Sri Lanka to hold local polls in east after 14 years

Jan 25, 2008 (LBO) –Sri Lanka’s elections department announced Friday plans to hold local council polls in the island’s eastern region on March 10, the first time in 14 years that voters in the troubled area will be able to vote.

Submission of nominations for municipal and urban council polls in the eastern province was concluded Friday, Sri Lanka’s elections commissioner’s office said.

Around 61 nominations have been submitted by six political parties and independent groups, of which nine have been rejected, Sunderam Aruwenayagam, provincial secretary of Batticaloa told LBO’s sister site, Vimasuma.

Among the parties contesting the upcoming elections are the United People’s Freedom Alliance, which rules at the centre, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, National Development Front and the National Congress, Eelam Democratic Front and the Tamil Eelamakkal Viduthalai Pulikal known as TVMP.

The government decided to hold elections in the east after driving out the Tamil Tigers in a military campaign against their jungle bases in July last year.

The government says it wants to revive economic activity in the region and attract investment.

The previous local council elections wer