Rajapaksa`s advisor among 4 killed in Lanka polls

Three others, including a bodyguard of Premachandra, was also killed in the shootout.

Colombo: At least four people, including an
advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, were killed today in a
shootout during Sri Lanka`s violence-marred local government
elections, forcing the authorities to impose curfew just
outside the capital.

Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, an aide of Rajapaksa and
a former ruling party lawmaker, was killed in a shootout
following clashes between two factions of the ruling United
People`s Freedom Alliance in Kotikawatta, a north Colombo

Three others, including a bodyguard of Premachandra, was
also killed in the shootout.

Among the ten injured are Duminda Silva, a member of
parliament who suffered serious head injuries and was admitted
to the intensive care unit in a critical condition.

Kotikawatta local council was one of the 23 councils
which went to polls today in the last phase of the local
government election began in March.

A curfew has been imposed in the area following the shoot
out, police spokesman Maxi Proctor said.

Election monitors said the polling was between 55 to 60
per cent.

Over 50 incidents of election malpractise, including
intimidation of voters and illegal propaganda work, were
reported, the monitors said.

Over 1.5 millions voters were eligible to vote to elect
420 members for a four-year term. The results are expected to
be announce tomorrow.

The elections are seen as a mid-term test for Rajapaksa,
who has tightened his grip on power by following his landslide
victory in the presidential and polls last year.


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