Accessibility links

Sri Lankans Voting For President In First Vote Since End Of War


A foreign election observer, together with Sri Lankan citizens, meditate during a special gathering organized in Colombo for a peaceful election.

A foreign election observer, together with Sri Lankan citizens, meditate during a special gathering organized in Colombo for a peaceful election.

COLOMBO -- Sri Lankans are voting today in the country's first elections since the end of more than 20 years of war with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Twenty-two candidates are standing for the presidency, but the main contenders are President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former army chief Sarath
Fonseka.

The two men worked together in the campaign that led to the defeat of the rebels last May, but they became political adversaries soon after when the ex-military commander decided to challenge the president on an anticorruption platform.

Both candidates are from the Sinahlese ethnic majority, and analysts say that if they split the Sinhalese vote between them, the contest could potentially be decided by voters from the Tamil minority.

More than 14 million people are resgistered to vote.

compiled from agency reports
XS
SM
MD
LG