Hold referendum on Sinhala-Tamil coexistence: Sritharan

The government should hold a referendum to determine whether the Sinhalese and the Tamils were willing to coexist with each other, TNA MP Sivagnanam Sritharan told Parliament yesterday.

He said the government had not considered the needs of the Northern people and claimed that a sports stadium constructed in Kilinochchi during the previous regime was being held by the army. The MP said the then Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had profited from the construction of the stadium.

Mr. Aluthgamage rejected this allegation and said the TNA MP was up to mischief.

Meanwhile, State Minister Harsha De Silva criticized MP Sritharan for still clinging on to extremist ideologies.

“The pre-hospital ambulance service has helped the people in the North but you didn’t even have the courtesy to mention it. Tell us whether you really need it,” he asked Mr. Sritharan.

State Minister of Finance, Eran Wickramaratne said Dr. De Silva should not have asked if the TNA MP wanted the ambulance service because the government should seek the people’s opinion and not the approval of MPs to implement such projects. “We only need permission from the people to carry out such projects,” he said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)

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