9 Aug 2009

Mixed results in Sri Lanka polls

4:49 pm on 9 August 2009

Initial results from the first election in Sri Lanka since the civil war ended in May show the governing party has taken Jaffna, the region's biggest city.

But it suffered a surprise defeat in Vavuniya, the other town where polling took place, where a group supportive of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels won.

Ballots are still being counted in the southern province of Uva.

The BBC reports voters in had a choice between a broad government coalition, the main opposition party, which is weaker, and an umbrella group supportive of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Turnout was low - 20% in Jaffna and 52% in Vavuniya.

As a result of its victory in the civil war, the government is very popular in the south.