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‘Sinhala Only' votes on the campaign trail

A video from Sri Lanka which purportedly shows campaigners for a Sinhala politician canvassing for votes has gone viral on the island, after they explained on camera that their candidate was only looking for “Sinhala Buddhist and Catholic” votes.

The video captures two women canvassing on behalf of Sinhala nationalist politician and Assistant Leader of the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), Madumadawa Aravinda.

The pair explain that their candidate is looking for Sinhala Buddhist and Catholic votes, adding that he is not looking to get either Tamil or Muslim voters to back him.

The PHU is an extremist Sinhala nationalist party that has long rallied against Tamil demands for autonomy and demilitarisation. 

The video comes as campaigning continues ahead of next month’s parliamentary elections, with Sinhala politicians ramping up racist rhetoric. A group of extremist Sinhala Buddhist monks earlier warned that if Tamils demanded devolution then “a river of blood will flow in the North and East”.

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