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Sunday, 3 October 2010

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Mano Ganeshan slams UNP Gen Sec's statement against decentralisation

UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake's statement that decentralisation of power was no longer necessary as the LTTE has been annihilated came under fire from Mano Ganeshan, human rights activist and leader of the Democratic People's Front (DPF). In a recent interview to the BBC Sinhala service, Attanayake was reported as saying "it is no longer necessary to delve into centralised power into regions as there are no armed militants any longer".

It is not only shocking but very unfortunate that the opposition parliamentarian has made such a remark. It is also surprising that the statement which was given wide publicity in the print media, particularly the Tamil media, has not been countered by the party so far, Ganeshan said.

Traditionally the UNP played an important role in the efforts to evolve a political solution to the Tamil issue and the party has an obligation by the Tamil-speaking people in the context of the fact that a good percentage of both the Tamils and Muslims voted for it in past elections, Ganeshan said. While the DPF is totally opposed to undemocratic and violent means, to which the LTTE took recourse, to resolve the Tamil issue, Attanayake's statement saying a political solution is not currently necessary as the militants have been eliminated is laughable because it ostensibly justifies the presence of militancy, Ganeshan said.

Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamurthy Muralidharan a.k.a. Karuna Amman in criticising the UNP statement has stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has admitted the need for a political solution to the Tamils and the Government was working on formulating a suitable model of power devolution. The process of holding discussions with foreign missions in Colombo on this matter is continuing.

The last in the series of discussions were recently held with the American Embassy and prior to that discussions were held with the Italian Embassy, he said.

TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandren, EPDP Deputy leader Chandrakumar MP and Lanka Estate Workers' Union (LEWU) General Secretary S. Ramanathan are some of the others who have strongly criticised Tissa Attanayake's statement.

 

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