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The results of the recent Provincial Council elections are such that everyone can claim some sort of success. The UPFA got the most seats in all three Councils that were contested. The UNP did less badly than at previous elections. The TNA, contesting Provincial Council elections for the first time ever since Provincial Councils were created, largely to satisfy the claims of the party they have succeeded to, won the most votes in two of the three Districts of the Eastern Province.

Of parties that have representation in the national Parliament only through coalitions now, the Muslim Congress did very well in Amparai, and won seats also in Batticaloa and Trincomalee. The National Freedom Front got a seat in Trincomalee, and the JVP kept itself alive in the Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provincial legislatures.

Everyone then can claim victory of sorts, and will doubtless do so. My own feeling however is that the government lost a great opportunity to win a resounding victory, and at the same time to lay the ground for comprehensive reconciliation.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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