Provincial polls on September 21

Elections for the Northern, North Western and Central province will be held on September 21, the Department of Elections announced today.
Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that handing over of nominations and accepting deposits for the elections ended this afternoon.
He said that the Returning Officers in the three provinces have been told to make arrangements to conducts the polls between 7am and 4pm on September 21.
All the main political parties are contesting the elections in the northern, central and north western provinces.
The Department of Elections said that in all 131 nominations had been received from recognized political parties for the three provinces of which 126 were accepted while 79 nominations were received from independent groups of which 75 were accepted.
A total of 2279 candidates from recognized political parties and 1506 independent groups will be contesting the elections in the three provinces.
Focus will be on the northern province where the  Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the ruling UPFA will battle it out for public popularity, four years after the war between the Tamil Tiger rebels and the army ended.
The government will be campaigning on the development it has done for the area after 30 years of war had destroyed or damaged most of the infrastructure.
Most parts of the north including the main Jaffna town have new roads, electricity and other facilities which were mostly limited during the war.
The TNA will however look to ride on Tamil sentiments in the north with the Tamil diaspora calling for accountability over the civilian deaths during the final stages of conflict.
The wife of former LTTE eastern region political head Elilan, has been included in the list of candidates by the TNA for the northern polls.
Another former LTTE member, Daya Master, who was initially expected to contest the elections for the government, had however not been included in the final list. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam