Fonseka says he will challenge
Presidential Election result in Court
Communal tensions whipped up by interpretation of voting pattern

A petition challenging the result of last week’s Presidential Election will be filed in Court shortly, the Oppositions Common Candidate Sarath Fonseka said yesterday.

He told The Island that his lawyers were in the process of gathering evidence of malpractices and polls rigging, that had been reported from various parts of the country.

"I have no problem with losing, but we are sorry that the aspirations of a large number of people could not be fulfilled. They have indicated in one voice, that the verdict canno’t be accepted," Fonseka said. "Just because we do not make a big noise, does not mean that our campaign for justice and fair play, has lost steam."

President Mahinda Rajapaksa was allegedly trying to whip up communal tensions, by claiming to have received the Sinhala Buddhist votes while he (Fonseka) had got the Tamil votes. It’s a dangerous interpretation that can create divisions between the various communities. The efforts of the security forces in ending a thirty year old war, would also be negated, he said

If not for the alleged computer and manual manipulation of the ballots cast, Fonseka said that he would have secured around 5.5 million votes from all the communties.

"Me, my family and supporters are being harassed by the Rajapaksas, but our complaints are not even entertained by the Police. A dictatorship on the lines of Idi Amin’s rule, has been foisted on Sri Lanka," he said. "If the thuggery does not stop, we will raise the matter with the international community. Already, India and the EU have expressed grave concern about the deteriorating law and order situation in Sri Lanka."

Fonseka said that the battle for preference votes among candidates, will help eliminate irregularities to a large extent during the forthcoming parliamentary election.

Deputy leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya said that according to many of the Presiding Officers’ reports, there had been serious violations including manipulation of the verdict. There were many instances, where Fonseka’s agents had been kicked out of polling stations.

"The conduct of the State media was disgusting. They violated all norms of decency and totally disregarded the Elections Commissioner’s guidelines for the conduct of a free and fair election."

Leader of the DPF, Mano Ganeshan said that the people of the North and East should be commended for casting their votes in large numbers for a Southern candidate. But, it was unfortunate that some are trying to divide the South, on the basis of the turnout in favour of Fonseka.

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