By Wilson Gnanadass
TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said the mandate the party has obtained from the people is to find an immediate solution based on a federal system and this fact must now be honoured by the present government.
The TNA that had been branded earlier as the ‘LTTE’s proxy’ won 12 councils of the 15 it contested convincingly.
Premachandran pointed out that the TNA has once again proved to the South that it is a party that still commands the support of the majority of the Tamils in the north and east and could secure more support in the days to come.
The parliamentarian said that the TNA had demonstrated its strength in three vital elections, namely; the presidential, parliamentary and the present local polls.
He said if President Rajapaksa has received the mandate from the south to solve the burning issues plaguing the country, then it is high time that he found a viable solution to the Tamil problems as well under a united Sri Lanka.
“It is SJV Chelvanayagam who spearheaded the ‘separate state’ concept in the early 70s. Then it was carried forward by Velupillai Prabhakaran. When the people at that time gave their support to the causes of these two individuals, obviously there was apprehension by the Sinhala governments.
“But now we have told the people that we are not for a separate state and in fact have told them that we will only try to find a solution based on proper devolution, to which I strongly feel the government must come to some sort of an agreement,” he said.
Premachandran said during the tenure of LTTE, the Tigers forced the people to support the TNA. But added after the defeat of the Tigers if the people were seen to continue their support to the TNA, then it was a clear indication that the people still liked the party and that the duty of the party was to find a solution based on their aspirations.
“This is what we are telling the government. We have to face our people who continue to support us. We are not asking for anything that the governments cannot give. We are only asking for proper devolution,” he said.
Asked whether the TNA had any future plans to enter into a working arrangement with the government, Premachandran said if the government can give a promise to implement a federal system, then the party could consider.
“Otherwise what is the point joining the government,” he asked.
He also sounded optimistic when asked whether the party would contest the future provincial council election.
He said the TNA will again show its strength in a provincial council election if held in the north.
He also said the TNA was willing to help the present government in its efforts to develop the country, provided a decent solution to the Tamil questions was formulated, based on the aspirations of the Tamils.