The Sunday Leader


By Waruni Karunarathne

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) expects the President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to safeguard the democratic process with reference to the issue on taking control of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC).

TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that the TNA met the President and the Prime Minister recently to seek their support in favour of TNA to obtain the chief ministerial position of the Eastern Provincial Council and form the provincial government.

“Right now the TNA is the single largest party in the Eastern Province and we have 11 seats whereas the SLMC has only 8 seats. Therefore even the President agreed that the TNA can claim to hold the chief ministerial position in the Eastern Provincial Council,” he added. However he said that since TNA does not have the absolute majority, they will need the support of another political party in the council to form the government.

The TNA had first sought the help of the SLMC to form the provincial council but they had refused. “It is democratically right for the TNA to form the Eastern Provincial Council and hold the chief ministerial position as the TNA has the majority. We wanted the SLMC to join us and we offered them two seats but they refused. We have now sought the support of the UNP,” he added.

According to him, the SLMC wants to the Chief Ministerial position based on an agreement they reached with the UPFA government.

Meanwhile, General Secretary of the SLMC Hasan Ali said that in 2012 they reached an agreement with the UPFA government where they agreed to let UPFA appoint the Chief Minister for the Eastern Provincial Council for the first 2 1/2 years whereas the SLMC appointed their Chief Minister for the next 2 1/2 years. “According to that agreement, this is our term and we have time until March this year. We lost our majority due to some crossovers. We had two rounds of discussions with the TNA asking them to let us maintain this status until the general election in April but the TNA wanted immediate change,” he added.

Hasan Ali said that the Muslims need their representation in at least one province out of the nine provinces whereas the Tamils have their representation in the North. “It is important for us to maintain this status at least until the general election,” he added.

A few rounds of meetings were held between the leaders of the TNA and SLMC to resolve this issue over the Eastern Provincial Council but they failed to reach consensus. When the TNA leaders met the President and the Prime Minister they had agreed that it was suitable to grant the Chief Ministerial post of the Eastern Provincial Council to Tamil National Alliance.

5 Comments for “TNA, SLMC Fight For EPC”

  1. tomsam

    Aren’t muslims speak “Tamil” ; the election/appointment is based on the primary language than religion.
    SLMC should stop behaving like fanatic Islamists.

  2. Abdul Muzahir

    As a Muslim, I think it is feasible that TNA should be represented and given the C.M. portfolio considering their majority. It is unfair stand on Muslim Congress on their insistence. Especially Eastern Province Muslims are power hungry and though they have majority of Muslims there, the hierarchy there are unreasonable. I urge these power guys to give in an support them.

    Obviously the TNA C.M. would be impartial than our Muslim in particular. A case in point that Azwer is a real puppet and he never did anything to our Muslims at a time we were bleeding in Colombo. Other guy is Fowzie as he has become a walking puppet to previous regime.

    Best Regards from Saudi Arabia

  3. Lanka Watch

    Unless there is cooperation between TNA and SLMC and Tamils & Muslims,
    of N/E , the govt. will always play the divide and rule policy and weaken the
    unity among the people and they will not be in a position of strength to fight
    for the rights of the people in N/E. Both parties were together in the elections
    and they had meetings together and unable to understand as to how they,
    with legal brains in both parties, cannot come to an understanding on this

  4. Naren

    SLMC holds number of ministerial posts in the Central Government.It is nothing but fair to allow TNA to hold the Chief Ministerial post in the Eastern Province.

  5. Nic Xavier

    Hasan Ali needs some basic education here. He needs to get it in the grey matter confined in that space called skull between his two ears that we are in a new era. There is no more UPFA. Any and all agreements with that entity is null and void. UPFA does not exist. It is the overwhelming support of all right thinking people that has made it now possible for us to have in office a Government “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

    Additionally he also needs to note whether his SLMC and Rishad’s party crossed or not from then UPFA to the common opposition, if not all, an overwhelming majority of muslim were voting for the common candidate. Their late jumping sides once again facilitated their selfish interests and continue their modus operandi.

    SLMC is more than welcome to cross back into the dry arena of opposition in parliament and stay their until the next general election and then learn that muslims do not trust them and will not send them back to represent them!

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