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Last updated: 01 February, 2010 - Published 17:35 GMT
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Computer manipulation 'impossible'
A polling station in Colombo
Opposition alleges that the result was manipulated using latest technology
The computer expert who was involved in presenting the final results in the recently concluded presidential polls has categorically rejected the accusations that the count was rigged using the latest technology.

Dr. Ruwan Weerasinghe, Director of the School of Computing, University of Colombo, told BBC Sandeshaya that the results were entered to the computer system after several verifications and cross checking.

"There were about 25,000 polling stations in Sri Lanka. The results from these centres are brought to about 880 counting centres," Dr. Weerasinghe said.

"Hand counted results from these centres are faxed to the commissioner of elections after the polling agents sign the results, the count is supervised and signed off by agents from political parties,” he added.

'Unbiased organisation'

The Director also said that the results are checked again before they are entered to the computer.

"We have a reputation of being an unbiased organisation,” he said.

Expersts says it is impossible to manipulate election results

He was responding to allegations by the main opposition that results of the election were manipulated using computer technology.

The School of Computing, University of Colombo was in charge of computerising the result of 26 January presidential elections.

Spokesman for main opposition candidate Gen Sarath Fonseka, Mangala Samaraweera, MP, has told media that it was the first time in the world that computer technology has been used to rig elections.

Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, the candidate for the Left Front, echoed similar accusations.

"It was a computer conspiracy that involved senior officers and computer specials," he told journalists on Sunday.

But Dr. Weerasinghe says rigging the result of an election using computer technology, after such checks and balances, is almost impossible in Sri Lanka.

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