TNA releases election manifesto

[TamilNet, Friday, 12 March 2010, 12:08 GMT]
Federal solution based on shared sovereignty and right to self-determination in a contiguous north and east of Sri Lanka was the highlight of the TNA manifesto released Friday. While irreversibly committing on federal solution, the manifesto is ambiguous on the nature of the sovereignty of Eezham Tamils and their right to self determination, said Tamil political circles in their immediate responses. The term shared sovereignty is used to describe structures such as the European Union as well as federal structures with or without the right to secession. The manifesto refrains from either asserting to Tamils exercising their right to self determination to decide the national question in an internationally monitored arrangement or including the unavoidable diaspora in the political process of reaching a solution, the political circles commented further.



Sections on the TNA stand expressed in the election manifesto on finding a political solution and matters of immediate concern follow:

OUR STAND ON THE POLITICAL SOLUTION

The principles and specific constitutional provisions that the TNA considers to be paramount to the resolution of the question of the Tamil speaking Peoples in Sri Lanka relate mainly to the sharing of the powers of governance through a shared sovereignty amongst the Peoples who inhabit this island. The following salient features of power sharing are fundamental to achieving lasting peace and development for all the People of Sri Lanka:

  • The Tamil People are a distinct nationality and have inhabited the island of Sri Lanka together with the Sinhalese People and others
  • The contigous preponderantly Tamil Speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces is the historical habitation of the Tamil Speaking Peoples
  • The Tamil People are entitled to the right of self determination
  • Power sharing arrangements must be established in a unit of merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure, in a manner also acceptable to the Tamil Speaking Muslim people
  • Devolution of powers should be over land, law and order, socio-economic development including health and education, resources and fiscal powers
  • Direct foreign investment in the North and East will be facilitated resulting in new industries and other employment opportunities being created for our youth
  • Avenues for tertiary education will also be set up so that those who cannot enter the Universities can pursue higher education in relevant fields


MATTERS OF IMMEDIATE CONCERN FOR OUR PEOPLE:

In addition to continuing to pursue a just and lasting peace for our people, we will actively engage in addressing the immediate and current concerns of our People and will strive to achieve the following:

  • There must be meaningful de-militarization in the return to the pre-war situation as it existed in 1983 by the removal of armed forces, military apparatuses and High Security Zones from the Northern and Eastern Provinces
  • Tamil People who have been displaced in the North and East due to the conflict must be speedily resettled in their original places; housing provided, their livelihoods restored and their dignity respected
  • Compensation must also be paid for the loss of lives, to those who have been maimed and to those who have suffered losses as a result of the military campaign
  • Persons who are detained without charges must be released promptly and a general amnesty should be granted to the others, as an initial step towards national reconciliation
  • Tamils who fled the country over the last 30 years also must be permitted to return to their homes and conducive atmosphere for same created for their return.
  • A comprehensive programme for the resettlement of the Tamil People and their rehabilitation and development of the North and East including the creation of employment opportunity for the youth will be undertaken with the active participation of the Tamil Diaspora and the International Community.
  • There ought to be no displaced persons. But until we achieve that we will take steps to increase the relief granted to the IDPS in order to meet the growing cost of living.
  • We will emphasise the need to establish a special commission to uplift the socially and economically disadvantaged sections of our society, in order to increase their livelihoods and dignity and make them equal citizens.
  • We will take necessary steps to raise the standard of living of fishing communities by providing them access to modern technologies and an atmosphere in which they can engage in their vocation with freedom.
  • The salaries of government servants and private sector employees need to be raised and the living standards of daily employed and those at the very bottom of the social scale needs to be raised.
  • The equal status of our women must be ensured and women, elders and children affected by war need special attention in order to secure their livelihoods and protection from future exploitation.
  • We will do everything in our power to secure employment opportunities to unemployed graduates and others.

 

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