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Provincial Council Polls

- Thinakkural Editorial

(July 11, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Commissioner of Election has announced the dates for polls of North Central and Sabragamuwa Provincial Councils and the candidates of political parties and independent groups have begun the election campaign. An election must ensure the people's right to cast their votes to elect their representatives in a democratic manner.

Sri Lanka has faced several elections since independence. Until a particular point of time, the elections were free and were conducted in a democratic manner. There were opportunities for them to choose their representatives in a free and fair manner. The democratic rights of the people were jealously guarded.

But, out of the 60 years of independence, the faith in democracy has been shattered during the last 30 years. One wonders whether democracy ever exists in the country. The country moves along a new political culture which is devoid of democratic values.

One does not find any election conducted according to the norms of democracy. There had been several election offences committed. In recent times, the election malpractices during the local government council polls and the Eastern Provincial Council Polls have been over looked.

It is in such a context that polls for two provincial councils are to be held. There is a danger of election campaign turning out to be a battle field. The UNP alleges that there are 20 camps where arms are stored in the north central province. This is a serious allegation.

Therefore, in view of these circumstances, there is a great onus lying on the shoulders of the Commissioner of Elections. He must ensure a free and fair election in the two provinces.

(An English translation of the Editorial in Thinakkural, a Tamil daily, based in Colombo)
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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