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Fonseka slammed for agreeing to TNA’s demand

[Express Buzz, Thursday, 7 January 2010 19:53 No Comment]

The Mahinda Rajapaka camp has slammed the joint opposition Presidential candidate Gen.Sarath Fonseka for agreeing to the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance’s demand that the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces be merged once again to form a single Tamil province.   

“If this (the agreement) is true, it is a revival of the Eelam cause,” said Tilak Karunaratne, a former Treasurer of the opposition United National Party (UNP) who joined the Rajapaksa camp recently.

“It is indeed giving a second life to the Eelam demand, which was put to rest by the Mahinda Rajapaksa government in May 2009. If true, it is the biggest danger to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka,” Karunarathne told the official website www.info.gov.lk on Tuesday.

The Northern and Eastern Provinces were merged to form a single Tamil-speaking province following the India-Sri Lanka Accord in July 1987. But the merger was to be ratified by a referendum in the ethnically mixed Eastern province before December 31, 1987. It had also been stipulated that the merger would be brought about only after the restoration of law and order in the North and East by  disarming of the LTTE and other Tamil militant groups.

However, the J.R.Jayewardene government, under pressure from New Delhi, brought about the merger under an Ordinance even before the ceasation of hostilities between the LTTE and the Indian Peace Keeping Force; and the disarming of the Tamil militants. The referendum was never held and the war was on in the North and East all the time.

In 2006, after the Eastern Province was cleared of the LTTE, some members of the Sinhalese nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) went to the Supreme Court saying that the merger effected in 1987 was illegal because the basic conditions for the merger had been ignored.. On October 16, 2006, the court annulled the merger.

The Tamils, who had been fighting for a separate independent Eelam or at least a Homeland within Sri Lanka comprising the Northern and Eastern provinces, were highly disappopinted with the judgement and the Rajapaksa government’s reluctance to take steps to assuage the Tamils’ feelings.

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