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Close contest in southern Lanka

[Express Buzz, Sunday, 24 January 2010 09:53 No Comment]

With both the ruling party’s candidate and the main Opposition candidate coming from the Sinhalese-dominated southern Sri Lanka, the January 26 presidential election is expected to be very close in this region.

The candidate of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the serving President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, hails from Medamulane near Tangalle. And the main Opposition candidate, Gen Sarath Fonseka, comes from Ambalangoda. They belong to different castes but both are well known and have committed political party vote banks.

While Rajapaksa is backed by traditional supporters of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and its smaller allies, Fonseka is backed by habitual supporters of the United National Party (UNP) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and some smaller parties.

Although Rajapaksa and Fonseka supporters are present in all towns and villages, Fonseka’s supporters said many of the villagers might not want to reveal that their choice for President was Fonseka for fear of incurring the wrath of the ruling party’s thugs.

NATIVE VILLAGE BACKS RAJAPAKSA

Once an inaccessible village, Rajapaksa’s birthplace Medamulane in Tangalle district that was connected with the nearest towns of Weerakatiya and Tangalle only by a bullock cart track until a few years ago now boosts of concrete roads and a modern market place.

[Full Coverage]

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