There have been concerns over the idea of troops withdrawal from the North if the opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena comes to power. Some claimed that the Tamil parties extended their support to the common opposition candidate based on a promise to withdraw troops from the North. However, the election manifesto of the the opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena does not include any such policy or addressing concerns related to Tamil national issue. He had also clearly stated in a rally that he would not withdraw army from the North that would threaten the national security.
Upon that statement, some questioned as to why Tamil political parties extended their support.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader several politicians including a few politicians from minority political parties expressed their point of view.
Mano Ganesan – Leader of the Democratic People’s Front (DPF)
We have not discussed any such issues such as this and national question in the Opposition alliance. Maithripala Sirisena once elected as the president will abolish executive presidency, bring in 17A and repeal 18A and upon fulfilling those tasks the parliament will be dissolved.
He is only an interim President. The new government upon general elections would address all issues related to the Minorities as the political dynamics of the time.
M. A. Sumanthiran – TNA MP
We have no issue of troops being there for national security like anywhere else in the country troops should be there only for national security. What we have objected was the disproportionate number of troops in the North. We have clearly stated our reason for supporting Maithri’s campaign.
It is nothing to do with the reduction of the troops or not. We are strongly of the view that President Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot be made the president for the third time.
To achieve that objective we decided to support Maithripala Sirisena. We cannot look at issue by issue in a 100 days programme.
Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe – National Organiser and Media Spokesperson of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU)
Sarath Fonseka the person who was involved in defeating separatism with the opposition candidate and will never do anything to threaten national security. Tamils and Muslims in the country will not be cornered but they should also enjoy their right to vote.