Sri Lanka northern polling low: monitors

(From left) Dharmasri Kumaratunga, Director - Payments and Settlements, Central Bank; Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank; and Tharaka Ranwala, Head of Operations and Group Chief Marketing Officer, Sampath Bank

Jan 26, 2010 (LBO) – Polling in Sri Lanka’s north was estimated to be about 15 to 20 percent and in the east about 50 percent while the rest of the country had higher turnouts by early afternoon, a poll monitoring group said. Reports said war refugees in the north had difficulties in getting transport while explosions were shortly before sunrise Tuesday.

Rohana Hettiarachchi from PAFREL, an election monitoring body, said outside the north and east about 60 percent of registered electors or more had declared their votes by early afternoon.

Electors were seen queuing up at polling stations from early Tuesday and there was brisk voting in Sri Lanka’s capital and other areas in the South of the island.

Election officials had estimated that there may be final voter turnout of about 80 percent. Presidential polls attract high voter turnouts.