Home » News

No Lankan national party promises federalism

[Express Buzz, Sunday, 21 March 2010 20:14 No Comment]

In the run up to the April 8 Sri Lankan parliamentary elections, no national political party has promised a federal system, a demand Tamils have been struggling for since Independence in 1948.

Strangely, Gen Sarath Fonseka, who got most of the Tamil votes in the last Presidential election, has explicitly rejected federalism. His outfit, the Democratic National Alliance’s manifesto said, it would defeat attempts to impose federalism on Lanka. It promised to do everything in its power to maintain the unitary character of the Sri Lankan constitution. One of the important constituents of the DNA is the anti-Tamil Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.

The United National Party, which was with Fonseka in the Presidential election, is quiet on the post-war political structure.

But to woo the Tamils somehow, it has promised the dismantling of many of the High Security Zones in Jaffna and allow settlements there.

The party officials also said that the Palaly airport would be upgraded as an international airport.

The ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance says it is striving to go beyond the present provincial councils system under the 13th amendment, but its head President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said many times that powers, over land and the police will not be devolved.

But the Tamil parties have, almost unanimously, demanded federalism. The Tamil National Alliance, the biggest of them all, has pitched for “internal self determination” for the “Tamil homeland” comprising a “unified Northern and Eastern provinces.”

The Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal led by Eastern Province Chief Minister Pillayan, has asked for land and police powers contained in the 13th Amendment.

[Full Coverage]

(For updates you can share with your friends, follow TNN on Facebook, Twitter and Google+)

Comments are closed.