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‘Political solution not a demand of Tamil masses

[Express Buzz, Monday, 25 January 2010 09:52 No Comment]

Mahinda Rajapaksa, incumbent President and the ruling party’s candidate in the January 26 Sri Lankan Presidential election, has told a group of journalists that unlike the elite living in Colombo and overseas, the Tamil masses are not interested in a “political” solution to the Tamil question.

“A political solution is the demand of the Tamils in Colombo, the Tamil Diaspora, and the NGOs.

When I visited the Tamils in Jaffna, in the refugee camps and in the plantation areas of the hill country, they did not ask for a political solution to their problems.

They asked me to address the basic problems of day to day living,” the Virakesari Weekly quoted him as saying.

Asked what he told the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) when it made political demands, Rajapaksa said that he did not make any false promises.

“I have no need to make false promises to win an election. I am a kind of person who will say frankly what I can do and cannot do. I told the TNA that there was no question of re-uniting the Northern and Eastern provinces; giving the right of self determination to the Tamils and withdrawing the armed forces from the North and East,” he said.

On allowing the original inhabitants of the High Security Zones (HSZs) in Jaffna to reoccupy their lands, Rajapaksa said that ethnicity was not a factor in taking a decision on resettlement. The needs of security were the only consideration, he insisted.

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