Is Sri Lanka's Rajapakse regime losing the ground?

(October 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Although Sri Lanka's ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) came into power in the home province of President Mahinda Rajapakse recording a massive victory at Southern Provincial Council election, the ruling alliance seems losing the firm hold five months after it defeated the Tamil's violent struggle for a homeland in the north and eastern parts of the island. 

Voter turnout was average 69.24% despite massive propaganda campaign of the ruling alliance in Southern Province. The state media propagated exaggerated statistics on voter turnout that sharply contrasted with the data issued by independent monitors right in the mid-day news bulletins in an attempt to attract more voters to the polling centers.

The government used almost all public property from the powers of the executive presidency and state-owned media to public roads for the ambitious propaganda campaign that targeted to achieve 80% votes for the ruling alliance. Mud slinging on opposition politicians were carried out by state media even on the election day. However, the UPFA could record 67.88% only while the major opposition was voted 25.09% and the Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) gained 6.11% from the province. 

UPFA amassed 72.39% votes at Uva Provincial Council election held immediately after the military victory over the Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE). Southern Province UPFA result was lower than the February 14th North Western Provincial Council result that gave 69.43% votes to UPFA even before the military defeat of the LTTE. 

Four Rajapakse brothers that run the country might not be happy with the result they achieved from their home district Hambanthota from where they expected gratitude for the rapid development conducted there. The government has promised a service harbor, an international airport, an international cricket stadium, rail road and many other developments to this district which is one of Sri Lanka's poorest in many terms. They could achieve 66.95% only in Hambanthota and it was the lowest percentage out of the three districts. 

Ruling alliance's former ally JVP gained 11.01% votes from Hambanthota district. JVP was the main force that ushered Mahinda Rajapakse to presidency in 2005 but they did not assume cabinet portfolios and quit the alliance soon after.


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