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* Sri Lanka ruling party gives preference to professionals and youth in nominations to provincial polls
Wed, Feb 5, 2014, 10:57 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 05, Colombo: Several main political parties in Sri Lanka have finalized the nominations for the forthcoming Western and Southern Provincial polls and filed the nominations today at relevant district offices.

General Secretary of the United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Minister Susil Premajayantha handed in nominations this morning for the Colombo District in the Western Provincial Council.

Minister Premajayantha said party nominated 43 candidates including 4 female candidates to the Colombo District and among them are 26 former Provincial Councilors and 17 new faces.

Under the direction of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa the party has given preference to the professionals and youth, the Treasurer of Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent of UPFA, Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said.

The President has given instructions to the Nomination Board and the Election Steering Committee to give maximum possible nominations to the professionals and youth.

Accordingly the UPFA is nominating 18 lawyers, 4 engineers, 2 doctors, 7 artistes and 9 from the teaching service including Principals and Educational Directors, a journalist and several youths as UPFA candidates, Minister Alahapperuma said.

The former Provincial Council Minister Udaya Gammanpila led the UPFA group in the Colombo district in selecting candidates.

The Democratic Party led by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka also filed nominations for the Colombo District in the Western Provincial Council. Parliamentarian Jayantha Ketagoda joined in the presentation of nominations.

Minister Kumara Welgama filed nominations of the UPFA for the Kalutara District this morning while Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) nominations for the Kalutara District were filed by its General Secretary Tilvin Silva.

Minister Felix Perera, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna and former Chief Minister of the Western Provincial Council Prasanna Ranatunga handed in the nominations of the UPFA for the Gampaha District at the Gampaha District Secretariat this morning.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) group leader Somapala Ekanayake meanwhile handed in the nominations for the Hambantota District of the Southern Provincial Council.

The JVP and the Democratic Party also submitted nominations to Hambantota district.

Three political parties and an Independent Group filed nominations for the Matara District of the Southern Provincial Council today. Matara District group leader Siri Wijewickrama handed the UNP nominations while JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunnetti handed in his party's nominations. Sarath Fonseka's Democratic Party also handed in nominations under the patronage of group leader Janith Vipulaguna.

The acceptance of nominations will close at 12 noon tomorrow and the Election Commissioner will then announce the date for the polls.

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