WPPF leader meets Thamilchelvan in Kilinochchi

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 December 2005, 16:36 GMT]
Leader of Western Province People's Front (WPPF), Mano Ganeshan, met with Head of LTTE's Political Wing, S.P.Thamilchelvan, in Kilinochchi Thursday morning sources in Kilinochchi said. "Forming a united front of all Tamil parties to secure a formidable bargaining position in Sri Lanka parliament was the basis of our discussion today," Mr.Ganeshan told the reporters after his meeting.

Mr Mano Ganesan who has recently suggested changing the name of his party to represent its affiliation to upcountry, talked in length with reporters at the conclusion of the meeting.

Excerpts from his response to the press follows:

Reporter: Can you summarize for us what was discussed in the meeting?
Ganesan: Our discussion today was very focused and took place in a cordial atmosphere. We shared our views on the political direction of the new Sri Lanka President. Thamilchelvan made it clear that any future talks with the Sri Lanka Government will be based on the rights to self-determination of Tamil people.

Talks centered on forming a grand coalition of Tamil parties, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) functioning inside NorthEast, and parties that function outside the NorthEast, the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), the Upcountry Peoples Front (UPF) and our Western Province Peoples Front (WPPF), to secure a formidable bargaining position in the Sri Lanka Parliament.

Honorable history of our party attests to the consistent position we have taken allying with TNA in opposing anti-Tamil legislative action in the Parliament. Our party has also protested, in the streets of the capital, against atrocities on Tamils and asserting the voice of Tamil nationalism.

However, CWC has until have kept distance from such Tamil activism. But, the recent CWC leader's call for unity after the meeting with the LTTE, has brought high expectations that CWC will be ready to form a coalition. I am encouraged by this development.

Reporter: What are your views on the Emergency Regulations (ER)?
Ganesan: Indiscriminate arrests, torture under custody and the impunity enjoyed by the Sri Lanka security forces for human rights violations against the Tamil people are made possible primarily by the Emergency Regulations which allow the Police to use confessions of the suspects against them. Sinhala security forces and police use ER as the primary instrument to commit crimes against the Tamil people. Tamil people living outside NorthEast are not immune to the ER. Its provisions are used in Colombo and areas outside NorthEast to harass, arrest and detain Tamil people.

I have raised my voices against this draconian regulation several times in the Parliament.

Reporter: Are you taking any specific actions against ER?
Ganesan: We are working inside and outside parliament to remove the ER from Sri Lanka's statute books. We have exposed the draconian measures embodied in ER to diplomats and to the International Community in general. Tamil parties are also jointly working on an action plan to resist extending the ER.

Reporter: Do you have links with Thondaman to work as an ally on a joint program of action?
Ganesan: We have not talked to each other yet but there have been informal contacts between other officials of both parties. The key change here has to take place in the CWC.

Reporter: Are there any signs of political opportunism in play here?
Ganesan: Whether Mr Arumugam Thondaman will act with Tamil nationalist thinking as he has assured us, still remains to be seen. We have to be patient, only time will tell.


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