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Anti-national election campaign under heavy fire:

TNA hoodwinks Tamils again - Dew Gunasekera

The TNA’s anti-national election campaign in the run up to the April 8 General Election has come under fire from Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Minister Dew Gunasekera who has an unblemished reputation as a leftist leader and has always stood for the just political rights and aspirations of the Tamil community.

TNA leader R.Sampanthan in his recent election campaigns had said that the UPFA Government was working on a secret agenda to scatter Tamil concentrations in the North and the East and to encourage settlement of other communities in their ‘traditional homeland’.

The TNA’s recent announcement that its proposal which is a solution to the Tamil problem is based on the December 2002 Oslo Declaration also came under criticism from Minister Gunasekara and TNA dissidents Thangeswary Kathiraman, Sivanathan Kishore and Sathasivam Kanagaratnam who are contesting the upcoming General Election on the UPFA ticket. The now outdated Oslo Declaration advocated a federal state with emphasis on the recognition of the motherland concept of the North-East Tamils and their right for internal self-governing.

The UPFA Government is working towards resettling all Tamil IDPs in their own villages and to assure peace and prosperity under the far-reaching ‘Uthuru Vasanthaya’ and ‘Eastern Resurgence’ programs of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Gunasekera said. Democracy has been restored in the two provinces - the Provincial Council is functioning in the Eastern province with local representatives elected at democratic elections while other Local Government bodies are also fully functional in the two provinces with representatives elected at grass roots levels.

With the parliamentary elections now round the corner and PC elections also to be held in the Northern province in the near future ensuring transparency in all matters, it is apparent that the TNA is misleading the Tamils in an unscrupulous effort to muster votes, he said.

After the General Election, President Rajapaksa will re-convene the APRC meeting an invitations will be extended to all political parties, including the TNA, to participate and present their proposals. The TNA should abandon its pro-LTTE line, participate in the APRC meeting and put forward proposals acceptable to all communities, the Minister said.

The three former TNA parliamentarians said that the TNA leadership with a strength of 22 parliamentarians kept mum all these six years over its stance on a political solution and undemocratically banned the participation of members in the APRC, the TNA dissidents said. If the TNA leadership had a genuine interest in the welfare of the Tamils and a just solution to their problems, they should have participated in the APRC to express their views.

The TNA leadership also banned its parliamentarians from participating in the deliberations of the Post-Tsunami Operations Management Structure (P-TOMS) deliberations and all other crucial meetings concerning the Tamils, taking a strong pro-LTTE stand. Now that the party is in splinters, they are talking of the Oslo-Declaration-based proposal which is clearly an election gimmick to attract votes, they said.

 

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