Tamil leaders have decided to propose a federal solution based on self-determination rights at talks proposed by the president to resolve the ethnic issue.
TNA chief R. Sampanthan has spoken about this in an interview with India’s ‘Frontline’ magazine.
He said he was against a division of the country in any form, adding that the situation cannot continue despite their support for an undivided Sri Lanka.
Spokesman for the TNA M.A. Sumanthiran said that they would not lay down any condition for the discussion tipped to take placed in Colombo December 11.
Changes to the constitution for maximum devolution of powers, a federal solution with self-determination rights, holding the provincial council polls and a halt to the takeover of private land in the northeast will be among the matters to be raised, he said.
However, EPRLF ledader Suresh Premachandran called for solutions to issues in Tamil civilian life before the commencement of the talks. Seventy-five years of talks, agreements etc. brought nothing, he noted.
No to unitary state & call for third party involvement
TPA leader C.V. Vigneswaran said the president should be informed in writing before the talks that constitutional amendments or a new constitution were not possible within a unitary state.
TNA MP S. Sritharan stressed the need for a third party involvement to minimize attempts at deception.
Secretary of the Association of relatives of victims of enforced disappearances K. Rajkumar accused the president of deceiving Tamils, Sinhalese and the rest of the world by his call for talks.
He said Tamil leaders should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to be cheated for 75 years.
EPDP leader and minister Douglas Devananda said the Tamils wanted provincial councils empowered through the 13th amendment since they rejected the district development councils (DDCs) introduced in 1981.
Ex-president Maithripala Sirisena has backed the DDCs system, and his sentiments were echoed by incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe.
MP Govindan Karunakaran said the president could set up DDCs for the south, but that Tamils should be given a federal solution with power devolution.
Speaking along similar lines, both TNPF leader Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam and TULF secretary V. Anandasangaree said it was pointless to discuss Tamils’ issues with a president rejected by the majority. The final say lies with India, said the latter.
TELO leader Selvam Addaikkalanathan said attempting DDCs was not a solution as it has already been rejected by his community.