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Tamil group backs former general

[BBC, Wednesday, 6 January 2010 23:45 One Comment]

A key Sri Lankan Tamil political group has said that it will support former army chief Sarath Fonseka in forthcoming presidential elections.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said it could not back incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa because of alleged human rights abuses by the government.

The TNA, an alliance of ethnic Tamil parties, also said Mr Rajapaksa had not secured national reconciliation.

Some 20 candidates are contesting the elections to be held on 26 January.

TNA leader Sambanthan said Sarath Fonseka had given "satisfactory" assurances about finding a political resolution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic question.

He said the former army chief had promised to consider Tamil demands for a meaningful devolution of power to the provinces.

"The Tamil people have been itching for a change of regime and the Tamil National Alliance decision is reflective of that desire," Mr Sambanthan told BBC Tamil.

Sarath Fonseka is at odds with the government over who should take credit for the army’s final victory over Tamil Tiger rebels last May.

Earlier this week the former general said that if he became president all militants still held in detention would either be charged or freed within a month, and the state of emergency would be lifted.

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One Comment »

  • kudu said:

    he is another evil megalomaniac but now that we have seen the work of one devil we are willing to go with the other devil this time
    what choice do sri-lankans have
    they all stood together and took credit for winning the war
    tapping each other in the back
    now can they step up to the plate and take credit for the genocide
    rather than pointing the finger at each other