10/21/2009

Sri Lanka's minority representatives disgruntled with the move to propose former Army Commander as opposition common candidate


(October 21, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Minority political parties and activists appear dejected with the rumor that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka will contest the future Presidential election as a common candidate of the joint opposition. Fonseka is famous as an outspoken Sinhala nationalist despite holding a top position in the multi ethnic island nation.

Democratic Peoples Front, a  Colombo based Tamil Party, said in a statement issued by its leader leader Mano Ganesan that he has told UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe that his party will not be a party to the proposed United National Alliance if General Sarath Fonseka is considered and proposed as the common candidate in the event of a presidential elections. "Tamil speaking people of this country do not have anything in common with General Fonseka for him to be our common candidate," says the media statement issued from the office of Ganesan says The statement further says that, "The name of General Sarath Fonseka is being considered by Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) as a common candidate for the presidential elections. Sarath Manemendra of Nava Sihala Urumaya too has invited Gen Sarath Fonseka to contest the presidential elections. He has spoken this from the office of Sri Lanka Freedom Party - People's Wing) (SLFP-M) leader Mangala Samaraweera. Therefore this has given all reasonable signals to the nation that the proposed alliance between UNP, SLFP(M), SLMC and DPF wants General Sarath Fonseka to contest the presidential elections as the common opposition candidate.

"This position is not shared by Democratic Peoples Front (DPF). DPF will not be a party to the proposed United National Alliance if General Sarath Fonseka is considered and proposed as the common candidate at the presidential elections. Tamil speaking people of this country do not have anything in common with General Fonseka for him to be our common candidate," says Ganeshan. 

Meanwhile, the major Tamil constituent Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has also expressed its dissatisfaction with the move to propose the former Army Commander that crushed the Tamil rebellion for self-determination as the opposition common candidate for the Presidential.

TNA MP N. Sri Kantha in Parliament yesterday criticized the SLFP (M) Convener Mangala Samaraweera stating that he was trying to drag military officers into politics.Speaking during the debate on the Supplementary Estimate of the Defence Ministry in the House yesterday the TNA MP said Samaraweera was trying to draw a connection between the military and politics.

Fonseka said to Canada's National Post on September 23, 2008, "I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people...We being the majority of the country, 75%, we will never give in and we have the right to protect this country...We are also a strong nation ... They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue thing."

Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic nation with 24% Tamil speaking community including Muslims.


 

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