Millions of Sri Lankans will vote in Thursday's crucial presidential vote. But the country's minority Tamils say they are not interested in the election process and may not cast their votes.
Mr Wickramasinghe will lose most if Tamils do not vote
And that could have a significant impact on the results.
Opposition candidate Ranil Wickramasinghe and Prime
Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, both from the majority
Sinhalese community, have made last-minute
efforts to garner support.
But there is little sign that they have won over the hearts of Tamils in the war-ravaged northern and eastern
part of this island.
"Successive Sri Lankan governments have failed to
address the sufferings of the Tamil people," says
Susaipillai Jesudasan, an ethnic Tamil from the
eastern port city of Trincomalee.
"So, we have no faith in either of the candidates."
Mr Jesudasan has lost relatives in the war. He says
his house was flattened twice by shelling and then badly damaged again by last December's tsunami.
But he says he has yet to get any compensation from the government.
More than 20 years of civil war has left more
than 65,000 people dead in Sri Lanka. In addition, nearly a million people have been displaced by the conflict between the Tamil Tigers and the security forces.
Thousands continue to languish in refugee camps in Sri Lanka and India.
Many Tamils agree that the 2002 ceasefire
agreement brought peace. But they say the subsequent peace process did not
improve the lot of displaced people.
"In the name of high-security zones, thousands of
homes are still occupied by the security forces in the
north," says Mr Sasikumaran, a university student from the northern town of Jaffna.
The Tigers are not providing transport to polling booths
"What effort was taken by the government to
allow people to return to their homes?"
The Sri Lankan government argues that vacating high-security zones in the north may jeopardise the
safety of the security forces. They will only contemplate moving out once a permanent peace deal is
Tamils say they were also angered by the Sri Lankan
High Court's decision to suspend the Tsunami Joint
Mechanism, a body set up to distribute aid to tsunami-affected regions in the north and the east.
Sinhala hardliners argued that the administrative body gave
excessive powers to the Tamil rebels.
"The blocking of tsunami aid body was the last straw.
They are not even willing to give money to tsunami
affected Tamil regions," says Mr Yoganatharaja from
the eastern town of Batticaloa.
The apathy among ordinary Tamils is mirrored in the stance of the Tamil Tiger rebels who say they are not interested in who wins the presidential race.
They argue that both the main presidential candidates have used the peace issue to win votes. After the elections, they say, promises will be forgotten.
The rebels may not have openly asked Tamil
civilians to boycott the elections but the message
seems to be clear.
Susaipillai Jesudasan - still waiting for tsunami compensation
The rebels have announced that they are not making any transport arrangements for people living in areas under their control to go over to the polling booths set up in the government-held territory.
There are no polling stations in the rebel-held territories.
Without any transport help it will be extremely difficult for the residents in rebel-held areas to travel on their own.
And Tamils living in the government-held areas in the north and the east are not sure about voting without getting the go-ahead from the rebels.
If the Tamils stay away from the polls, it is widely
expected that it will hurt the opposition
candidate Ranil Wickramasinghe who talks about a
federal structure for Sri Lanka.
Some people argue that if the northern and
eastern Tamils decide not to vote this may send a
negative message to the Sinhala-dominated south, causing resentment there against Tamils.
"I understand the rebel position. But the decision
could pose a threat to the security of the Tamils
living outside the north and east," says P Chandrasekaran,
who heads the Upcountry People's Front, a party
representing the Indian-origin plantation Tamil
He has urged the Tamil Tigers to reconsider