TNA backs Fonseka

The Tamil National Alliance yesterday asked the Tamil people to vote for General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka at this months Presidential Election, because President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been bluffing them, for the last four years.

Parliamentary Group leader of the TNA, R. Sambandan, flanked by heads of the ITK, ACTC, EPRLF and TELO, said at a news conference in Colombo, that they have lost confidence in Rajapaksa because he has been engaged in a time buying exercise and did nothing to resolve the problems and grievances of the Tamils.

Asked if Fonseka had given them any written gurantees, he replied in the negative.

Sambandan said that before deciding to support Fonseka, they had spoken to Rajapaksa on several occasions, but his replies convinced them that he was not serious about easing the sufferings of the Tamils, nor offering them a political solution.

Questioned, if that meant that they trusted Fonseka to implement his promises, Sambandan said, "Let’s put it this way. General Fonseka understands the ground situation and has acknowledged the need for a political solution to restore normalcy and permanent peace in the country. In contrast, the President has been saying, we will see, for far too long."Citing an example, he said that Fonseka had agreed to dismantle the High Security Zones in the North and speedily resettle the IDPs without jeopardizing national security, but Rajapaksa in contrast was saying nothing.

"The HSZs were established because of artillery fire from the LTTE. There is now no need to retain such zones, because the war is over," he said.

"100,000 Jaffna Tamils have been shut out of their villages because of the HSZs. One of our parliamentarians has not been able to visit his birth place for the last 20 years. In Trincomalee about 1,500 families are unable to return to their homes. When I told President Rajapaksa this, he treated it very lightly," he said.

The APRC, he said, was another farce being enacted by Rajapaksa after excluding the TNA, which has 22 members in Parliament. A report by 11 persons in the APRC was presented to the President and was gathering dust.

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