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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-09-20 16:00:23
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UN chief sees Sri Lanka election as opportunity for reconciliation

September 20, 2013 - As voters in Tamil-dominated northern Sri Lanka go to the polls on Saturday in a provincial election, the UN chief has called on all parties to take part in the process in a peaceful manner saying it is an important opportunity for reconciliation in the country. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon described the elections as a way to “foster political reconciliation and to build confidence between Sri Lankans after many years of conflict.” Defeat for the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa would be largely symbolic, but victory for the main Tamil party could reignite calls for autonomy. Northern Sri Lanka was the heartland of a Tamil Tiger separatist movement that battled the central government from 1983 until the rebels' crushing defeat in 2009. Most voters in the north are ethnic Tamils and many of them are bitter about what they see as virtual occupation of the region by the army which they accuse of rights abuses in the final, bloody stages of the war. (Source: UN)


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