Sri Lanka ruling party wins polls marred by violence

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

October 9, 2011 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan president’s party won 22 out of 23 local councils in elections, results showed Sunday, as police investigated a gun battle between political rivals in which three people were killed. Two factions within the national ruling alliance clashed shortly before polling closed on Saturday, leaving a presidential aide and two of his bodyguards dead and more than a dozen people seriously wounded.

Police said at least two officers were among those critically hurt in the shoot-out in the Kolonnawa electorate within the capital district of Colombo.

Official poll results showed that President Mahinda Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance swept the polls, but lost the most prestigious Colombo Municipal Council.

The fractured opposition faced a rout elsewhere, with Rajapakse’s party gaining large majorities in provincial towns.

At the site of the shoot-out, a curfew was lifted on Sunday morning, but hundreds of police commandos and soldiers remained on the street after party supporters went on a rampage damaging property and setting vehicles on fire.

Presidential adviser Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, 55, died of gun shot wounds along with two of his bodyguards when a