North East Tamil-Muslim unity stressed

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 September 2002, 19:21 GMT]
"Sinhalese politicians have now realized that they can no longer adopt divide and rule policy between Tamils and Muslims when serious negotiations are in progress to resolve the ethnic conflict," said Mr. R.Sampanthan, Tamil National Alliance leader and district parliamentarian addressing the Tamil language day celebrations held Monday in Trincomalee. Tamils and Muslims should shed their differences, especially in the northeast province, if we are to achieve sustainable peace, Mr.Sampanthan appealed.

The Tamil language day celebrations were held under the auspices of zonal education office at Trincomalee St.Joseph's College auditorium. Zonal Director of Education Mr.K.Thilakaretnam presided.

Tamil Language day, 23 September 2002.
TNA parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan gives away challenge cup to the winners of Tamil language day competitions.
Mr.Sampanthan, participating as the chief guest said, "more than ninety percent of the northeast population is Tamil speaking. Tamils and Muslims have lived in the province for centuries. The northeast is the homeland for Tamils and Muslims. Tamils and Muslims are united by language, divided only by religion."

During the next round of peace talks at Thailand, a Muslim delegation will raise their issues with the LTTE. By directly raising the issues with LTTE, problems can be immediately addressed and resolved, Mr.Sampanthan said.

The government has realized that a solution to the ethnic conflict could be found not by war but through negotiations, he added.

Tamil Language day, 23 September 2002
The chief guest TNA parliamentarian Mr.R.Sampanthan and distinguished guest TNA national list MP Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham led by Trincomalee zonal director of education Mr.K.Thilakaretnam taken in a procession to the venue of Tamil language day celebrations.
Trincomalee district United national Party parliamentarian Mr.M.A.M. Maharoof said "Tamil language is a core part of my identity. Trincomalee district has long history connected with Koneswaram temple. We should not take any steps that undermine our ancient history of Trincomalee and the unity of Tamils and Muslims in the province."

Mr.Sampanthan said, "in future we must have the right to determine our education policy. We cannot allow others who do not know Tamil language to decide our educational needs. "Every government that comes to power changes the educational system to suit its needs. This should not be allowed any more. The formulation of the country's educational policy should be left in the hands of intelligentsia and not in hands of politicians, he said.

TNA national list parliamentarian Mr.K.Thurairetnasingham also spoke.


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