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Memories of Philip’s big win and loss



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Reading letters by former D.I.G. Edward Gunawardena and reader K.K.S.Perera on unseating of Philip Gunawardena, my thoughts went back to the time I was a Presiding Officer at the Waga polling station, coming under Avissawella electorate in 1947. The candidates were Mrs. Clodagh Jayasuriya from UNP and Philip Gunawardena of the LSSP. The ballot boxes were then labeled green and red, unlike now where one box is kept and the ballot papers are separated at the time of counting under each candidate. Voting on time, there was a long queue to cast votes for the Red box, while the queue for the Green was almost empty. At about 2 p.m a lady garbed in a striking Green saree walked in, claimed her ballot paper giving her name as Elezabeth. When the polling clerk announced that the vote had already been cast, she went to frenzy and shouted ' I am the only Elezabeth in this area and how could anyone else vote’. I explained, under the circumstances, I could issue a 'Tendered Ballot Paper' which she refused at first and later agreed under protest. Then turning to Polling Agents, she pointed out the UNP agent and said he was her husband and in choicest Sinhala said "Umba waren gedera. Umbata honda padamak Iganwanan" [You come home, I will teach you a good lesson] She left, leaving others present in laughter. What happened at home I leave it to the readers to guess. The results were announced and Philip Gunawardena won, with a thumping majority.Read More...
 
 

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