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Chandrasekaran meets Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 18 February 2004, 12:53 GMT]
Upcountry People's Front (UPF) leader and Minister in the United National Front (UNF) government, Mr.P.Chandrasekaran, met with Head of LTTE's Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan, in Kilinochchi Wednesday morning and had discussions on ways UPF can forge a common agenda with the NorthEast Tamil parties at the forthcoming elections, sources in Kilinochchi said.
Emerging from the meeting, Chandrasekaran told the assembled press, "Mr.Thamilchelvan and I exchanged productive and forward looking views on ways to unite the Tamil parties and create a strong political force to represent the Tamil people. We agree that the forthcoming elections will be a landmark event in Tamil politics. Reporter:
Can you explain the agreements you have reached?
We have agreed to unify the Tamil political forces to represent the Tamils. We need to strengthen the Tamil National Alliance and increase its parliamentary representation. We have agreed to use such democratic venues to help us further internationalize the problems facing Tamils in Sri Lanka.
|Upcountry People's Front (UPF) leader Mr. P. Chandrasekaran met with Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Head of Political Wing of the LTTE
Are you going to stand as an independent party or are you going to join the TNA in the elections?
We have already made an agreement with the TNA. The local situation requires that we work with TNA in certain areas of the hill country and work independently or use other strategies suitable to the local communities. Only Nuwara Eliya district can be considered a dominantly Tamil region such as the North. In other districts we have to employ different strategies.Reporter:
Can you explain to us on these strategies?
Our main objective is to increase Tamil parliamentary participation. All our actions will be focussed towards achieving this. NorthEast and Upcountry Tamils should unite and emerge as a single powerful Tamil entity.Reporter:
There are news reports that your party is joining the UNF.
We have talked with UNF. These talks do not involve discussions on Ministerial posts or obtaining any short-term gains as such. We have taken some decisons that will increase Tamil participation in the Sri Lanka parliament. We will make the details of our decisions public in the next few days.Reporter:
Are you planning to work with the LTTE in the Upcountry like the way TNA is standing for elections in NorthEast?
I don't think TNA is functioning as a subservient party to the LTTE. Rather, I regard TNA as a party that has fully recognized the political needs of the Tamil people. LTTE is equally supporting the TNA for its enlightened political engagement and forward looking policies that has served increase the political strength of the Tamil people. Similarly, UPF will work towards the long-term benefit of the Tamil people.Reporter:
How many candidates are you going to nominate jointly with TNA to stand in the elections?
We will identify areas where we feel that there is a need to represent the voice of Tamils. We have not decided on the number or the elections symbol we are going to use.
Upcountry People's Front (UPF) leader Mr. P. Chandrasekaran met with Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, Head of Political Wing of the LTTE