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TNA heads for clean sweep in Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated north

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party- Tamil National Alliance (TNA), is heading for a landslide win in the historic polls in Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority Northern Province, four years after the military defeated the LTTE to end decades of ethnic conflict.

TNA has convincingly trounced the ruling UPFA coalition, grabbing three of the five district declared till 4 am local time today in the first polls in the province for 25 years.

A turnout of over 60 per cent was recorded during yesterday's voting in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaithivu and Vavuniya , which were for decades the main strongholds of the rebel Tamil Tigers.

In Mullaithivu, Vavuniya and Kilinochchi districts the TNA has received over 70 per cent of the votes cast.

In Mullaithivu, the former LTTE military capital, the TNA has grabbed 4 of the five seats on offer.

In Vavuniya the TNA's won 4 of the 6 seats on offer, with 86 per cent of the vote.

In Kilinochchi, the former LTTE administrative seat, TNA's received 81 per cent of popular votes, enabling them to gain 3 of the 4 seats on offer.

from only two more district, Jaffna and Mannar, are still to be released.

In Jaffna, regarded the cultural capital by Lankan Tamils, the TNA has so far garnered 86 per cent of the vote with the main rival, UPFA garnering 32 per cent.

The landmark election is being seen as a test to decide whether the predominantly Tamil province wants more opportunities for developments or the people want more autonomy.

The election is also expected to give minority Tamils a chance at self-rule after decades of ethnic conflict that left over 100,000 dead.

TNA was expected to win the Northern Provincial Council while the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) of President Mahinda Rajapaksa expected to win in Central and North Western provinces, which also went to the polls yesterday.

First Published: Sun, September 22 2013. 05:55 IST