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* Sri Lanka ruling party launches election campaign with religious rituals
Sat, Feb 27, 2010, 09:17 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka's ruling party, United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) launched its election campaign today with religious observances from the historic city of Anuradhapura.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka, Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero and all the UPFA candidates, contesting the upcoming general election on April 8, commenced the campaign with religious activities at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi this afternoon.

Buddhist monks (Maha Sangha) chanted pirith and blessed the UPFA candidates and the President. The attendees later participated in a meditation session.

Christian candidates of the alliance observed religious activities at the St. Joseph's Cathedral in Anuradhapura while the Hindu religious ceremonies were conducted at the Shri Kadireshan Kovil. Islamic religious observances were at the Mohideen Jummah Mosque.

Following the religious events, all Alliance candidates gathered at the President's House in Anuradhapura and made a pledge before the President to conduct a free and fair election free of violence and to abide by the election rules.

The ruling party has fielded 264 candidates in all 22 districts of the country.

(Pictures by Sudath Silva)

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