

rn With a little over half the 10 million ballots counted from Fridays vote, Kumaratungas Freedom Alliance had received 46.4 percent. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghes United National Party was trailing with 35.9 percent. rn

rn The proxies of Tamil Tiger rebels, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), had 7.8 percent of the vote and looked set to be the most crucial factor in deciding the future government in Sri Lanka.rn

rn “We are emerging the largest single party and we will form the government,” Kumaratungas spokesman Harim Peiris told AFP. “That is cl