Tamil parties unhappy over package
[TamilNet, Sunday, 26 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation today interviewed the leaders of the TULF, PLOTE, SLMC and the EPDP about their stand on the PA’s devolution package.
This is part of the ongoing publicity campaign by the state media to muster support for the government and its proposals.
The radio spoke to Mr.Anandasangari (TULF), D. Sidtharthan (PLOTE), M.H.M Ashraff (SLMC) and Douglas Devananda (EPDP).
Mr. Anandasangari said that his party has not fully accepted the government’s devolution proposals and that the TULF is opposed to holding a referendum to decide the fate of the eastern province.
The leader of the EPDP who has returned from Jaffna after brief sojourn there, was of the view that there were certain welcome aspects in the package but emphasised that he fully opposed to the unit of devolution as defined by the PA proposals.
Any proposal on the unit of devolution for the Tamil people should be such as to preserve the integrity of the Tamil homeland he said.
Mr. M.H.M Ashraff leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Minister for Ports and shipping in the PA regime argued that it is impossible to find a solution to the ethnic problem that can fully satisfy all the parties to the conflict and that hence only a compromise solution is possible.
He stated that his party is also opposed to an idea of holding a referendum to decide the future of the eastern province.
Mr.Dharmalingam Sidtharthan, answering a question by the SLBC as to whether the armed struggle to achieve Tamil rights was the correct path in hindsight now, said that it was up to the Sinhala people, and particularly the PA and the UNP, to decide whether the Tamils should take an extreme position or not.