15th October 2000
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47 ex-MPs tumble

Nearly fifty members of the former MPs more than one fifth of the total number of seats failed to get elected despite weeks of campaigning and spending millions of rupees in the process.

Those rejected included four ministers, 10 deputy ministers and some big names among women, including Hema Ratnayake, Srimani Athulathmudali and Renuka Herath.

The biggest shock was the defeat of Minister Kingsely Wickremeratne who headed the PA's Colombo district list. UNP alternative group frontliners Susil Moonesinghe and radical socialist Vasudeva Nanayakara also failed to make it.

Following is the list of 47 MPs who lost their seats. 

Ministers: Kingsley Wickremaratne, Hema Ratnayake, Nanda Mathew and D.P.Wickremasinghe.

Deputy Ministers, Sumithra P. Abeyweera, Viswa Warnapala, A.V.Suraweera, A.P.Jagath Pushpakumara, Bennet Coorey, H.M.Weerasinghe, Athula Nimalasiri Jayasinghe, Nirupama Rajapakse, Uses Peiris, and Bandula Basnayake.

Others A.M.S.Adhikari, R.M.Dharmadasa Banda, Ms. Renuka Herath , Sarathchandra Rajakaruna, Premaratne Gunasekera, Gamini Rajapakse, Pradeep Hapangama, Sarath Ranawaka, Dickson J. Perera, U.L.M.Farook, Kabir Hashim, D.M.Bandaranayake, Segu Izadeen, T.V.Sennan, Susil Munasinghe, H.Mithrapala, L.B.Jayasundera, T.B.Ekanayake, Nanda Gunasinghe, Janak Mahendra Adhikari, Mahinda Amaraweera, Gamini Thilakasiri, Wilson Kuruppuarachchi, Jinadasa Nandasena , Upali Gunaratne, Rohan Abeygunasekera, V.G.Jinadasa, Piyasena Upali, A.H.M. Alavi, G. Alawathuwala, H.M.A.Lokubanda, E.A.Samarasinghe and T.B.Mahalekamge.

Results not affected-EU

By Faraza Farook
While many discontented parties called for fresh elections in areas where violence prevailed on polling day, the European Union Observation Mission felt that the violence had no major impact on the final results.

"The final results reasonably reflect the political intention of the voters not withstanding the incidents that occurred," Head of the EU Mission, John Cushnahan said .

Though the Mission admitted that in certain areas some candidates and their supporters acted contrary to the Parliamentary Elections Act, Mr. Cushnahan said it made no serious impact on the results because prompt action was taken by the Elections Commissioner to annul the elections in those parts of the country. Releasing their initial report Mr. Cushnahan said, "It is a matter of regret that the selfish activities of some candidates and supporters, which led directly to this unhappy state of affairs, have disenfranchised the very people they sought to represent". He confirmed irregularities in the postal voting yet brushed them aside stating that it has generally been conducted according to the law. Mr. Cushnahan noted that violence was at its worst in the Central Province in comparison to the lower level of violence reported in other parts of the country. However, he emphasised that the results released reflected the people's political will and was not affected by the incidents of rigging or 'dubious electoral practices'. 

Monitors: large-scale rigging

The preliminary reports submitted by PAFFREL/ MFFE election observers have indicated that a large scale breakdown of the electoral process in a number of areas in eight of the electoral districts occurred during the polls. 

The violence and disorder that prevailed in those areas amounted to a denial of a free and fair poll, they noted.

The group also noted that elections were conducted in an essentially free and fair manner in 12 out of 20 electoral districts in the country which they monitored.

PAFFREL/ MFFE has called on the Elections Commissioner to examine the poll in the polling stations affected to determine whether they should not be annulled considering that in some of them the poll could not be continued uninterrupted until the time fixed for its closing. 

'A high level of violence, intimidation and ballot stuffing leading in some cases to an interruption of the poll itself was reported in the electoral districts of Kandy, Anuradhapura, Puttalam, Matale, Gampaha, Kegalle, Kurunegala and Nuwara Eliya. Within those districts the electoral divisions that had conditions that were particularly bad were Galagedera, Haris-pattuwa, Patha Dum-bara, Uda Dumbara, Teldeniya, Hewaheta, Yatinuwara, Udunuwa-ra, Nawalapitiya and Gampola in the Kandy district; Kalawewa and Kekirawa in the Anura-dhapura district; Ana-maduwa and Natt-andiya in the Puttalam district; Dambulla in the Matale district; Aranayake and Rambukkana in the Kegalle district; Katana and Minuwangoda in the Gampaha district; Hanguranketa and Walapane in the Nuwara Eliya district and Hiriyala, Nikaweratiya and Wariyapola in the Kurunegala district.

A district level breakdown of the incidents of violence indicated that Matale accounted for 30, Gampaha 25, Anuradhapura 25, Colombo 19 and Kandy 19.

On these figures 25 out of 182 electoral divisions excluding the North and Wanni 13.7 % of the total were affected. In all other electoral divisions, monitors reported that except for minor violations that were observed occasionally, the polling proceeded in a peaceful and orderly manner. 

"The North and the Wanni are a special case. From the outset the conditions in the war torn region, with the continuing threat of armed intervention and violence on the part of the LTTE prevented a free and fair election campaign. The Jaffna area was subject to constant shelling designed to disrupt the elections. The uncleared areas could not be serviced with the polling facilities that were available. Given all these constraints PAFFREL and MFFE consider that the Elections Commissioner has done well to have enabled the voters to participate in the poll to the extent they did. In many areas, the participation was in the region of 20% of the registered vote which would amount to more than 40% of the voters who were resident and available for voting. 


The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence claims that the mass scale violence which occurred on October 10 would have had a major impact on the outcome of the polls.

It has recorded a total of 2036 incidents with the Western Province recording the highest.

CMEV has called on the Elections Commissioner to annul the votes cast at certain polling booths due to mass scale rigging.

Dr. Arjuna Parak-rama said voting at 578 booths had been flawed.

"More than seven lakhs of votes can be counted in the flawed booths and this figure can change the outcome of the elections. The Commissioner in most cases annulled the votes cast at a polling booth and removed only the votes which were cast, but what about the threat and intimidation which would have taken place at this time," queried Dr. Parakrama.

The monitoring body states that votes cast at polling booths in the Kandy district should be annulled due to the mass scale rigging.

Somawansa coming back on JVP ticket

Self-exiled JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe is likely to be nominated as an MP when he returns to the country soon, JVP sources said yesterday.

They said that with the security cover he would get as an MP, Mr. Amarasinghe would be secure to resume politics here.

Unlike other major parties, the JVP did not allow preference vote campaigning among its members. But party sources said the ten MPs sent to parliament would be selected mainly on the preference vote for them. Thus the list was likely to include Wimal Weerawansa, Vijitha Herath, Bimal Rathnayake, Nandana Gunethilake, Nihal Galapatthy, Anura Dissanayake and Ammji Umma.

They said party secretary Tilvyn Silva would not be nominated for parliament as in terms of the JVP policy, the secretary was required to concentrate fully on party affairs instead of getting involved in parliamentary or electoral work.

"We are satisfied"

Contrary to local monitoring bodies the British Parliamentary Group said the elections were free and fair.

Three members of the British Parliamentary Group observing the polls have given a rosy picture of the polls stating it was free and fair.

The observers who visited the districts of Puttalam, Kurunegala, Kegalle and Ratnapura states that there was no intimidation, no weapons seen and there was no evidence to affect the voter turnout in the four electoral districts observed.

Lord Naseby, Joint Chairman said that the Group covered 72 polling stations on a random but secret basis.

"We were entirely satisfied with the polling stations, the vast majority of voters had polling cards with the security number. In most polling stations only an average of 10 people failed to produce their poll cards. There was no problem about vote substitution or impersonation," Lord Naseby said.

However Lord Naseby said that the Group cannot air their views for the entire country since they visited only four districts.

"Indeed we are deeply concerned about the reports of violence and intimidation. By any yardstick over 50 deaths are unacceptable. Such an experience must bring into question the integrity of the democratic process," he said.

People's Mathiniya buried amidst people's tears 

By Chandani Kirinde
When Sirimavo Bandaranaike said her final farewell to the nation yesterday, it brought to a close the life of an illustrious stateswoman, who spent more than half her life in the service of people of Sri Lanka.

As dusk fell over a downcast day, Ms. Bandaranaike's remains were laid to rest next to her husband at the Horagolla samadhi, keeping with her last wishes.

"I don't want to be cremated. I want to be buried next to my husband. I want a simple funeral with Schoolchildren were among thousands of people who came to Horagalla to pay their last respects to Sirimavo Bandaranayakelittle expenditure." 

These were the last wishes of the Ms. Bandaranaike, the world's first woman prime minister who was thrust into the highest echelons of public life by a tragic twist of fate the assassination of her husband in 1959.

As the sound of the 19 gun salute echoed through the area, tens of thousands of people who gathered at Horagolla bade farewell to the woman who, for many of them, was simply their "mathiniya", the matriarch who overcame odds in the political arena to serve three terms as prime minister.

Her three children, Sunethra, Chandrika and Anura were among the emotion-filled crowd that witnessed the end of an era in the country's political history, in which Ms. Bandaranaike was a key player for more than four decades.

Ms. Bandaranaike died of a heart attack at Kadawata when she was on her way to Colombo after casting her vote in Tuesday's general election.

Sirimavo Bandaranaike was born on April 17,1916 to a Kandyan aristocratic parents. She was the daughter of Barnes Ratwatte Disava and Ratwatte Kumarihamy. She received her education at St. Bridget's Convent, Colombo.

She married S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, the then Minister of Local Government and Health in 1940. He became Prime Minister in 1956 but was assassinated three years later. Ms. Bandaranaike was elected to office for the first time in July 1960, less than a year after her husband's death.

She served as Prime Minister from 1960 to 1965 and returned to office in 1970 to lead the country till 1977. 

She was re-appointed as Prime minister by President Kumaratunga, her daughter, in 1994.

In August this year, Ms. Bandaranaike decided to quit politics. She resigned as Prime Minister and retired from active politics, citing poor health for her decision. 

" it's time to withdraw from the humdrum of busy political life, to a more tranquil and quite environment," she said in her letter of resignation.

Some of Ms. Bandaranaike's greatest achievements while in office have been in the area of foreign affairs. The large number of tributes that flowed in from world leaders after her death is ample evidence of the respect she had commanded overseas.

Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in a message of condolence said that India admired her qualities of leadership and appreciated the warmth of her friendship with their country.

"She was a pioneer in the promotion of world peace, social justice and disarmament," UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said.

Left out

LSSP and CP leaders allies of the SLFP for several decades were notable omissions in the list of those who gave orations at the funeral of former premier Sirimavo Bandaranaike yesterday. Orations were however given by leaders of NUA, and EPDP, the UNP and the general secretaries of the SLFP and the PA. 
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