10:19 AM

Batticaloa geared for polls


Defence Spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella addressing media yesterday (27) during a press briefing held at MCNS stated that all preparations were made for the local government elections in the Eastern province on March 10, contrary to the picture of violence and distorted cheap propaganda by certain groups and parties."Only 26 election related incidents had been reported so far in Batticaloa and they too are minor incidents. Police are fully investigating those incidents," the Minister said.

"There had been elections which had become a 'black mark' in this country. "So compared to other elections the local polls campaign in Batticaloa is one of the best elections so far," the Minister added.

Minister Rambukwella also drew attention to the incident concerning the former Executive Director of ICES (International Centre for Ethnic Studies), Dr Rama Mani, explaining that the UNDP Chief of Policies and Programs, Omar Norman, had signed a petition requesting that her visa be extended and had later complained that he was tricked into signing it.

The Eastern province is now going through a massive development process under the "Nagenahira Udanaya" he further stated. The GoSL has embarked on ensuring economic freedom to the Eastern population by implementing development projects costing Rs. 6.1 billion, the Minister remarked.

It is a great achievement to be able to hold local elections in the east, which also underlines the government's urgency to refurbish democracy in east while implementing its road map for the mega development projects, the Spokesperson said.

However, Minister Rambukwella also pointed out that even in superior democracies it is not always possible to prevent incidents of this nature adding that such incidents can be expected in an area liberated from the clutches of terrorism in the recent past.