Upcountry Tamils fear being ignored
[TamilNet, Thursday, 09 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Upcountry People's Front (UPF) will oppose the PA's devolution package if there is no provision in it to resolve the problems of the hill country people said Mr. P.Chandrasekeran, leader of the UPF who is deputy Minister for Public Utilities in the PA government.
Mr.Chandrasekeran was speaking at a public meeting organized this week by his party in Bogawantalawa.
"A war has been going on in the northeast for more than 15 years. The people of the northeast are engaged in this war against the government demanding the right to self determination"
"The Muslims have not taken up arms to struggle for their rights. But they scare the government with their strength. The problems of the hill country people are ignored and solutions to them are delayed mainly because we are politically divided" he said.
The PA was able to form the government in Sri Lanka in 1994 on a single vote majority in Parliament which was provided by the UPF with only seat that the party had managed to secure in that general election.
Later in 1995, the UPF was sidelined by the Chandrika regime when the powerful upcountry trade union boss Mr.Thondaman cut a deal with President Chandrika and joined the government as a cabinet minister.
Mr. Chandrasekeran felt slighted and said so to his party and supporters. However he opted to keep his job. But once in a while he gives vent to his chagrin in this manner by making veiled but weak threats at meetings not covered by the press.