Ex-LTTE strongman Karuna Amman points out the policies he finds most attractive in Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election manifesto, two of them being the SLPP presidential candidate’s agreement to grant police and land powers to the northern and eastern provinces, and to release LTTE prisoners.
Giving an interview to a weekend newspaper, Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman also says he is supporting Gotabaya’s candidature in order to secure a Tamil governor for the northern province.
Karuna Amman was the second in command of the LTTE and its military leader for the eastern province.
The interview given by him to today’s issue of ‘Silumina’ clearly indicates the extent to which Gotabaya has sown the seeds of racism in the eastern province to obtain Tamil votes.
Former LTTE commander and ex-UPFA MP Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman who recently pledged support to the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna presidential candidate, said the Tamils of the North and East will be given some land and police powers if Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the November 16 election.
Speaking to the Sunday Observer, Karuna Amman, the current leader of the Tamil United Freedom Party (TUFP) claimed that he has personally presented a number of demands to Gotabaya Rakapaksa when he announced his decision to extend support to the SLPP candidate and former Defence Secretary.
The SLPP Candidate has made no such pledges in his manifesto, but calls mounted yesterday from Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s main challenger Sajith Premadasa for the party’s agreements with Karuna, Pillaiyan and Vardarajah Perumal to be made public. Since the TNA endorsed Premadasa for president last week, the Rajapaksa campaign has stepped up nationalist rhetoric, accusing the NDF of making “concessions” to separatist demands. Land and Police powers have been devolved to the provinces under the 13th Amendment, but no Government since 1987 has implemented the amendment in full.
Pro-Rajapaksa Joint Opposition raged against a new constitutional draft on the basis that it offers greater devolution to the provinces.
“We have so many issues. First is the land problem. At the same time, we have to give some Police powers to the people in the North and East. We have to appoint Tamil police officers in those areas” Karuna said in an interview with the Sunday Observer.
His second demand to Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been the release of detainees under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Muralitharan said. “There are only 124 prisoners. After his victory he can release them. I requested him to take action on these matters” he explained.
However, Muralitharan also claimed that the 13 demands presented by the University students in Jaffna and Eastern universities are unacceptable. He also condemned the move of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to support Sajith Premadasa unconditionally.
In an open challenge to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday, Premadasa demanded that the SLPP reveal its secret pacts with former LTTE militants Karuna Amman, Pillaiyan and former North East Chief Minister Vardarajah Perumal who unilaterally declared a separate state in the province in 1990. “Karuna Amman murdered 600