TULF divided on 17 th amendment
[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 September 2001, 10:44 GMT]
The central working committee of the Tamil United Liberation Front is scheduled to meet on Sunday to decide on whether to support the 17th amendment to the constitution when the ruling People's Alliance and Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna jointly table the draft bill in parliament September 24. The rank and file of the TULF is reported to have divided on this issue, party sources said.
"The establishment of independent commissions for elections, public service, judiciary and police would not solve the national problem. Not a single political party dominated by the majority community is worried about the plight of Tamils. They are only worried about coming to power. The central committee of Tamil United National Front must take all these into consideration before taking any decision ", a leader of the TULF said.
He added, "We should not allow major political parties to take us for a ride".
A section of the TULF feels that it should abstain from the debate and vote on the 17th amendment bill in parliament. Some members of central working committee insist that they should participate in the debate and must cast their vote against the 17th amendment bill.
Meanwhile hectic discussions take place Thursday evening among the leaders of all opposition political parties including Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna which has signed a Memorandum Of Understanding with the ruling People's Alliance, to reach a consensus regarding the 17th amendment bill.
A parliamentarian who participated in talks held earlier between opposition parties expressed optimism that "a common agreement regarding 17th amendment bill could be reached in Thursday's make or break talks now in progress."
In the meantime, leaders of all political parties represented in parliament will meet Friday under the chairmanship of Mr.Anura Bandaranaike, Speaker at the parliamentary complex to prepare the relevant agenda of parliamentary activities commencing next Monday when the debate on the 17th amendment to the constitution commences.
The Supreme Court Thursday decided to take the 17th amendment bill for its consideration tomorrow (Friday). The Cabinet Tuesday unanimously endorsed the draft bill jointly prepared by the PA-JVP and recommended that it should be referred to the Supreme Court for its consideration.