Sri Lanka votes in general election
17 August 2015, Nirapad News: Sri Lankans are going to the polls in a general election, with former President Mahinda Rajapaksa aiming to return to office as prime minister.
Rajapaksa lost the presidency in a snap election in January to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, reports bbc.com
Four people have died in violent incidents during the campaign although monitors say there has been less violence than in previous years.
Fifteen million people are eligible to vote, with results expected on Tuesday.
Polls opened at 07:00 local time (01:30 GMT) and will close at 16:00.
Rajapaksa is seeking to return as prime minister of a government led by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. President Sirisena, who now leads the party, has threatened to veto the move.
The former president, who is 69, is thought of as a hero by many of Sri Lanka’s Sinhala-speaking Buddhist majority for crushing a 26-year Tamil uprising in 2009.
But opponents accuse him of running a corrupt, brutal and dynastic regime – charges he denies.
The campaign has been more peaceful than in previous years, monitors say
Ethnic tensions between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority were the driving force behind a long and bitter civil war in the country.
The conflict ended in May 2009 after more than 25 years of violence but recriminations over abuses by both sides continue.