Support for war but problems over cost of
Farmers tilling their fields
(inset) P.V. Suraweera
Polonnaruwa a close call
By Dilrukshi Handunnetti in
The District of Polonnaruwa appears to be
in the balance, but as one crosses the newly
constructed Manampitiya Bridge, it is as if
there is no election. The only sign of
electioneering is a tiny JVP office by the
roadside, gathering flies.
If the Polonnaruwa population is keen on
the upcoming poll, then they zealously guard
their political expression by not making it
For them, there are other concerns such
as the transport cost being added to their
agricultural produce and infrastructure
needs; the businesses that have crashed and
need resuscitation. To return to their
original homes in the aftermath of clearing
On the positive side, people move freely
and there is a sense of security after the
military cleared the Eastern Province.
Story of deprivation
As we enter Welikanda and take the
Magulpokuna Road to reach the war displaced
living in hamlets known as ‘affected’
villages, it turns out to be a sad story of
Living in little wattle and daub huts,
these are the villagers who fled their homes
in the middle of the night during military
engagements or are actual victims of bomb
In Welikanda, schools are being reopened
but a policeman and a home guard stand at
the school entrance. There is still a sense
of trepidation and not every parent feels
encouraged to send their children to school.
P.V. Suraweera, a Welikanda native
running a tea kiosk down Magulpokuna Road is
full of praise for the government for
allowing them to breathe freely and for the
army for securing the lives of people with
Like Suraweera, many a villager who spoke
felt that people should accept that the
government was effectively curbing
terrorism. Villagers recall that two years
ago, villagers refused to leave homes after
dusk, and even the army checkpoint at
Welikanda was manned by minimum personnel.
Two years ago three bombs went off near
the small village and several army personnel
and civil defence force (CDF) personnel were
killed, and people are still recovering from
their traumatic experiences.
Fear a truce
The villagers appeared to fear the very
mention of a truce between government forces
and the Tigers. "That generally means
breathing space for them. When President
Premadasa had a truce, Tigers travelled in
the villages freely. During Ranil
Wickremesinghe’s truce, LTTE cadres roamed
more freely. Now we can’t find any in the
area. At least they are not visibly moving
around," they claimed.
The general feeling is that the Tigers
have been completely driven off. The army
efficiently patrols the area and there are
more check points. "Bombs don’t go off
anymore," Y. Sugunadasa explained.
The villages are now periodically
cordoned and searched by the army and
carrying the NIC is a must for civilians.
There is a heightened military presence at
significant places as well.
Next we were in Senapura, again an
affected area though recovering fast. A
little beyond lies some scattered Tamil
villages where people are just beginning to
recultivate their land and rebuild their
There, people expressed their happiness
over having an opportunity to travel to
Ottamawadi and Valachchenai after about 25
years thanks to the east being cleared. "We
visit other areas now."
At the sentry points, military personnel
stand on guard. They smile a mile when asked
about the security situation. "We don’t care
about food. We have difficulties. But we
sleep well and our children go to school and
return home safely," one soldier from Kuda
Pokuna area claimed.
Is the situation better? "A thousand
times better. If the asphalt road could
speak, it will speak of the boys who died on
this road from LTTE attacks," he said.
K.H. Damith Susantha is a Mahaweli
settler who came to Polonnaruwa in 1990. His
siblings’ had their education disrupted due
to the war. His three brothers are in the
army and the police while he cultivates
"We have seen a lot of army personnel
die. Now there is no fear. We don’t have to
run to the thickets in the night to hide in
fear. After 2006 we are more at peace," he
The villages a few years ago were Tiger
terrain, more so during "madam’s period,"
villages say, paying glowing tributes to
enhanced security in the threatened villages
and elsewhere by the present administration.
In Tiruchenai, a new political
development is taking place. That is where
the TMVP is having its political office and
a popular candidate, Aiyathurai
Kathiramanambi alias Mangalam Master
is contesting on the UPFA ticket.
He has a very, young group of supporters
including some of his security personnel. In
the town and near his office they bear no
arms though closer to his residence there
are gun wielding young boys.
It is significant, given the fact that a
Tamil political party seeks to represent a
few scattered Tamil villages within a
Sinhala dominant area and district. If the
affected areas show less political
intensity, the townships are no better.
However, both the main parties, the UPFA and
the UNP appear to have a low intensity
campaign in the towns with the JVP less
present except in pockets.
As a district, almost every other family
had a member in the armed forces. And there
is an irrefutable war thrust among the large
majority of the people. Even the die-hard
UNP supporters appreciate the security
measures but are waiting to vote for their
The detractors of the current NCP
administrators and there are quite a few,
nevertheless feel the government should
continue. There is much appreciation for the
government’s attempt to end the scourge of
As much as the UPFA supporters feel
confident, the UNP supporters too feel
confident that victory is imminent. And the
JVP feels that the two party system would
come to an effective end in the NCP, where
the party has a sizeable vote base.
Amidst all these, infrastructure needs
come to the fore. People suffer from a lack
of water for agriculture and drinking water
still remains a problem. Villagers have made
payments for water supply but the pipes are
yet to be laid. The roads too are in a
dilapidated condition with the interior
roads being a sorry sight.
"They pledge during election time but
infrastructure needs are always forgotten,"
laments P.V. Suraweera. The only improvement
as far as they can recall is the upgrading
of the Polonnaruwa Hospital as a National
When it comes to the final analysis, the
margin between the two main political
parties during the 2005 presidential
election was some 13,357 votes. That with
the UPFA vote being strengthened by the JVP
which creates a condition somewhat
favourable for the UNP this time around.
Nevertheless, to supplement for any loss
is the TMVP that is contesting on the UPFA
ticket with a bag of some 7,000 votes in the
13 scattered Tamil villages in Polonnaruwa.
Whatever the result on August 23 is going
to be, despite the overwhelming support for
the government’s war effort, it is still
going to be a close call. And there is every
chance that the next North Central
Provincial election is going to be one
created with a slim majority..
Making new waves in the Polonnaruwa
District is a former LTTE cadre now
ready to enter mainstream politics on
the UPFA ticket from the Welikanda area.
Aiyadorai Kathiramanambi alias
Mangalam Master (32) is a popular
political figure, happily working with
all three communities and shedding his
militant past to complete his
At his newly built home where he
lives with his family, people wait for
an opportunity to meet him. Outside
stand young boys bearing weapons. The
road leading up the house has army
Mangalam Master considers himself
lucky to have got an opportunity to
politically represent people than to
wield a gun as he did for eight years
until he broke away from the LTTE with
Hailing from Thiruchenai, a little
hamlet within the Welikanda area, the
father of a two-year-old girl, Nithya,
looks forward to a day when guns are
completely silent. Excerpts from an
Q: Why did you enter politics?
A: I entered politics at the
request of President Mahinda Rajapakse
that the TMVP enter mainstream politics.
I consider this a great opportunity to
serve the people.
Q: You mean Tamil people?
A: No. I want to serve all
communities, especially the poor people
in our area. There are many of them.
Q: Where are you from?
A: From this area. I was born and
bred here. Later I moved to the east.
Q: Why are you contesting from the
A: No special reason. We were
invited. We feel with the help of the
President we should be able to develop
our areas and provide opportunities to
Q: You were a militant for so long
and have now become a politician. How
difficult is this transition?
A: Having shed my militant past,
I do know that results are not
achievable by killing people. It is
easier to achieve results through the
political process. I am happily
adjusting to the change and the love and
support I receive from the people
inspire me to complete that transition.
Q: Does it mean that the majority of
Tamils accept your decision to work with
A: Not just the Tamils but I
think all people accept this. Not just
the people from the area, but the entire
country appears to be happy over this
Q: Have you given up the demand for a
A: It is a difficult question to
answer. Perhaps on a future date I may
Q: Will the Sinhala voters accept you
given your militant past?
A: All three communities support
me. All you have to do is look around
and find out the truth. People from all
three communities work with me. This is
a delightful situation.
Q: What is the Tamil voter population
in the area? How many of them are
A: There are over 7,000
registered Tamil voters in 13 Tamil
dominant villages. Having said that, I
wish to emphasise that we have the
support of all the communities. I do not
rely on Tamil voters alone or seek only
to serve my community. I am in politics
to serve all.
Q: Do you support the government’s
A: I do not wish to answer that.
Perhaps I will answer on a future date.
Q: Are you confident that the
incumbent government would justly cater
to the political aspirations of the
A: Just not the aspirations of
the Tamil people but I have strong faith
that the entire country’s needs will be
Q: Do you have your own armed cadres
or have army protection?
A: We have government provided
security. I can’t explain my personal
Q: What is your take on the ground
situation after the clearing of the
A: All have benefited from the
eastern clearing. The guns have fallen
silent in a big way. People live
peacefully and lead a normal life.
Q: Are you ready to shift from
militant to politician completely?
A: I already have. It is a great
Q: What is your developmental plan,
in the event of being elected?
A: We will work with the
President and formulate special plans
for this province, and for the area I
represent as well.
Q: Are there any attacks or threats
from other candidates or political
A: None whatsoever. In fact I
believe it would be plain sailing. We
also do not quarrel with others and we
won’t do so in the future. Therefore we
have a peaceful existence and a violence
Postal voters: 7,565
Breakdown of registered voters:
Polonnaruwa — 128,808
Medirigiriya — 62,128
Minneriya — 75,120
Number of members to be elected:
Number of polling stations: 231
Number of counting centres: 24
Polonnaruwa is the agrarian heartland
and the island’s identity in many ways.
Supported by a robust agrarian economy
and having produced 221,588 metric
tonnes of paddy during the Yala
season, it is the more productive
district in the region.
A hub of local art influenced by
Dravidian style monasteries and
irrigation systems, Polonnaruwa has two
famous irrigation systems — Parakrama
Samudra and Minneriya.
Though a proud kingdom of yore, the
NCP is the lowest contributor to the
national GDP after the Northern Province
with a decline of about 2% during the
past 10 years. The service sector
contributes about 45-50% to the
provincial GDP and the agricultural
sector, less than 10%.
Though under the official poverty
line (OPL) which is Rs.2,825, it stands
better compared with Anuradhapura at
The entire North Central Province
suffers from a huge teacher requirement
with only 12,356 teachers available when
there is a further requirement of 2,100
for a student population of 253,361
studying at 776 schools. The Dimbulagala
Zone requires 193 science teachers but
has only 50, though less affected by the
problem when compared with Anuradhapura.
Some 605 of NCP schools have not
received textbooks as yet which has
hampered their education. In the
educational zones — namely Polonnaruwa,
Hingurakgoda and Dimbulagala, three
schools remain closed in Dimbulagala due
to security concerns.
Though the granary of the country’s
early civilisation, today Polonnaruwa
suffers from low incomes and a high
unemployment rate. The district is in
dire need of infrastructure development
and water resources, both for
agricultural purposes and drinking
water. Electricity is another
Impact felt strongly
As a district bordering the east, the
actual impact of the war is still felt
strongly. Manampitiya, Medirigiriya,
Dimbulagala and Welikanda have suffered
immensely from the war and are slowly
returning to normalcy.
Many work as home guards, a new
source of employment and the moving of
the TMVP to Welikanda has led to new
political developments in the area with
Sinhalese fearing the armed presence of
the TMVP, which the government has
launched in the Sinhala heartland during
the NCP poll.
During the 2005 presidential poll,
the UPFA polled 110,499 (52.61%) of the
votes and the UNP polled 97,142(46.25%).
for Raja Rata intensifies
Posters and decorations in support
a UNP candidate and A UPFA candidate’s
By Dilrukshi Handunnetti in
Anuradhapura is parched
and dusty. The district has not seen rain in
recent times. There are dust covered
surfaces and roads crying out for repair.
The asphalt road is cracked and instead of
carpeting, soil is being laid in thick
layers and smoothened by way of hasty pre
election ‘development.’ One shower could
wash it all away.
For the Anuradhapura
citizen too, we soon realised, this election
is like the hastily developed road.
Something of no real value.
They have other concerns
and of course, security is key. They have
gruesome memories of the Kebethigollewa
claymore attack that ripped a passenger bus
apart and the impact of the SLAF base coming
under LTTE attack. The fears remain unabated
and despite the robust security programme in
place, there are the lurking apprehensions
about safety. For the average citizen,
living in any part of Anuradhapura is still
a matter of life and death. The district is
too close to the war zone and the spill over
In Kebethigollewa the
people are still recovering from the trauma
of 2006. Chitra Iranganie from Yakawewa, now
displaced and living in a hut, still has
haunting eyes. She lost her three children
to the claymore, and is struggling to
rebuild her life together with her husband,
For her, a neutral voter,
the feeling is that Kebethigollewa is
divided between green and blue camps. "We
are waiting to be resettled. Not to vote at
an unwanted election," she notes.
In town areas, there were
more pro-incumbency sentiments. It was based
on one issue. Enhanced security in the area
and the ability to recommence businesses.
S. Ekanayake runs a shop
in Kebethigollewa town and showers praise
upon the government for having done a
thorough job with the war. He has
unflinching faith that the war would soon
end, and prosperity would be theirs.
Not so confident is
Ahamadu Lebbe Illiyas, who walked into the
shop. He has voted for the UPFA all along
but is keen to vote for the UNP chief
ministerial candidate this time.
"There is new hope. We
like the government because it wages war
well. It will be good to have a former
general ruling the province. He is well
known as a great defender," he beamed.
But the two villagers
agree that electioneering at village level
is peaceful because people respect
neighbours. "We don’t allow party politics
to intervene. In towns, there’s bloodshed,"
quips Illiyas. Ekanayake qualifies: "I don’t
think the UNP candidate will win. He is very
popular but not one of us. That’s the
J.W. Farook runs a fish
net shop. He is happy that the army
regularly patrols the area and schools once
closed have now been opened. His son has
returned to school as a result.
He was unsure about the
possible election result, but felt the
developmental issues were not being
addressed in the run up to the poll.
As for the UPFA chief
ministerial candidate, Berty Premalal
Dissanayake, many sounded dissatisfied.
There was a time when he was a popular man,
but not any more, they said. In the
townships, there was less focus on the war
effort. People spoke more of their daily
bread, or the lack of it, and felt the
government should deal with the cost of
S. Siripala was more
critical. He thought the President was doing
a good job of crushing the LTTE but added,
"The local leadership is no match."
Towns like Mihintale and
Anuradhapura showed promise, despite the
prevailing election violence. Election fever
was slowly catching up.
The entry of UNP chief
ministerial candidate Janaka Perera appeared
to have rejuvenated the people in general,
not just the UNP supporters. "He is very
popular. But his entry has caused the
government to unleash violence," notes A.K.
For L. Charles, any
government would do — as long as bombs don’t
go off. He and his family used to run
towards the jungle when gunfire was heard.
Living some 26km away from the Vavuniya
border, their lives have been a battle of a
He recalled how he had to
leave the original village, Dammanewa, due
to LTTE infiltration. "There were day time
attacks also. Now they have ceased. I will
vote but won’t cast any preferences. These
candidates are no good," he said.
M.K. Ayesha (4) was
playing with her baby sister and grandmother
when we visited her home. Her mother was out
collecting firewood and the father, a sailor
was away on duty. "We have a huge population
of service personnel. It is called the
heartland of the defence forces," adds M.G.
Karunawathi, Ayesha’s grandmother. She feels
the government will sail through.
Consumed by violence
A district consumed by
tremendous election violence, the towns are
engaged in intense election campaigning
these days. Unlike the villages, towns
showed a keen interest in the poll. But
people did not appear free to express
themselves politically in many places. Many
UNP supporters felt suppressed by the
violence that prevailed.
When we paused to
photograph one UNP candidate’s gaily
decorated office in a remote area, the
inmates came running out fearing that the
government goon squads have arrived to smash
their office. Such fear, it appeared, was
normal in Anuradhapura among opposition
political party supporters.
For the JVP that is known
for its festooned campaign platforms, the
NCP campaign is somewhat dull, despite being
still strong in pockets that are
Given a certain anti
incumbency factor, it is likely that the
UPFA vote has suffered following the split
with coalition partner, the JVP.
This was reflected during
the 2006 local elections when the
Anuradhapura Municipal Council was snatched
from the jaws of defeat by the ruling party
with a mere 400 votes.
With the north being
cleared and the east stabilised, there is
new hope in Anuradhapura despite the
constant fears of terrorist attacks.
Yet at present, it was as
if the theatre of war has shifted from the
north to Anuradhapura itself. "The real war
is here, not elsewhere. I hope the thugs can
be replaced by a decent UNP leader," says
J.P. Dayananada, a flower vendor from
Horowpathana – 72,112
Anuradhapura East –
Anuradhapura West –
Kalawewa – 113,350
Mihintale – 58,034
Kekirawa – 72,777
Number of members to be elected:
The real alternative — JVP CM candidate
Q: It is a foregone
conclusion that one of the two major
parties would clinch the NPC. Why did
you sacrifice your parliament seat?
A: The government had
great faith at the beginning. They
dissolved the NCP for political reasons
assuming it would prove beneficial but
the exposed corruption and inefficiency
have added a new dimension.
It is now becoming a
decisive poll. People see the
opportunity to get rid of an
administration that brings electricity
poles close to polls bearing Pillayan’s
name. They come from the east!
As for my decision,
our party has suffered much. Lost much.
We have also made huge sacrifices for
the politics we believe in. It is
nothing for me to quit my parliamentary
seat. The party appointed me and when I
am required here, I resigned without any
qualms. That’s what the JVP is all
about. Sacrifices are nothing new to us.
This party was built on blood, sweat,
tears and sacrifice.
Q: How does the JVP’s
recent split affect the party? There
must be an erosion in public trust?
A: It impacted
initially. We also had no opportunity to
explain. Often the party was reacting to
an utterance of Wimal Weerawansa.
With this election,
we got a great opportunity to tell our
side of the story. But now, people
understand where Weerawansa’s allegiance
was all along, and his agenda. We faced
a difficult situation and are now
overcoming it because the wolf in
sheep’s clothing is now exposed.
Q: JVP supporters are
coming under severe threat in both
provinces. Why, when you are not a main
A: No, we are the
real stakeholders. The UNP is hand in
glove with the government. We are the
alternative and the real challenge.
Q: How do you intend
protecting the polling booths?
A: We tell people to
vote to preserve democracy. The police
is politicised and investigations are
not conducted when complaints are
lodged. We will do our best to activate
the police and take legal action where
necessary. This also shows the crying
need for independent police and election
Q: How will the JVP
counter the rising violence?
A: We have named and
trained the polling agents. We also have
a special programme not just to protect
the polling booths but also individual
voters. There will obviously be attempts
to prevent people from voting.
Q: The government
claims that a NCP victory would be an
endorsement of the war effort. Is it?
A: This is the
cheapest way to sell the war. If war was
paramount in their minds, the government
could have continued with the existing
NPC for another 14 months and duly
dissolved it. At the rate this
government boasts, the war would have
been over by then and it would have been
easy to conduct the poll in the
afterglow of such military victories.
Q: Why is the war the
focal point to the exclusion of local
A: Because the
administrators can’t speak about local
issues. They did not work but amassed
wealth. The only saleable commodity is
Q: You have been
repeatedly campaigning against abuse of
state property and other malpractices.
Have you complained to the relevant
A: For example, NCP’s
fuel expenditure has suddenly shot up
from Rs.1.4 million to Rs.5.2 million in
July. There is a great likelihood that
this would double in August. The
Provincial Education Director was taken
off election duty for organising
politically motivated meetings for
teachers. We have taken up the issues
with the authorities. Finally, we have
complained to the Bribery Commission to
arrest the UPFA chief ministerial
Q: In Aralaganwila
the postal vote was cast two days prior.
What has the JVP done about it?
A: That incident
created political history. It is proof
that the government would resort to all
kinds of tricks to secure victory.
At this rate, the
election itself might be held on August
Violence is UNP created — Premalal
Q: How confident are
you of victory?
A: I have no
challenge. How can an outsider with no
political experience challenge me or a
youth who just entered parliament? I
have worked and lived here. Nobody can
Q: There is a popular
war hero heading the UNP race. Is he not
A: He cannot pose any
threat to me. He has come here because
the party misled him. If he is an actual
hero, he should contest from the right
political party. He should contest from
the UPFA not the UNP that had the wrong
policy on terrorism.
Q: If he has no
political value, why did you introduce a
disabled solider as a candidate?
A: He was launched to
oppose Janaka Perera. I don’t need to
compete against some alien from
Australia. On the 24th, he will go back
to Colombo and the UNP supporters will
be left high and dry without leadership.
Also, how can this
region be trusted with someone who is
banned from entering military camps?
Q: Will the people
vote only with the war in mind?
A: There is no
denying that the war is an extremely
important factor for the NCP voter.
After all, it is the President who
secured the region and made the people
feel safe. Other governments have been
feeding terrorism and we have taken a
strong stance to crush terrorism.
Naturally, people look at their personal
safety and only trust the UPFA with
Q: Why is it that
local issues are not being discussed in
this election that is full of war hype?
A: It is not so. The
UPFA discusses all other issues
affecting the people. We have built
hospitals, improved school facilities
and built roads. Before I took over,
things were not this good. We have
worked really hard for 10 years to
improve things. Every grateful Raja Rata
citizen will mark his/her preference for
the UPFA. They know how much we worked.
Q: You sound very
confident. If that is the case, why is
Anuradhapura consumed by violence?
A: The violence is
not our creation. It is the UNP that is
wreaking havoc. There are thugs,
underworld persons and drug addicts in
Anuradhapura helping the UNP candidate
to ravage the place. I know the UNP
candidate pays Rs.1500 to get his
posters put up. He has no local
supporters, he is an alien and people
don’t feel connected.
These thugs were
moved to get the odd jobs done. They
have been repeatedly destroying our
offices. UPFA supporters too then
resorted to violence. When the election
is over, I won’t be held responsible for
what happens to the UNP supporters here.
People are very angry about the UNP
Q: Reports stated the
postal vote was cast on August 6 in
Aralaganwila, two days ahead of the
postal vote. Doesn’t this prove the
government is resorting to election
A: I don’t think that
happened. That’s too farfetched. Even if
it did happen, what’s the big deal?
There is a legal mechanism to resort to.
Such things won’t impact on the overall
Q: Opposition parties
have come up with a range of allegations
against you, from building hotels to
printing posters with money meant for
NCP school examination papers to a
corrupt tank-building project. Comment?
A: These lunatics
call my house a hotel. I have been
building it for years. It has three
floors and the JVP calls it a hotel.
When I complete the
building, I will invite the media for my
house warming. You can write anything
now. It’s politics to make wild
allegations against candidates. But when
the house is completed, all of you must
write the truth.
Also, what is so
wrong if I were to build a hotel? I have
the right to do that too!
Q: It is alleged that
you use several vehicles without number
plates and that there is blatant abuse
of state property. Why are you doing
A: Who uses
unregistered vehicles? Only VIPs. I have
a couple of them and I don’t deny it. I
don’t run around in cabs without number
plates transporting thugs. That’s what
the UNP candidates do.
Q: There is obvious
infighting within the UPFA camp and the
evidence of this was when your
supporters allegedly smashed fellow
candidate S.M. Ranjith’s office.
A: There was some
incident. But we have no differences. I
introduced the candidate’s brother S.M.
Chandrasena to politics. These people
are not a threat to me. I am a political
colossus here. Why should I feel
threatened by anyone? There is nobody
who can stand up to me politically at
the provincial level.
I help all other
candidates. We are a team.
Q: It is believed
that Presidential Advisor Basil
Rajapakse is promoting S.M. Ranjith for
the top post, hence the violence against
him? Are you certain of getting the top
A: Those are
fabrications. The job is mine.
Q: Does the JVP’s
defection affect the government’s vote
A: Not at all. We are
secure. But of course the JVP has a
certain vote base and they will retain
Q: If elected a third
time, what do you propose to do? What’s
your action plan?
A: Why should there
be a fresh action plan? I have been the
chief minister twice. But there are
things I could not do during the past 10
years. I will try to complete what I
have started. For me it is continuity.
It is not my launch pad.
The ancient capital
of Anuradhapura is today a district of
diversity. Replacing the agrarian
economy is new employment with some 11%
of the population serving the armed
services and another 17,000 employed as
Civil Defence Force (CDF) personnel.
Coming only second to
the Northern Province in education is
the NCP. In the bottom order, the worst
O/L results were recorded in
In the district’s
five educational zones, namely
Anuradhapura, Thambuttegama, Kekirawa,
Galenbindunuwewa and Kebethigollewa,
education is affected due to LTTE
threats. About 93 schools functioned
amidst threats while in Kebethigollewa,
eight out of 126 schools were closed for
In Anuradhapura, some
100 schools lack toilets while 80% of
them do not have drinking water.
Besides, Anuradhapura suffers from a
severe shortage of teachers.
Famed for its
irrigation schemes, Tissawewa,
Nuwarawewa, Kalawewa and Basawakkulama
are famous tanks located here.
Anuradhapura has high levels of CDF
employment with 17,000 serving as CDF
personnel and 11% of the population in
the armed forces.
While the official
poverty line (OPL) is Rs.2,825,
Anuradhapura remains at Rs.2,678. During
the Yala season, the paddy
production here was 54,492 metric tonnes.
Anuradhapura has more
security threats than neighbouring
Polonnaruwa. As a district, it has 4,238
displaced and another 3,038 living with
friends and family as a result of the
There are also some
285 villages in 77 Grama Niladhari
divisions that are affected. The highest
affected populations are in
Nochchiyagama, Madyama Nuwaragam Palatha,
Padaviya, Kahatagasdigiliya and
needs are high in Anuradhapura. There is
high prevalence of kidney disease,
scarcity of drinking water and for
agricultural purposes, underdeveloped
schools and malaria still plaguing the
During the 2005 presidential poll,
the UPFA polled 231,040 (55.08%) of the
votes and the UNP polled 182,956