EPRLF chief accuses govt. of deceiving people of North, East

By Mohamed Haniff

Ealam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) leader Arumugam Kandiah Premachandran, popularly known as Suresh Premachandran, charges that the government is deceiving and disappointing the Tamils in the North and East. He admits that there is ‘big’ internal dispute within the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) due to what he calls its leader R. Sampanthan’s incorrect policy decisions.

President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had made so many promises before the Presidential and General Elections but most of them had not been fulfilled, he said in a brief interview with The Island yesterday.

Sampanthan, backed by Mavai Senathirajah and M.A. Sumanthiran, was propping up the government without putting forward pre-conditions, Premachandran said.

The TNA had expected the resettlement of Tamils in the North and East but in vain, Premachandran said, noting the government had claimed it was only releasing land earmarked by the former government for that purpose.

“The government had given an assurance that all political prisoners would be released, but it has reneged on its promise,” Premachandran said, claiming that the Sri Lanka government treated Tamils and Sinhalese differently.

“Rohana Wijeweera’s commemoration is allowed by the government, but “Maveerar Day” isn’t. The Sinhalese are allowed to commemorate their heroes, but the Tamils aren’t. We are not against the Sinhalese and they commemorating Rohana Wijeweera. What we say is that we, too, should be allowed to commemorate our heroes,” the EPRLF leader said.

As regards the TNA, Premachandran said that the TNA had initially called for an international probe into war crimes, but it had made a U-turn; it was now agreeable to a domestic probe. “How can the Sampanthan – Mavai – Sumanthiran trio make such decisions without the consent of all constituent parties in the TNA?” he asked.