Tigers enter EPC race
* LTTE’s defunct political wing comes alive
* PFLT submits nominations at last minute

The race for the Eastern Provincial Council took a dramatic turn yesterday (3), the last day for nominations, with a group representing the now defunct LTTE political wing, the People’s Front of Liberation Tigers submitting nominations for the May 10 polls at noon.

The list of PFLT candidates carried the signature of a person named Dilip Yogaratnam, alias Yogi, described as the General Secretary of the party. All three authorized agents of the party, who handed over nominations lists, were Sinhalese and gave the address 392, Galle Road, Colombo 3, as the party office. The person who handed over nominations for the Batticaloa District from the PFLT was K. G. Ranjith Padmasena. The party had been registered with the Commissioner of Elections on December 4, 1998.

Elections Department sources said the nominations lists of the PFLT were accepted as they were attested by a Justice of Peace and the department was obliged to accept them.

Meanwhile in the Digamadulla District, according to the Chief Returning Officer Sunil Kannangara, seven nominations lists were rejected, of which 4 were of independent groups while the other three were recognised parties, the Sri Lanka Progressive Front, the Akila Illnagai Thamil United Front and the Sri Lanka Jatika Peramuna.

The Assistant Commissioner of Elections Digamadulla Lakshman Damayanth said 13 recognized political parties and 25 independent groups had handed over their nominations by yesterday.

Security was tightened in the area with over a 1,000 additional policemen and STF cadres brought into the area DIG Shantha Rajapakse, specially moved in for the elections period, said.

The UPFA’s Chief Candidate Zuhair Uduman, SLMC General Secretary M. T. Hassan Ali and JVP’s Krishantha Priyantha, and on behalf of the Government, Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva and A. H. M. Fowzie and Mrs. Ferial Ashroff. A. L. M. Athaulla and P. Dayaratne were present.

In the Batticaloa District lists of two parties and one independent group, the Ruhunu Janatha Party, United National Alliance and an independent led by A. L. M. Farook were rejected under the Section 17/1 of the Provincial Council Act No.2 1988, Assistant Commissioner of Elections Batticaloa District T. Krishananadalingam said.

Chief Returning Officer Batticaloa District Sundaram Arumainayagam said nominations of 12 registered political parties and 15 independent groups were accepted.

The nominations of the UPFA was handed over by the General Secretary of the party Minister Susil Premajayantha and their chief candidate was Sivanesarasa Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan. The list included the former Deputy Minister and SLMC deputy leader M. L. A. M. Hisbullah while the UNP’s Chief Candidate was SLMC Chairman Basheer Segudawood.

In Trincomalee, Assistant Commissioner of Elections Bandara Mapa said 4 lists of nominations of registered political parties were rejected. They were the EPDP, the Muslim Liberation Front, Tamil Democratic National Front and the United Democratic Fund. The nominations of 16 political parties and 19 independent groups with UPFA list led by former parliamentarian M. K. D. S. Gunawardena and the UNP list led by Rauf Hakim were accepted. The UPFA list was handed over by Chief Government Whip Jeyraj Fernandopulle and Governor Western Province Alavi Mowlanda. Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake Minister Nagib Majeed and Rishard Baduideen were also present.

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