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Last updated: 06 April, 2010 - Published 16:03 GMT
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Who is scoring at Galle?

Destroyed cricket stadium in Galle after Boxing day tsunami
The cricket stadium is among the main landmarks in historic Galle
Who will be the champion? Vajira or Muthuhettigama?

The race to secure most preferential votes in Galle district at the general election on Thursday is quite open.

In the sweltering heat the town is buzzing with the crowds. The capital of southern Sri Lanka, is overwhelmed by cut-outs, posters and singing election rallies.

The picturesque Indian Ocean is clearly visible from the main road through the southern coast, from Bentota to the far end of the Gallle District.

Between the international cricket ground and the sea, the historic Dutch Fort of Galle is also under election fever.

Main candidates

A popular candidate, Muthuhettigama has turned an old building in the Fort into his election headquarters and his busy team are organising a massive election campaign.

Muthuhettigama's campaign vehicles - plastered with posters - can be seen flying through every corner of the district.

The young controversial politician who made news for local and foreign media has declared himself as the candidate who would collect most of the preferential votes in the district by himself.

Galle Fort
Historic Fort is also under election fever, say journalsits

Vajira Abewardana, the leader of UNF district group is also a rising star. I entered into the famous politician’s busy election office at Sangamittha road. It is modernised with a network of computers, which has all the data on Galle district electorates.

The young staff in the office were very active tapping the keyboards in front of computer desks arranging the scheduled campaign and pocket meetings.

I met Vajira at a meeting, only after chasing him for more than twenty kilometres and ended up recording an interview with him in the kitchen of one of his supporter’s crowded house.

The first Buddhist monk in Sri Lankan parliament history, Reverend Baddegama Samitha and the famous film star Geetha Kumarasingha also can be seen on comfortable pajoro jeeps flying around in the hope of a possible victory.

With the election day looming, all former ministers and other famous candidates are intensifying the propaganda war because the political mind of the people in Galle district are still as calm as the sea off the coast of Galle. It is not easy to read the tide of political thinking of the masses here.

Later I met Galle Government Agent Asoka Jayasekara and questioned him on his plans on the task of holding free and fair election on Thursday.

At the end of it, the very busy GA did not forget to offer a cup of Sri Lankan tea to a BBC journalist who came to interview him from thousands of miles away.

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