TNA to abstain from voting on 2nd reading of Sri Lankan budget
[TamilNet, Monday, 29 November 2010, 13:13 GMT]
Rajapaksa's government, which proclaims that it's priority is resettlement of displaced Tamil people, has not translated the words into deeds in its budget for 2011, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said in a press statement Monday. The TNA statement further noted that the allocation made for defence expenditure has continued to increase year by year even after the conclusion of the war and said that the TNA members have unanimously decided not to participate in the voting on second reading of budget on Monday. The TNA said its position was that Colombo should negotiate with the TNA, which is the elected representatives of the Tamils.
Full text of the press statement released by the TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran MP follows:
The parliamentary group of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) met and discussed its position in regard to voting in respect of second reading of the budget for the year 2011.
The budget that has been presented has not made any allocation for the relief, resettlement and rehabilitation of particularly of the displaced Tamil people and the Tamil people in general. The government processes that it's priority is resettlement of the displaced people. However these words have not been translated in to actual figures in the budgetary estimate.
Substantial number of Tamil people of north and east have been displaced from their original houses have been living for several years elsewhere under drying condition.
The resettlement of these people is the fundamental obligation of a responsible government. But the government has failed it's duty at this budget also. Apart from these, the allocation made for defence expenditure has continued to increase year by year even after the conclusion of the war.
Having considered all these, as the representative of the Tamil people, it is our firm decision that we cannot support the budget in anyway. Infact all our members of parliament who spoke at the second reading have unambiguously condemn this budget. We cannot support the budget which makes no provision for the benefit of the Tamil people.
From the commencement of this parliament our position has been that the government must engage in discussion with us, the elected representative of the Tamil people on this immediate resettlement and rehabilitation concerns and resolution to the national problem. However no meaningful steps have been taken by the government in this regard up-to-date. In this context we would like to demonstrate our good faith in participating in the discussions concerning the extremely important issues of resettlement and political solution. Therefore the TNA has decided to abstain for voting against the budget 2011 at the second reading today.