http://www.bbcsinhala.com

09 April, 2010 - Published 14:05 GMT

Ups and downs in Sri Lanka elections

While many stalwarts of the ruling coalition have secured victories in the parliamentary elections, there have also been many upsets.

With 180 seats determined in the chamber of 225, 117 have gone to the governing coalition and only 46 to the next biggest party, according to the department of elections.

In Colombo district, the leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF), Wimal Weerawansa, has topped the preferential votes ahead of many senior ministers, followed by Duminda Silva.

Basil vs. Namal

Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka has come third followed by Minister Dinesh Gunawardene.

All three are leaders of minor constituent parties in the ruling United people Alliance (UPFA).

It is interesting to note that none of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) leaders have managed to secure top votes in Colombo.

Former Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and ministers Milinda Moragoda, Ferial Ashroff and Nandana Gunathilake have lost their seats.

From the main opposition United National Party (UNP), its leader Ranil Wickramasinghe has secured the most preferential votes while former ruling party MP, Wijedasa Rajapaksa and former Mrs. Sri Lanka Rosy Senanayake have also secured seats from the UNP list.

Former military commander and the leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA), Gen Sarath Fonseka, is among the two elected DNA MPs from Colombo.

He contested while in custody.

Ranatunga vs. Jayasuriya

President Rajapkasa’s eldest son, Namal, has secured the most preferential votes in Hambantota district, while his uncle, Basil, has created a record by securing more than 400,000 votes in Gampaha district.

The widow of slain Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopullai, Sudarshini, has entered the parliament securing the second most preferential votes in Gampaha.

Controversial Minister Mervyn Silva has come in third ahead of many other senior ruling party politicians in Gampaha district.

In Galle district, controversial politician Nishantha Mutuhettigama and former Minister Richard Pathirana’s son, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana have topped the preferential votes ahead of senior ministers.

The popular actress Geetha Kumarasinghe, and the former UNP minister Vajira Abeygunawardene have failed to secure seats.

While former Test captain Arjuna Ranathunga has secured the only seat for the DNA in Kalutara, the veteran all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya, who still plays international cricket has topped the UPFA list in Matara.

Mangala vs. Vasudeva

President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s former Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, has managed to win a seat from the UNP in Matara district.

While the veteran politician Vasudeva Nanayakkara has staged a come back in Ratnapura from the ruling coalition, Minister Mahinda Rathnathilake has lost his seat.

Popular actor Ranjan Ramanayake won one of three seats from the UNP, journalists say.

In Batticaloa, the UPFA partner TMVP lead by Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan has failed to secure a single seat; the Tamil National Alliance has been victorious in the district.

While provincial minister and former parliamentarian MLAM Hisbullah has once again entered the parliament, former Minister Amir Ali has lost his seat.

In Jaffna, Minister Douglas Devananda has secured the most preferential votes but the district has been won by the TNA.