Tens of thousands of Sri Lankans, defying a boycott called by a powerful Tamil guerrilla group, voted in Eastern province to choose members to a local administrative council. Indian soldiers provided heavy security around the polling centers to prevent attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who had threatened to disrupt the voting. There were no reports of violence during the balloting. Under an India-sponsored peace accord aimed at ending a five-year-old war for an independent Tamil homeland, semiautonomous provincial councils are to be set up. But the Liberation Tigers, the most powerful Tamil rebel group, have rejected the plan. Thousands of people have been killed during the separatist war.