Sept 22, Colombo: Sri Lanka's major Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has secured a landslide victory in the first ever provincial council elections held in the Tamil dominated Northern Province.
The party fielding former Supreme Court judge C.V. Wigneswaran as the Chief Minister candidate for the Northern Provincial Council won all five districts in the Province with a clear majority and secured 30 of the 38 seats for the newly formed Council.
The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has managed to secure seven seats and the Muslim party Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) got one seat in the Council.
The voters in the Northern Province have clearly rejected the main opposition United National Party (UNP).
Election for the administration in the Northern Province, which for 30 years was under the control of the Tamil Tiger terrorists until their defeat in May 2009, was held for the first time since the establishment of the provincial council system in 1987.
In the Jaffna district, the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) the party representing the TNA won 84.37 percent of the votes while the UPFA came in second with 14.20 percent of the votes. Voter turnaround in Jaffna was 64 percent.
In the former Tamil Tiger stronghold of Kilinochchi district ITAK won 81.57 percent of the total votes while the UPFA received 17.37 percent of the votes.
In Mannar district ITAK won 62.22 percent, UPFA received 28.38 percent and SLMC 8.59 percent of the votes.
ITAK received 66.10 percent of votes in Vavuniya district and 78.56 percent of the votes in Mullaitivu while the ruling party got 26.67 percent in Vavuniya and 20.04 percent in Mullaitivu.
The TNA, once considered as a proxy for the terrorist group LTTE during the war, contested the polls with an election manifesto that called for self-determination in the Tamil-dominated North under a federal structure.
In its election manifesto, the TNA called for establishing power sharing arrangements in a unit of a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure.
The southern polity of the country says the demand to re-merge the two provinces is an LTTE separatist agenda and the Tamil party's call for re-merger is aimed at establishing an Eelam state in the region.
However, the government takes pride in the progress it has made in the democratic process in the war-torn region by holding the elections.