Free franchise in the North after 30 years
The stage is set for the people of the North to enjoy their
democratic freedom after 30 long years, Transport Minister Dullas
Alahapperuma said yesterday.
The next goal of the President who has liberated the country from
terrorism is to allow the free expression of the people's will which was
suppressed for three decades, through the popular vote, he said.
" The number of candidates who win is not the important thing. What
is important is the President has paved the way for the people of Jaffna
to express their will freely and according to their choice" the Minister
The Minister was addressing Colombo based print and electronic media
and provincial correspondents of the North. Around 100 media personnel
were present for the briefing which was held at the UPFA Operations
Office in Jaffna.
Associated with the Transport Minister was Social Service and Social
Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda, Power and Energy Minister
Mahindananda Aluthgamage who is also in charge of the UPFA campaign in
Jaffna and former Western Province Chief Minister Reginald Cooray.
The SLFP, EPDP, EROS and TELO are among the 25 political parties
contesting for the Jaffna Municipal Council Election, under the betal
Continuing Minister Alahapperuma said they were gathered there on
historical day when the world marked the first moon landing by man.
“It is on such a significant day that I appeal to the people of
Jaffna to go to the polling booth and exercise your free franchise”.
“Today there is a new awakening in Jaffna where people have been
given the full freedom to engage in electioneering and to exercise their
“The Press even carried pictures of UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena
and Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake distributing election
leaflets in the Jaffna Town. This alone goes to show that the necessary
environment has been created for a free and fair poll” he observed.
The Minister also noted that the youth of the North were compelled to
seek recourse to the bullet rather than the ballot due to the plunder of
the 1981 DDC election and also the torching of the Jaffna Library.