UN Secretary-General relieved over peaceful elections in Lanka

Last Updated: Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 20:26

Colombo: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
has expressed relief over peaceful conclusion of presidential
polls in Sri Lanka that saw re-election of Mahinda Rajapaksa
to the country`s top post.

"The secretary General has expressed relief that Sri
Lanka`s presidential elections have concluded relatively free
of violence and he reiterated his call to the country`s
political parties to abide by the official results and to
pursue any concerns peacefully," the UN said in a statement.
Sri Lanka`s Department of Elections yesterday
announced re-election of Rajapaksa, who has obtained nearly 58
per cent of the more than 10 million votes cast across the
country.

Former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka finished second with
40 per cent of votes.

"I realise that the election has been quite a
hard-fought one," Ban said at United Nations headquarters in
New York.

These are the first polls conducted in Sri Lanka since
a decades-long civil war between government forces and the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended last May.
"I had been concerned at the level of violence during
the campaign. I am relieved that the vote yesterday appears to
have (been) relatively peaceful, despite some violent
incidents," he said.

The Secretary-General also appealed to political
parties "to abide by the decision and rules and regulations,
including addressing any electoral grievances."

"I truly hope that all sides will see the wisdom of
acting with restraint and responsibility in the interest of
the nation. This would bode well for future elections and
national harmony," the top UN official said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 28, 2010 - 20:26

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