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Sri Lanka

Tamils deeply disillusioned ahead of Sri Lanka poll

Muslims also feel marginalized and unfairly blamed for Easter Sunday bombings

ucanews reporter, Jaffna

ucanews reporter, Jaffna

Updated: November 15, 2019 10:04 AM GMT
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Tamils deeply disillusioned ahead of Sri Lanka poll

Extremist Buddhists have repeatedly attacked Muslim-owned places of worship. Four people were killed in clashes in the coastal town of Aluthgama in 2014, when more than 2,000 people were displaced and 17 mosques attacked. (ucanews photo)

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Sri Lankans go the polls to elect their new president on Nov. 16 but father of five K. Thambirasa isn’t holding his breath.

Thambirasa, who lives in the town of Karainagar in the district of Jaffna and lost his leg in a mine explosion in 1998, is a Tamil and says the minority population has no faith the election will improve their lives.

A record 35 candidates are standing, nearly twice as many as the last poll in 2015, but Thambirasa says Tamils have no faith in any of them.

“Tamils are displeased that former governments have all failed to deliver on promised power sharing or providing answers to families whose relatives went missing during the [civil] war,” said the 60-year-old, who has three daughters and two sons and sells fish to villagers to support his family.

“All these promises by presidential candidates never materialize. None of my children have a job yet. Many children in this village are unemployed."

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