Unitary state serious impediment - TULF

[TamilNet, Monday, 25 September 2000, 02:06 GMT]
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) in its election manifesto released Sunday said "the unitary character of the [Sri Lankan] state continued to be a serious impediment to the effective sharing of power" and that "what has been now proposed cannot be an effective or final solution to the Tamil question." The party also called for the government to negotiate with the Liberation Tigers with third party mediation. It also said it had "effectively contributed to sustaining their interests and involvement" of the international community in Sri Lanka.

The manifesto, written with an eye on the Tamil vote in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, was critical of the government of President Chandrika Kumaratunge. Hitherto, the TULF has been generally supportive of the government. The TULF, part of the ruling People’s Alliance (PA) coalition, broke ranks in August when it refused to support the PA’s controversial devolution package.

In its manifesto, the TULF explained its refusal to support the proposals. It said that in forging a consensus with the main opposition United National Party, the PA had "substantially altered the formulation contained in earlier proposals" and "is yet to come up with an acceptable formulation in respect of the Unit of Devolution in the North-East province."

The TULF said it "has on very valid grounds opposed the proposal to hold a referendum regarding the permanent merger of northern and eastern provinces." The party said further that the "holding of a referendum would be mockery of democracy and will strive to ensure that no referendum is held."

The party said it had "continuously and consistently advocated the bringing of the war to an end, and negotiations with the LTTE with effective third party international mediation."

The LTTE has to play "an important role in the evolution of the final solution" for the war to end, the manifesto said. "The TULF does not subscribe to the view that an armed struggle can be ended without the root cause of that struggle being fully addressed."

"There should be effective third party international mediation and that, if in order to facilitate these [peacemaking] processes there needs to be a cease-fire, such a cease-fire should be brought about with impartial international monitors and observers," the TULF said.

The TULF argued "that there is no aspect of Tamil civilian life, which is not gravely impaired by the continuance of the war and that the war should therefore be ended."

The TULF said it "has been in close touch with India, the regional power, the United States of America, the only super power, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway and several other countries, and realizing the importance of the role of the international community, has effectively contributed to sustaining their interests and involvement."

 

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