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TNA won’t heed Nimal’s call

Although Chief Government Whip Nimal Siripala de Silva last Friday (Feb 5) called for the TNA’s support at the upcoming parliamentary poll, a pre-election arrangement is unlikely between the SLFP-led UPFA and the one-time LTTE ally.

The Health Minister’s appeal to the TNA in Parliament has fuelled speculation that the ruling coalition is seeking a political alliance with the group. The TNA supported Opposition presidential candidate General (rtd) Sarath Fonseka at last month’s presidential polls.

Political sources told The Island yesterday that the government would not expect the TNA to subscribe to a unitary state at the expense of its project to promote self-rule in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Sources said there was no likelihood of the UPFA ever accepting the TNA in its fold unless it publicly denounced separatism.

The National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya, too, oppose the TNA being accommodated on the UPFA list. Sources speculated that some of the TNA MPs may contest districts in the North and East at the parliamentary elections on the UPFA ticket, even without a coming together of the UPFAand the TNA.

Temple Trees sources told The Island that some TNA members had been in touch with the government in the run-up to the recently concluded presidential poll, though they did not want to show their hand.

Sources said the TNA and the SLMC were likely to work closer in the Northern and Eastern districts as part of their overall strategy to strengthen the minority vote base. Sources said that the performance by opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka in those districts at the presidential poll had given a tremendous boost to them, ahead of the parliamentary election.

Government sources said that some of the four million voters who had exercised their franchise in support of the

Opposition presidential candidate were likely to vote for UPFA candidates at the parliamentary polls, now that the so-called joint Opposition had failed in its desperate bid to topple the President.

Sources said that Tamil-speaking people living in the North and East would elect representatives, who could help re-build the region.

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