Sri Lanka to hold polls in ex-war zone for first time in 25 years


Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez
reuters.com
July 5, 2013

Sri Lanka will hold provincial elections in the former northern war zone in September for the first time in 25 years, officials said on Friday, a move demanded by the United Nations since the end of three decades of conflict in 2009.

But Northern Province, which includes the Jaffna peninsula, has been under military control since the end of the war and the government had resisted requests by the West to pull out the army.

Ariyaratne Athugala, director general of the Department of Government Information, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had issued the proclamation to hold northern provincial council polls.

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