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Claims of foul-play over preferential vote count in Jaffna after late night recount

The recount of preferential votes in Jaffna has caused controversy within the TNA and amidst the wider Tamil community, as Praviinaa Raviraj - daughter of assassinated TNA MP Raviraj and current TNA candidate Sashikala Raviraj - suggested some foul-play had occurred in the recount.

Early reports had suggested that Mrs Raviraj had come second or third in the vote count and was therefore guaranteed a seat. However after a recount was called, reportedly at the request of another senior ITAK politician, the results confirmed Mrs Raviraj narrowly losing out on a seat.

“My mother, Mrs. Sashikala Raviraj was unofficially congratulated for coming 2nd from TNA in Jaffna and Kilinochchi district. However, since 90% of the results were completed by 6.30 PM the total results were on hold till now and Mathiaparanan Abraham Sumanthiran who was nowhere near 4th place suddenly made it to the 2nd,” Praviinaa Raviraj wrote on Facebook shortly before the final result was announced.

“We are awaiting the official results but this is the politics that a certain politician is playing within the party.

When candidates are not permitted inside the final counting booth it was witnessed MA Sumanthiran and his right hand Sajanthan were seated along with the elections officers at the final counting area.”

Tensions had been simmering over the recount which took place into the early hours of the morning in Jaffna, with armed Special Task Force troops and Sri Lankan police officers unleashing violence to disperse the crowds.

 

 

While Mrs Raviraj was seen leaving the count with her family members in distress (above), Mr Sumanthiran was escorted to his vehicle by STF troops, to shouts of “cheat” and “traitor” from the crowds gathered outside (below).

 

 

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