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* Sri Lanka's DNA vows to continue the struggle for democracy in the country
Sun, Apr 11, 2010, 09:54 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Democratic National Alliance (DNA) led by former Sri Lanka Army Commander Retired General Sarath Fonseka said the results of the general election have indicated the need for the continuance of the struggle for democracy in the country.

DNA Secretary and JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath told the media approving new legislation in the next parliament would be a problem given that more than 50% of the voters had not cast their votes at the election to give a mandate to the government.

"We were made to contest this election amidst many challenges. However, we have been able to win five seats from several districts. For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka an election was held after imprisoning the leader of a contesting political party. When the chief opponent of the government is imprisoned organizing the masses was a big challenge. We had to confront this challenge due to the vindictive politics of the government," he said.

He also charged that many DNA supporters were harassed during the election. Citing an example, he said that during the election period a female comrade of the JVP in Beliatta in the Hambantota District had been abducted, sexually abused, and abandoned at a lonely spot.

“Our supporters were arrested and some were called to the CID and questioned. Almost all those who are present here today have been questioned by the CID. Anura Dissanayake, Tiran Alles were questioned. We had to confront such complications. The government from the beginning to the end of the election used state assets, state employees, and public money for the election. They carried out irregularities on the day of the election as well," he said.

Herath noted that the percentage of voting in 2000 was 79%, 80% in 2001 and 77.6% in 2004, but only about 55% had voted at this election.

"When 50% doesn't vote, it indicates that 50% of the population is not represented in parliament. Hence, the problem arises as to how justifiable it is to adopt acts, bills and constitutional amendments in this parliament. It is an ethical as well as a legal issue," he said.

Herath stressed that the DNA would fulfill the task of the opposition in the parliament.

DNA, the alliance between Fonseka's former party and the Marxist JVP was only able to secure five seats in the new parliament. The party received only about 6 percent of the votes. In the 2004 parliamentary elections JVP secured 39 seats in the parliament.

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