Sri Lanka opposition political parties concerned over holding a free and fair local government election in the North

June 05, Colombo: Opposition political parties in Sri Lanka have expressed concerns over conducting a free and fair local government election in the war-torn Northern Province.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have said that civil administration in the Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts has not been fully established due to de-mining and the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persona (IDPs).

However, the two parties are currently looking at how to carry out the election campaign for the remaining local government bodies including the Northern Province.

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake has said that while preliminary meetings have been held regarding the election, the party is scheduled to meet with its organizers in the North to decide how to carry out the campaign in the area.

JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath has told the media that although basic preparations for the elections has commenced, it was not conducive to hold elections in the Northern Province.

He has said the party activists in the North are constantly under threat and are even unable to put up a poster in the area.

Meanwhile, the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is to meet this week to discuss plans for the upcoming local polls.

Sri Lanka held elections for 234 of the 335 local authorities in the country on March 17 this year and the ruling party won 205 local bodies.

Elections for 34 localities were not held due to the hosting of Cricket World Cup and elections for another 65 councils were postponed due to legal challenges against rejection of nominations.

Two more local government institutes in the Mullaitivu district were not ready for elections as the demining operations were still in progress.

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