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“Common Tamil candidate must back demand for independence referendum” – Vavuniya Families of the Disappeared

The Tamil families of the disappeared in Vavuniya said that anyone running as a joint Tamil candidate in Sri Lanka’s presidential election this year must support the need for an independence referendum to fulfill the Tamil demand for self-determination.

The Tamil families made the remarks as they held a vigil outside the main post office in Vavuniya to mark the 43rd anniversary of the burning of the Jaffna Public Library.

Some Tamil politicians have called for a united “common” candidate ahead of elections due later this year. The secretary from Association Vavuniya Families of the Disappeared Gopalakrishnan Rajkumar told reporters that if there is such a common candidate, it must not “harm Tamils’ efforts for self-determination”.

Rajkumar said Tamils ​​should have “enough self-respect and support for Tamils ​​and not beg from Sinhalese”.

He went on to single out Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) MPs MA Sumanthiran and R Sampanthan, saying both would be unsuitable candidates.

“Parlimenatiran Sumanthiran divided the Tamils ​​into two groups,” claimed Rajkumar. “He used proxies to file a case against his party. At one time he was for an international investigation while still working hand in hand with those (in the Sri Lankan government) who deny the same. He had earlier said that his party was not involved in the LTTE ideology and is now appearing at Mullivaikkal to pay homage to Tamils ​​and LTTE members. He is not fit to represent the Tamil people.”

With the polls scheduled for 2024, the Tamil People’s National Front has officially started a campaign to call on the Eelam Tamils ​​to boycott the elections.