The Staggers 26 January 2010 Sri Lankan election: in pictures As a war-scarred nation heads to the polls, here are images from the turbulent run-up to the preside Print HTML Sri Lankans are voting in the country's first election since the Tamil Tigers were crushed. Above, a supporter at an election rally wears a swan mask. Swans are the election symbol of the former army commander and opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka. Supporters of the incumbent president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, attend another rally. An opposition activist, Tiran Alles, addresses the media from his house, damaged in a grenade attack that has been blamed on the ruling party. Buddhist monks pray at a "prayer of determination" ceremony. Sri Lankan cyclists pass an election poster in Vavuniya, north of Colombo. It is estimated that between 80,000 and 100,000 people died during the insurgency, which lasted nearly 40 years. Wreckage at the home of Tiran Alles, campaign manager for Sarath Fonseka. Rickshaws adorned with Fonseka's image. In Vavuniya a displaced ethnic Tamil, Sithambaram Ratnasingam, displays her passport after she was denied permission to vote today. All photographs from AFP/Getty Images. Follow the New Statesman team on Twitter. › Morning Call: pick of the comment Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman. From only £1 per week Subscribe More Related articles The Fire Brigades Union reaffiliates to Labour - what does it mean? John Gray on the future of the state on the NS Podcast Could Labour lose the Oldham by-election?