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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 104

November elections in East is not possible– Lanka elections monitoring group

By Joseph Thavaraja

Colombo, 11 July, ( Despite the military capturing LTTE headquarters and other rebel strongholds in the East, proposed elections in coming November in this region "is not plausible", a leading elections monitoring body in Sri Lanka said today.

Mr. Kingsley Rodrigo, Chairman of the independent elections monitoring group People's Action for Free and Fair Elections' (PAFFREL) speaking to the media said "There are 42 local government bodies including town councils in the region. But it is not possible to hold any elections in November."

Since 1988, no elections have been held in the East. There are practically no elected peoples' representatives.

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the minister of Highways said in early July that the government "was hoping to announce the date for elections within three weeks."

President Mahinda Rajapakse also informed the government parliamentary group recently that Eastern Province has almost been cleared and it will only be a matter of time before the entire province was freed from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

"There are four factors that prohibits the elections over there. Lack of a proper electoral register, lack of freedom to campaign due to threats, influx of IDPs and the presence of army camps" he said.

"The elections commissioner has to make a decision to go ahead..But even he has to receive official consent form the defence officials in the region. Therefore I am very doubtful" Mr. Rodrigo added.

- Asian Tribune -

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