Mano says negotiating with TNA to support Fonseka

The Democratic Peoples Front (DPF) leader Mano Ganeshan, yesterday said that his party was negotiating with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to vote for the common Opposition candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka at the forthcoming Presidential election in the North and would arrive at a decision before the nominations were handed over, but in the South the party has already taken a decision to support the candidature of the retired General.

Ganeshan addressing a news conference at the Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo, responding to a question that there was a strong tendency that the TNA would forward a Tamil candidate, he stated that it was too early to comment on it, but in the event they forward a Tamil candidate, the DPF would request the Tamils in the North and East to cast their second preferential vote to Gen. Fonseka.

Ganeshan expressed confidence that Gen. Fonseka would win the Presidential election adding that President Rajapaksa’s vote base had eroded over the last few months as he had not been able to address the main grievances of the Tamil speaking people.

Even the UPFA ally Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), has lost support of the plantation workers and the latter would vote for Gen. Fonseka and it was the same with the TMVP and the EPDP as well, he said.

"We want the government to expedite the resettlement of the IDPs, either release or expeditiously institute legal action on detainees in prisons as well as the detention centre in Boossa, who have been languishing in these places for many years," he said.

Those who were identified as LTTE cadres among the detainees, should be sent to rehabilitation camps meant for them without keeping them in detention centres since they have been kept there far too long, Ganeshan pointed out.

In reply to a query as to how the Tamils would vote for Gen. Sarath Fonseka who was one of the key figures responsible for the defeat of the LTTE which campaigned for a separate state, he said people have put the past behind and are looking forward to the future.

In the past there were Sinhalese who have said that they would eat the flesh of the Tamils and Tamils who have vowed to swim in a blood bath of the Sinhalese, but now that terrorism was defeated, Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims should unite and bury the past, he said.

"Gen. Fonseka didn’t fight against the Tamil people, but he defeated terrorism and decimated the LTTE. Now he has vowed to abolish the Executive Presidency, implement the 13th Amendment and address the grievances of the Tamils. If they keep on talking about the past, we would achieve nothing," he said.

Asked how the opposition alliance thinks of implementing the 13th amendment, when its key allies are poles apart, while the JVP is vehemently against it and the UNP hell bent on implementing it, he said it has to be something beyond the 13th Amendment if the grievances of the Tamil people are to be recognised.

Responding to a question as to who he prefers as Executive Prime Minister, the DPF leader said his choice was Ranil Wickremesinghe and Gen. Fonseka has consented to be the President.

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