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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2709

Tamil Chief Minister for East, Just and Fair Decision

By Philip Fernando in LA for Asian Tribune

The Chief Ministership stakes are now being fought in the East. To any impartial observer, it is crystal clear that any attempt to bypass a Tamil for the post of Chief Minister would be a travesty of justice. What is of paramount importance is that the government must not give the impression that the support it got from the Tamil voters who were earlier in the clutches of the LTTE, were not taken for granted. Pillaiyan received the highest number of preferential votes far more than that of HisbullahPillaiyan received the highest number of preferential votes far more than that of Hisbullah

Tamils boycotted the 2005 Presidential election under life threatening orders from Prabhakaran. Now they have rallied to the President’s call for unity. They must not be denied their due. Muslims who also threw in their lot with the government could wait a little longer.

How much the TMVP vote meant for the future of the East is a major consideration. More importantly the battle in the North where the armed forces are winning a fiercely fought war will ultimately be an indication that they can look with great satisfaction at the elections results in the East. Already a top level Presidential Committee headed by Minister Devananda is planning to get the people to participate in a democratic process very much like what the East did. It is imperative that the Chief Minister has to be a Tamil in the East.

It was obvious that the East was won with the massive support that the TMVP gave to the UPFA coalition. Of the 308,886 votes that were received by the UPFA, more than half or 160,000 came from the TMVP supporters. It would be a historical blunder to ignore the contribution of the TMVP to the liberation of the East from the LTTE as well a democratic revival in the region. They joined the Muslims and the Sinhalese to show the world that the Sri Lanka Government led by Mahinda Rajapaksa had the interest of all ethnic groups at heart. They wanted to defeat terrorism and bring about national unity in the country. The sense of togetherness was tremendous. To forget that fact is a colossal rejection of the ground realities that emerged in the East. M L A Hisbullah can afford to wait in the interest of Tamil Muslim unityM L A Hisbullah can afford to wait in the interest of Tamil Muslim unity

The TMVP worked with the Muslims and Sinhalese during the elections. The Muslim members of Parliament from the region are holding key positions in the government. Almost all the Muslim parliamentarians from this region are holding ministerial posts. There is adequate representative for this group. The Tamils in the East do not have that luxury.

In the 2005 Presidential elections the Tamils did not participate fully due to the LTTE forcing a boycott on them. The situation has changed today. In Batticaloa 48 percent of the people voted for the UPFA at the Provincial Council elections. The actual votes were as follows: Pillaiyan 38,718, J S Mohammed 34,782 and M L A M Hisbullah 34,581.

To deny the Chief Ministership to a Tamil due to the proposition that the Muslim candidates number 8 versus the TMVP’s 6 is a fallacy. It is a denial of what is a just demand by the TMVP that their contribution to bring about a change in the dynamics of the eastern politics be recognized.

Muslims have key representation with Mrs. Ferial Ash raff, ALM Athauulolah, A R Risath Bathiyutheen and M N Andul Majeed holding ministerial posts in the government. M.L.A.M Hisbullah, who crossed over from the SLMC just one day before the Eastern Province nominations can be asked to wait a little longer, to serve the people of the East before he gets into higher gear.

The President announced that the East answered his call for unity and gave the UPFA a good victory. The time is ripe to show the world that the Chief Ministership should be given to a Tamil as they fully deserve this honor.

- Asian Tribune -

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