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Sri Lanka ruling coalition sweeps local polls

Sri Lanka ruling coalition sweeps local polls

Sri Lanka's ruling coalition won an overwhelming majority in a key provincial assembly in elections seen as an endorsement of military victories against the separatist Tamil Tigers, results showed Sunday.
The governing United People's Freedom Alliance coalition won 68 of 104 seats in the council of the Western Province, which includes the island's capital, Colombo.
The main opposition United National Party captured a total of 30 seats while the Marxist People's Liberation Front won three seats in Saturday's elections, said the Department of Elections.
The ruling alliance already controls five of the country's eight provinces with a resounding majority.
The government said a vote for the ruling coalition would strengthen its efforts to end the nation's quarter-century civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.
Government forces in recent months have ousted the Tamil Tiger rebels from all their strongholds and trapped them into a tiny coastal strip in the war-ravaged north.
The military victories have boosted the popularity of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's coalition government among ethnic majority Sinhalese.
Rajapaksa's main rival, the United National Party, has favored negotiations with the Tamil Tigers but has been largely sidelined amid the military successes.
The rebels have been fighting to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, who have faced decades of marginalization by successive governments controlled by ethnic Sinhalese.


Updated : 2021-10-18 16:17 GMT+08:00