Harim Peiris

Political and Reconciliation perspectives from Sri Lanka

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Archive for September 19th, 2012

Rauff concedes in the East as Basil suffers a legal setback

Posted by harimpeiris on September 19, 2012

Earlier this week, the UPFA secured control of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) when the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) led by Rauff Hakeem decided to throw in its lot with the government as opposed to forming a provincial government with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The UNP had no sooner the results were announced, indicated that it would back an opposition takeover of the Eastern Province Administration, given that the UPFA had fallen to just 32% of the popular vote and had only 14 seats in the 37 member Council. Fifteen (15) if you counted in the National Freedom Front’s single member. The TNA, the SLMC and the UNP divided the other 22 seats between them. The difference in the popular vote between the UPFA and the TNA was only 6,300 in the entire province and the TNA had defeated the government in the districts of Trincomalee and Batticalo. That the TNA was able to do so well electorally, despite “all the King’s horses and all the King’s men” arrayed against it demonstrated its enduring appeal amongst the Tamil community and hence the need to seriously engage with the TNA in a credible post war reconciliation process. In contrast, the UPFA elected only a single Tamil member in the whole province, former chief minister Pilliyan, through a preference vote recount that was dubious. Read the rest of this entry »

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