Tension as Sri Lanka announces election result

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Tension as Sri Lanka announces election result

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There is growing political tension in Sri Lanka, where the incumbant president has been officially declared winner of Tuesday’s elections.

Armed government troops have surrounded a hotel in Colombo where several main opposition members are staying.

Main opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka fears they are waiting to arrest him should he win and says he has sought diplomatic protection from a neighbouring country.

A member of his opposition coalition, Rauf Hakeem, said:

“We have decided to officially appeal to the government with regard to the developing situation which is very alarming given the posture and attitude of the soldiers outside.”

The election campaign was marred by violence, especially in the north of the country where a 25-year separatist rebellion led by the Tamil Tigers was crushed last year.

The electoral commission has said that president Mahinda Rajapaksa won 57.9 percent of the vote and a second term in office.

General Fonseka, who played a key role in the final military offensive against the Tamil Tigers, has accused him of planning to rig the vote and has refused to recognise the result.