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Lanka polls: Jaffna parties seek students’ help

[Express Buzz, Friday, 2 April 2010 10:55 No Comment]

With just nine days to go for the Sri Lankan parliamentary elections, political parties in northern Tamil districts are trying to get the Jaffna University Student’s Union to enthuse the people to vote.

“Public meetings attract just about 100 persons, on an average. If 300 people gather, it is taken as a big meeting,” said M K Sivajilingam, a former leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

On Monday, the TNA and the All Ceylon Tamil Congress met the student leaders to explain their policies on key issues pertaining to the present and future of the Tamils and get their support in the crucial days of the campaign.

A candidate of the TNA told Express that the student leaders wanted to know if the party was a puppet of India and whether it was necessary or desirable for the Tamils to seek India’s support to achieve their political goal.

The TNA leaders said after the party explained to them the importance of India the union had decided to observe a two-year moratorium on active politics to see how things shape up politically in the Tamil areas of the island and in the country at large.

Significantly, the student leaders sought time from the parties they spoke to and had refrained from giving any assurance of support.

India donates cement worth $1.7 m to IDPs

India on Wednesday began the process of giving Sri Lanka 400,000 cement bags worth $ 1.7 million to build houses for Tamil refugees returning to their war-ravaged villages in Wanni and Jaffna region. Indian High Commissioner Ashok K Kantha said at a function held to hand over the consignment, that each family would be getting eight bags and described the gesture as a “small” help and added that India had planned to supply more construction materials.

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