Northern voters embraced new political parties - Udaya Gammanpila | Sunday Observer

Northern voters embraced new political parties - Udaya Gammanpila

23 August, 2020

Co-cabinet Spokesman and Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said the recently concluded general election is a clear reflection that the people in the North have moved away from the TNA and embraced new political parties such as the SLFP, SLPP, EPDP and TMVP, the coalition partners of the Government.

“We should read the message by the Northern and the Eastern voters properly.

The simple message is that they need development instead of devolution,” the Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

Minister Gammanpila said the South, in general, and the Government in particular, should understand this strong message and embrace our Northern and Eastern brethren warmly and join hands with them to develop their areas.

Commenting on the proposed 20th Amendment, the Minister said since 1978, there have been so many constitutional drafts prepared mainly by NGOs on the instructions of some Embassies. We don’t want such a Constitution for the people. The Constitution should reflect the aspirations of the people. Therefore, we should ensure that the new Constitution to be drafted should reflect the people’s aspirations so that it would take the country in a new direction.

Authoritative sources said the SLPP led Government has been apprised of the burning issues in the North and the East such as unemployment, poor livelihoods, meagre incomes and housing facilities. Therefore, the aim of the Government is to provide solutions to such issues in the North and the East.

The political change that has taken place was because the Tamils claim that they have been sidelined or neglected due to internal power struggles within the Tamil political parties which gave little thought to their grievances. The poll results in the North and the East at the August 5 general election showed a mixed reaction where the TNA which is the traditional party representing the Tamils of the North and the East from 2001 has been weakened.

The TNA secured 16 seats at the last Parliament but this time around lost seven seats to other parties. The turning point was engineered by Angajan Ramanathan of the SLFP who bagged the highest number of votes – a staggering 36,365 and Douglas Devananda of the EPDP securing 32,146.