In a significant vote this weekend, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 30 out of 38 seats in Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council.
The ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won a mere seven seats. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) captured one seat. To fully comprehend what’s just happened, it’s helpful to put these numbers in perspective. In August 2009, a Municipal Council election was held in Jaffna, the most populous district in the country’s North in which the UPFA captured 50.7% of the popular vote and 13 out of 23 seats on the Council. When the country held parliamentary elections in 2010, the TNA won the majority in nine out of ten polling divisions in Jaffna district.
Overall in Jaffna, TNA won nearly 44% of the vote while the UPFA won just over 32%. In Kilinochchi polling division – also a part of the Jaffna electorate – TNA won 45.51% of the vote and UPFA obtained 36.55%. In July 2011, Local Authorities Elections were held in Jaffna. Those results pointed to widespread dissatisfaction with the UPFA. Elections were held for 16 local government bodies. The TNA won the vote in 13 of those contests. The three won by the GoSL – in Velanai, Delft and Kayts – were strongholds of the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP). Overall, TNA captured at least 63% of the vote and UPFA 34% of the vote. In the recent September 21, 2013 NPC elections, if one takes Jaffna and Killinochchi, the TNA received 82.8% of the vote while the UPFA garnered just over 16.1%. The trend is unmistakable.