TNA urges Prime Minister to respect Tamils' verdict

[TamilNet, Friday, 21 December 2001, 20:17 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance Friday appealed to the Prime Minister to respect the verdict of the Tamil voters in the Northeast province at the last parliamentary election. A TNA delegation Friday evening told the Prime Minister that "the Tamil voters in the Northeast have very substantially endorsed the policy enunciated in the election manifesto of the TNA, despite the numerous hardships, restrictions and denial imposed upon them even in respect of the exercise of their franchise. The TNA looks forward to the early commencement of the visible implementation of the policy envisaged in its manifesto".

The TNA delegation comprised Mr.R.Sampanthan (TULF), Mr.N.Kumarakuruparan (ACTC), Mr. N. Sri Kantha (TELO) and Mr. Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF) met the Prime Minister at his official residence and handed over a memorandum.

The Prime Minister in reply said the government has already reciprocated the ceasefire call of the LTTE and the economic embargo imposed in some parts of the northeast province would be lifted. The Prime Minister promised the TNA delegation that on his return from India he would look into their other demands.

The following is the full text of the TNA memorandum to the Prime Minister:

"You are aware that the Tamil National Alliance contested the last parliamentary election on the basis of a well defined and definite policy in relation to the resolution of the Tamil question which has been remain unresolved for 53 years since independence.

"This policy envisages the immediate commencement of the process of negotiations are properly focussed and are purposeful and successful no parallel negotiations should take place with any other Tamil political formation. To facilitate the commencement of such negotiations and to enable the free and full participation of the LTTE at such negotiations on behalf of the Tamil nationality, the proscription imposed on the LTTE in Sri Lanka should be lifted.

"This policy also envisages-

i) The immediate cessation of the war being currently waged in the Northeast.

ii) The immediate lifting of the economic embargo currently in force in parts of the North and East; items of food, medicine, educational requirements, fuel and other necessities of life should be made freely available in all parts of the North-East. iii) The withdrawal of occupational restrictions, either permanently or intermittently imposed in different parts of the North-East; those engaged in farming and fishing should be able to carry on their vocation by day or night without any restriction, and all equipment and all other requirements to enable them to carry on their vocation fully and effectively should be freely available and freely usable, in the pursuit of their vocation.

iv) The withdrawal of travel restrictions imposed on Tamil people in the Northeast.

v) The withdrawal of restrictions imposed on Tamil people from the Northeast and on the Tamils in the upcountry plantation areas in relation to their residence in other parts of the country.

vi) The total disarming of all Tamil para-military groups which yet continue to retain arms. The retention of arms by such Tamil para-military groups constitutes an imminent danger to unarmed Tamil political parties and the fundamental rights of the Tamil civilian population in the Northeast, particularly in areas such as the Islands off the Jaffna peninsula.

The TNA said that it also plans to ask that immediate action be taken in respect of the following:

"The immediate cessation of shelling from land and sea and aerial bombarding into areas occupied by Tamil civilians in the Northeast.

"The immediate release from custody or detention of all Tamil speaking persons, against whom no legal action has been instituted for more than three months since the date of commencement of such custody or detention.

"That action be taken to ensure that in all cases where prosecution has been entered either under the Prevention of Terrorism Act or the Emergency Regulations solely upon the basis of a purported confession extracted from the suspect concerned, that such prosecution be withdrawn in the interests of justice.

"The Tamil voters in the Northeast have very substantially endorsed the policy enunciated in our manifesto and set out above, despite the numerous hardships, restrictions and denial imposed upon them even in respect of the exercise of their franchise.

"We would earnestly request you to respect the verdict of the Tamil voters in the northeast.

"We look forward to the early commencement of the visible implementation of the matters referred to above".

Mr.R.Sampanthan of TULF, Mr. N.Kumarakuruparan of the ACTC, Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan of TELO and Mr. Suresh Premachandran of EPRLF signed the memorandum.

 

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