TULF calls for cancellation of referendum
[TamilNet, Sunday, 05 August 2001, 14:51 GMT]
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) has appealed to the President Chandrika Kumaratunge to cancel the August 21 referendum and reconvene the prorogued parliament. "In the event of the proclamation calling for the referendum not being revoked the TULF has decided unanimously to vote against the referendum", said in a statement issued Sunday evening by the Secretary General and the Senior Vice President of the party Messrs R.Sampanthan and V.Anandasangaree respectively.
The full text of the statement follows: -
"The central committee of the TULF met in Colombo Sunday to consider the decision of the party in regard to the referendum pertaining to the proposed new constitution to be held 21st August 2001.
"After lengthy discussion the following decisions were arrived at unanimously:
1. To request the President not to proceed with the proposal to hold the referendum and to revoke the proclamation made in relation thereto.
2. To request the President to reconvene Parliament early in consultation with all opposition parties.
3. To request both the Government and Opposition to avoid all confrontation and to abandon any step that can lead to confrontation between the Government and Opposition.
4. To request the President and the Government to take steps forthwith to pursue the Norwegian initiative so as to be able to commence negotiations with the LTTE at the earliest.
5. To request the L.T.T.E to render its assistance and co-operation to the Norwegian initiative to enable the commencement of such negotiations early.
6. To request the President and the government to place before the country by way of referendum the Constitution framed on the basis of such negotiations with the LTTE and other political parties.
"The TULF takes the view that all the people of this country will be afforded the opportunity to make a clear decision in regard to a New Constitution only if the constitutional proposals as contemplated above are placed before the people for their determination.
"The TULF also decided to canvass support, in favour of the above position.
"In the event of the proclamation calling for the referendum not being revoked, the TULF decided unanimously that there will no alternative but to vote against the referendum because of the uncertainty that prevails in regard to both the content of the proposed New Constitution and the procedure to be adopted in regard to the formulation of the new constitution.
"The TULF also wishes to emphasize that its opposition to the referendum for the above said reasons does not signify its acceptance of the existing 1978 constitution and wishes to clearly emphasize that the existing 1978 constitution needs to repealed and a new constitution acceptable to all peoples enacted in its place."