Sri Lankan Tamil party accused of favoring separatism

09:54, March 15, 2010      

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The leader of a member party of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition on Sunday criticized the island's main ethnic Tamil party Tamil National Alliance's (TNA) of harboring separatist ideas in its election manifesto issued for the April 8 parliamentary election.

Wimal Weerawansa, the leader of the National Freedom Front told reporters that the government troops had freed Tamil people from the clutch of Tamil tiger rebels last year, but the TNA is now trying to lead the Tamil people again on the previous path.

Weerawansa said the TNA is claiming the right of self- determination for the Tamil people.

"They want to merge Northern and Eastern Provinces again and direct international initiatives to those two provinces. They also demand police, land, finance and all other powers to the merged provinces," Weerawansa said, adding that the TNA is asking for all elements that would lead for a separate government.

The TNA demanded the right of self-determination and power- sharing based on a federal structure in its manifesto issued on Friday for the parliamentary election.

TNA general secretary and former northern Jaffna district legislator Mavai Senathirajah said the TNA is against Weerawansa' s critics as the TNA's demands are true needs of Tamil people in the island.

Senathirajah said as the minority of the country there is nothing wrong to claim the right of self-determination while being harassed by majority Sinhalese.

"The war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was concluded in May 2009, but there are still our Tamil people in the refugee camps with few facilities," he said.

"What is wrong with TNA stressing the need to expedite the resettlement of displaced civilians in their original places in the election manifesto?" said the former legislator.

The TNA has 22 members in the 225-member parliament dissolved by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in February and the new parliament would meet on April 22.

Source: Xinhua
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