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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2611

TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal opposes moves to de-merge Northeast province - Special Commander Pillaiyan

Colombo, 25 July, ( "We do not support any move by anyone to de-merge the single administrative provincial unit of Northeast,” said TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP). They added this amounts to majority community continuing with its hegemonic politics to subjugate the Tamils and Tamil speaking people in the country. If Sinhala majority community wishes to have a united country in the future, they should give up such moves forthwith in the interest of unity and national integration.

In a move to clarify their position, TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal led by Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan nom de guerre Colonel Karuna has categorically stated that they are against any move to de-merge the existing Northeastern province.

Pilliyan, Special Commander of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal when speaking to “Asian Tribune” about some political party’s move to de-merge the Northeast said, “We are of the firm opinion that the merger of the North and East is a must and if we do not have this merger, then there will be no opportunity for the Tamils and Tamil speaking people of the North and East to have one united administrative machinery and for the civilians in this region to participate in their day to day administrative activities.”

“Even though the Northeast provincial council today is in the state of limbo, we trust and hope the Government would reactivate the Northeast Provincial Council to enable the people in the region to participate in their day to day administrative activities as in the other parts of the country,” Pilliyan said.

He pointed out that in an attempt to find solutions to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, The Indo- Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, came up with some agreeable solutions which resulted in the 13th amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution. He added that one of those envisaged solution was the introduction of a new administrative system - Provincial Council.

During those days, despite the stiffest opposition forthcoming from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), North and Eastern provinces were merged on 02 September 1988; into one Northeast provincial Council on the request of the anti-LTTE Tamil groups and election for the same was also held in 1988.

Pilliyan underlined that in all the other provinces, Councils are function smoothly and the people are able manage their day to day affairs. Unfortunately the Northeast Provincial Council is being held hostage by the successive Sri Lanka’s Government.

Pilliyan urged that in the interest of the Tamils, Tamil speaking and Sinhalese communities in the North and East, President Rajapakse has to come forward to activate the Northeast Provincial Council. “Our suggestion is that the process of activation could begin with nominating a group of members to activate and run the day to day activities of the now defunct Council.

TMVP never supported de-merger

In a statement to “Asian Tribune,” Pilliyan the special Commander of the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal said “I have to bring to the notice about a misconception about the position of the TMVP regarding actions by some political organization to de-merge the Northeast provincial Council.

The political leaders who have taken legal steps to de-merge the Northeast are those who have failed to comprehend the aspirations of the Tamils. TMVP is of the opinion that the merger should remain and it should be made immediately permanent feature constitutionally.

We wish to point out that TMVP representatives participated in the inaugral meeting of the Alliance for Protection of Rights of the People in the East” (APRPE) on March 22, 2006. “

We were there on an invitation by the organizers of the meeting and our reprepresentatives were just observers. Subsequently this issue was taken up in our politburea. We decided that the merger of the North and East should continue and also resolved to request President of Sri Lanka to make the merger an entrenched clause in the Constitution.

Seven party meeting on de-merger

Earlier, Asian Tribune brought to the notice of Pilliyan the news report regarding the meeting conveyed by Patriotic National Movement (PNM) and held at ‘Savsiripaya’ on 22 March 2006, where it was reported that TMVP representatives also participated and consented with the consensus of opinion expressed for the urgent need to separate the Eastern Province from the Northern Province. held on 22 March

The excerpts of the news report is given below:

This is to draw your kind attention to the above issue on which State action has been long overdue. As you may be aware an organization called “Alliance for Protection of Rights of the People in the East” (APRPE) was formed March 22, 2006 with the participation of seven political parties to secure this objective.

Party representatives who attended the meeting convened by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) and held at ‘Savsiripaya’ were unanimous on the urgent need to separate the Eastern Province from the Northern Province.

The participants included representatives of the SLFP, JVP, PNM, National Congress, TMVP (Thamileela Makkal Viduthalar Pulikal) alias the Karuna Amman Group and the United Democratic Organization.

North-East merger is a must. If we do not have a merger, we do not need provincial councils. Without the merger the East would be Sinhalese by the year 2000 or so.

The 13th amendment and Provincial Councils Act of 1987 established the north
and east as one province, subject to ratification by referendum when
circumstances permitted. As this referendum has not yet taken place, the
constitutional status of the east remains obscure. While successive
parliamentary committees since 1987 have sought to clear up the confusion, the
only clarity thus far achieved is that all Tamil parties, not just the LTTE, are totally
opposed to any northeast 'demerger'.

First interview Report of Pilliyan with “Asian Tribune” opposing the de-merger.

When this matter was pointed out to Pilliyan his response is given below in an interview with “Asian Tribune.”

Excerpts of the interview with Pilliyan that appeared in the “Asian Tribune” dated 01 April 2006 is as follows:

Pillaiyan was speaking to Asian Tribune regarding the recent decision taken by a group of political parties, who according to reports got together to organize a new organization called "Alliance for the Protection of the People of the East" (APRE) and resolved that Eastern Province should be separated from the Northern Province.

When Asian Tribune asked whether TVMP agreed with the new organization to separate the Eastern Province with the North, Pillaiyan said that so far TVMP has never announced anything to that effect.

He clarified that they were invited to participate in a meeting convened by the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) on 22 March. Representatives from the TVMP participated in the meeting. Pilliayan said that their representatives listened to the views expressed in the meeting and in the end told the convenors that the matters discussed in the meeting "has to be decided in our politburo and would convey our decision later."

Pilliyan further added so far they haven't decided anything regarding the issue of separating the East from the North. In the meantime he said "TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal is not interested in separating the Tamils and the Tamil-speaking people."

Also Read : LTTE's ethnic cleansing of the Muslims yet not subsided.

- Asian Tribune -

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