Sri Lanka: Tamils Vote for More Violence

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November 19, 2005: The LTTE insured that hardliner anti-LTTE candidate Mahinda Rajapakse got elected president. That's because the LTTE intimidation campaign kept Tamil voters, who would have backed defeated, but more pro-Tamil, candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe. LTTE leaders are determined to be hard core, and get a separate Tamil state, no matter what the cost. That could include crushing defeat, for the non-Tamil population (nearly two thirds of the island's population) are fed up with the LTTE terror and threats of renewed war.

November 18, 2005: Mahinda Rajapakse, the current Prime Minister, won the presidential election (with just over 50 percent of the vote) over a former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Rajapakse is a hardliner, determined to make sure that the Tamils do not get their separatist state. Wickremesinghe wanted to go back to negotiations, and did not rule out a separate state for the Tamils.

November 17, 2005: Election day. In the north, the LTTE intimidation campaign, backed up by gunfire and exploding grenades, largely worked and kept most Tamil voters from the polls.

November 16, 2005: LTTE efforts to disrupt tomorrows presidential elections left at least six dead, and many more wounded. The LTTE are trying to intimidate Tamils to prevent them from voting (as a protest.)

November 14, 2005: LTTE gunmen killed a rival Tamil politician in the capital. The LTTE has lost a lot of its control over the Tamil community (about 18 percent of the population) since the cease fire went into effect nearly four years ago. They are using threats and death squads to try and restore discipline to LTTE goals (an independent Tamil state on the island.)

 

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