Tamil parties take 20 councils
Tamil parties have taken 20 of the 25 councils they were contesting in Saturday’s elections. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) took 18 councils and 183 seats, whilst the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) took two small councils and 12 seats.
The governing alliance of President Mahinda Rajapakse, the United People’s Freedom Party (UPFA), took 45 of the 65 councils and 512 seats with turnout being somewhere between 50% and 60%.
The opposition United National Party (UNP) won 137 seats but no councils and the Janathā Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a Marxist-Leninist party, took just 13 seats.
The result was significant for the Tamil parties because this gives them some leverage with the government in securing change for the people of the North and East.
The Centre for Policy Alternatives, a respected local monitoring NGO, said that there had been widespread intimidation and at least one killing.