UNF leadership rules out self government for Tamils in Sri Lanka

The right to autonomy will not be granted in Sri Lanka under a future United National Front (UNF) government, a senior government minister said. Speaking in Sinhala, cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told journalists in Colombo on Thursday (23) that the country will remain a 'unitary state'.

Earlier in the weekend, leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said that Tamils will achieve the right to self rule under a new government 'whose leaders we are working with'. Addressing supporters attending an election rally in the eastern town of Sampoor, the TNA leader Rajavarodhayam Sampanthan said, "we will have devolution of power by 2016, with autonomy for Tamil regions".

Election 'promises'

"We do not approve of it," said Dr. Senaratne rubbishing the TNA leader's claim brought to his attention by journalists during the weekly cabinet news briefing. "They say these things during elections. Any power sharing will be within a unitary state," he emphasised.

Tamils voted overwhelmingly for Maithripala Sirisena in January to end ten years of rule by Mahinda Rajapaksa who crushed the Tamil  resistance in a bloody war. The campaign in north backing president Sirisena was driven by TNA which joined Sinhala majority political alliance led by the United National Party (UNP).



Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka

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