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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2956

Now all eyes on the new political Eastern identity - TMVP

Colombo, 18 March, ( Although quite a few parties decided to boycott the local government elections in the east, there seems to be hectic political activities in the province as most of the political parties are interested in entering the fray this time to wrest power in the Eastern Provincial Council. Nomination for the Eastern Provincial Council is to be accepted from 27 March to April 3rd and polling is to be held on 10 May. Early reports from the province indicate that many political parties have shown interest in this election. S. Chanthirakanthan alias Pillaiyan TMVP LeaderS. Chanthirakanthan alias Pillaiyan TMVP Leader

In the meantime the people in the East are beginning to show a keen interest in this election as for the first time ever, they have indicated their willingness to accept a political party completely led by Easterners by voting to the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by S. Chanthirakanthan alias Pillaiyan in the last local body election held on march 10.

Leading political analysts in the East are of the opinion that the vast majority in the Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai districts were excited about the emergence of a new political party which has come forward to work exclusively for them. They are of the view that the people have placed their trust and confidence in the TMVP as they have the fullest confidence that the new political entity would bring about a new leash of political life to the province which was derived of political power for two decades.

When Asian Tribune asked whether TMVP should enter into a coalition arrangement with other political parties to contest in the forthcoming Provincial Council elections, the majority opinion was that Muslims and Sinhalese belonging to other like-minded parties should contest with a single banner. Some were of the view that it is important for the TMVP to contest as a separate political entity in the forthcoming election.

They also expressed their reservation that in case TMVP candidates join other political parties and contest in another party symbol, there is every possibility of them loosing the Eastern identity which has been already endorsed by the people of the east during the recently successfully concluded elections for the local government bodies. At a time of re-emergence of eastern identity on a democratic platform, it is essential to further strengthen the voter confidence rather than confusing the voter by contesting on another party symbol.

When asked whether the TMVP candidates were acceptable if they enter into an arrangement with United People's Freedom Alliance as they had in the Batticaloa Municipal Council Election in the last local government bodies elections, many responded that then it will be considered as UPFA contesting in the provincial council elections and not those candidates from the liberated Eastern Province.

Many told Asian Tribune that earlier people of the East rejected the hegemony of the LTTE because they rejected the autocratic rule of the North led by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. They were heard expressing overwhelmingly of their imperative need for the exclusive leadership of the people of the liberated Eastern Province.

They said that in case the TMVP candidates contest in another political party from the south then it would amounts to defeating the enthusiasm shown by the people of the East to have their own leadership. Many said it would amounts to falling from the frying pan to the fire.

Many people contacted by Asian Tribune expressed, and then it would be viewed as UPFA contesting in the Eastern Provincial Council elections and not those candidates from the liberated Eastern Province contesting.

They suggested that the chances of TMVP contesting on its own will have better impact in the forthcoming provincial councils elections than TMVP members contesting under any other party symbol.

Many suggested in case a change in the Eastern Province is needed the other political parties should enter into no contest arrangements with TMVP and contest under the TMVP symbol, if they wanted an overwhelming endorsement by the people of the East.

Many told that in case TMVP contest under its own symbol, there would a very good chance of capturing overwhelming power in the Provincial Council and with that strength, the TMVP will be assured of capturing 7 to 10 Parliamentary seats from the East in the next general elections.

- Asian Tribune -

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