TNA, Opposition Hold Talks
By Indika Sri Aravinda
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has had talks with the common opposition with regard to the presidential elections next year.
The convener of the National Movement for Social Justice, the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero said that the TNA showed positive signs at the talks with regard to extending support to the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena but a final decision is yet to be reached.
He said that even though the TNA has not signed an agreement with the opposition, he believed that they would eventually back the common candidate at the polls.
A member of the common opposition, who did not wish to be named, said that the TNA and the opposition political parties who back the common candidate were also having unofficial discussions with regard to the election.
Meanwhile, the TNA yesterday said it was awaiting proposals from the candidates contesting the Presidential election on how they would resolve the main issues faced by the Tamils in order for the TNA to decide whom it will support at the election.
TNA MP and EPRLF member Suresh Premachandran said that the TNA had taken note of comments made by the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena that he would not support a Federal system or assist a UN-led war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka.
“We know that there is corruption, we know there is a family rule. We know those things must be removed. But at the same time Tamils are facing different issues,” he said.
Premachandran said that among the main issues faced by Tamils in the north is that many have not been able to go back to their own lands after the war since the army continues to occupy those lands.
“We are facing special issues even five years after the war,” he said.
Premachandran added that the TNA would then like to know how Sirisena and the others contesting the polls intend to address the core issues faced by the Tamils.
“We are expecting answers from the candidates and if there is a chance we will talk to them,” the TNA MP said while speaking to reporters at a press conference held in Vavuniya yesterday.
He said the final decision on who the party will support at the election will be a collective decision involving all the Tamil political parties in the alliance.