Sri Lanka’s ruling party heading for landslide victory in elections Aug 07, 2020 0 603 12345 DPAColomboThe ruling party in Sri Lanka has further widened its lead in the parliamentary elections and is heading for a landslide victory, officials said on Thursday.Early results show that incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Party (Sri Lanka People’s Party, SLPP) was leading with clear majorities in most constituencies.With more than five million votes counted and released officially, the SLPP was leading with 61 percent of the vote, with the closest rival party securing only 22 percent.The results of 90 out of the 160 constituencies have been announced so far, with the SLPP securing 80 of them.Unofficial results showed that Rajapaksa’s party was in the lead in most of the 160 constituencies.The worst setback was suffered by former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party (UNP) which has so far failed to secure even 3 percent of the vote.The UNP has been plagued by divisions and most of its previously popular candidates ran under the banner of a separate party, known as the United People’s Front (SJB) and led by former presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa.Premadasa’s SJB was heading to be the main opposition party trailing behind Rajapaksa’s SLPP.Elections are being held for 225 members of parliament for the next five years.Earlier in the day, officials started the counting process after holding back the ballot boxes overnight following Wednesday’s poll.The elections had been postponed twice since April due to the pandemic, but Sri Lanka’s government has kept the situation under control so far, with fewer than 3,000 cases and 11 deaths to date.The voting rate was lower than at the previous parliamentary elections in 2015, where turnout was 77 percent. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Philippines’ total COVID-19 cases surge to over 119,000, 2,150 deaths Aug 07, 2020 0 615 Nile dam mediator South Africa urges talks to continue Aug 07, 2020 0 623 Macron calls for urgent change in Lebanon on his visit Aug 07, 2020 0 597 Eight coronavirus patients killed in India hospital fire DPA New Delhi A fire killed eight coronavirus patients at a hospital in India’s western city of Ahmedabad on Thursday, officials said. The blaze broke out in the intensive care unit of the Shrey Hospital, a designated .. Sudan floods kill 10, wreck 3,300 homes: Civil Defence Khartoum At least 10 people were killed and more than 3,300 homes ruined by flooding triggered by torrential rains across much of Sudan this week, the country’s civil defence organisation said Thursday. Some 1,800 homes .. Pakistan lifts virus restrictions as cases drop Islamabad Pakistan on Thursday announced it would be lifting most of the country’s remaining coronavirus restrictions after seeing new cases drop for several weeks. All restaurants and parks will be allowed to re-open .. Afghan forces, Taliban clash after ceasefire end Ghazni Ten insurgents were killed in clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Thursday, the first time authorities have confirmed direct fighting since a recent ceasefire .. Boat carrying 40 people capsizes off Mauritania, UNHCR says Berlin A boat carrying 40 people has capsized off the coast of Mauritania, a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) spokesman tweeted on Thursday. “Tragic news coming in of a shipwreck off the coast of Mauritania. Some 40 people were ..