TULF branches call on Tamils to oppose referendum

[TamilNet, Friday, 03 August 2001, 16:01 GMT]
The Batticaloa District Branch of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Friday decided to request the Tamil people to vote against the August 21 referendum "to register their protest to the People's Government as it has failed to solve the ethnic problem during its seven year rule". A resolution to this effect was unanimously adopted at the committee meeting of the TULF district branch Friday with Batticaloa parliamentarian Mr.Joseph Pararajasingham in the chair.

The central working committee of the TULF is scheduled to meet in Colombo on 5 August to take a final decision on whether it should support the August 21 referendum or not.

Mr. Alphonse Mary, Secretary of the TULFís Batticaloa district branch, proposed the motion at the meeting. Mr.George Pillai seconded it.

The press release issued later in the day by the TULF's Batticaloa branch states:

"The PA government has failed to fulfil its promise to solve the ethnic problem in its seven year rule. Furthermore the government has not shown any wholehearted interest to take forward the Norwegian peace initiative. By ignoring the unilateral declaration of a ceasefire by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the government has shown that its true intention is to continue the military offensive in the north and east of the country. The Tamil people had already given a mandate at the 1994 presidential election to find a peaceful political solution to the ethnic problem. As such no useful purpose will be served by giving another mandate at the 12 August referendum. Therefore we appeal Tamil people to vote for the ëPotí symbol to register their protest against the government."

TULF members and local political leaders in Jaffna met last week and decided to vote against the August 21 referendum "to register their protest against the PA government as it has failed to take any concrete steps to solve the ethnic problem, according to the mandate given in 1994 presidential election by the Tamil people".

The meeting in Jaffna was presided by Parliamentarian Mr. S. Sivamaharajah. Many local TULF leaders including Mayor Mr.N.Raviraj were present.

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