Wednesday, October 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

6 die in Lanka poll violence

COLOMBO, Oct 10 (PTI) — Six persons were killed in sporadic violence in Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary elections which witnessed heavy turnout of voters across the island, including war-torn north Jaffna peninsula even as the government clamped a nation-wide curfew on Tuesday night as a precaution to prevent clashes during counting of the votes.

The police said six persons were killed in different parts of the country, including two in southern Kandy where clashes took place between rival supporters of the ruling Peoples Alliance, forcing President Chandrika Kumaratunga to deploy the Special Task Force, and police commandos to bring the situation to normalcy.

Complaints galore in Kandy where supporters of the country’s powerful Deputy Defence Minister Gen. Anurudha Ratwatte were alleged to have been involved in heavy rigging. Piqued by the violence, Agriculture Minister D.M. Jayaratne and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader, Rauff Hakeem, who were contesting from the district, protested to Ms Chandrika.

Imposition of the curfew starting 2230 IST today and ending at 1030 IST tomorrow was described by the official as a routine measure to prevent rival parties clashes during the counting.

Election Commission sources reported about 80 per cent polling in different parts of the country. In the Jaffna peninsula balloting took place despite heavy artillery shelling by the LTTE to scare voters.

Polling also appeared very heavy in the Tamil-dominated eastern province, where both Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts recorded over 60 per cent voting. 


Bandaranaike is dead

COLOMBO, Oct 10 (UNI) — Srimavo Bandaranaike, the world’s first elected woman Prime Minister and mother of Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, died today following a cardiac arrest after she had cast her vote in the country’s Parliamentary elections. She was 84 and had been immobile for the past few years.

Bandaranaike stepped down as Prime Minister on August 10 this year owing to health reasons.

The former Prime Minister had gone to Horagulla, her home constituency, about 30 km from Colombo, to cast her vote. Soon after, she complained of uneasiness and was hospitalised. The end came at 11.30 a.m.

She was first appointed Prime Minister on July 21, 1960, following the assassination of her husband, Solomon. She faced her first Parliamentary poll in 1965 and though she won her seat her coalition lost power.Back

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