The return of JVP

THE JVP is back. The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, the party with Marxist roots which fuelled two failed insurrections in the country in 1971 and 1987-88 that led to the killing of tens of thousands, has emerged as a key player in the Sri Lankan political arena following the recent elections to five provincial councils.

The ruling People's Alliance (PA) won the highest number of seats in all the provinces in the 6 April polls, but it faced a tough contest in two of them. In the densely populated Western Province, where a quarter of the country's people live, the PA and the main opposition United National Party (UNP) each won 44 seats, and in the Central Province, the second biggest in terms of population, the PA took 24 as against the UNP's 23. And due to election rules that give the highest vote-getter in all five provinces two bonus seats in each of the provincial councils, the PA ended up with the most seats. Even so, the balance of power in the Western Province (which includes the Colombo metropolitan area) will be determined by the JVP, which won eight of its total haul of 15 seats there.

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Himal Southasian