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Jaffna to lose 3 parliamentary seats

Last Updated: Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 19:38

Colombo: Sri Lanka`s Tamil-dominated
Jaffna district will have its parliamentary seats slashed from
nine to six as the Election Commission said the region had
witnessed number of voters dropping to half the previous
figure of 700,000.

The officials said the fall in number of
parliamentarians was due to the country`s complicated
proportional representation system of elections.

Vowing to oppose the move, the pro-LTTE Tamil National
Alliance (TNA) which recently swept the local election in the
province, alleged that the fall in voters had been due to
people being forced to leave their homes due to a three-decade
long ethnic violence.

"People are still returning from India after the end
of the war. The diaspora still feel unsafe to return to Jaffna
but when they decide to return you will find that they will
not be able to exercise their franchise," Suresh
Premachandran, the senior TNA MP said.

Elections commissioner`s department officials said
that the Jaffna district will have just six MPs representing
the voters as opposed to the current number of nine MPs.

The decision has been made in view of the decreased
number of voters in Jaffna. The current voter figure dropped
to just over 300,000 from the previous 700,000.

During the height of the military conflict in the
north and east when the LTTE waged a war to create a separate
homeland for the Sri Lanka Tamils, a large number of Jaffna
residents fled the area, either migrated mostly to West or
located themselves elsewhere in the country, mostly in the
capital Colombo. The three seats slashed in Sri Lanka`s Jaffna district
would be added one each to the southern districts of
Ratnapura, Matara and Kurunegala districts in the south of the
country, officials said.

The number of registered voters in these districts had
increased, officials added.

The national parliament has 225 seats, which will not
change. It will remain at 196 members elected and 29 members
appointed based on the national proportional representation of
the cumulative votes polled by each political party.

In the first post-LTTE provincial elections in the
north that came in more than 25 years, the pro-LTTE TNA
emerged as a major force, bagging two-thirds of the council
seats, even as President Mahinda Rajapaksa`s coalition swept
polls in other parts of the country.


First Published: Thursday, July 28, 2011 - 19:38

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