“The verdict of the people is clear. Within the framework of a united, undivided country, they want to live with full security, safeguarding their self respect and dignity with adequate self-rule, to be able to fulfill their legitimate political, economic, social and cultural aspirations,” Sambanthan said during a press conference in Jaffna. “The TNA is committed to the achievement of the above objective and expects that the Sri Lankan government would also extend its fullest cooperation to the achievement of the same. The results of this election offer everyone an opportunity which should be fully utilized in a political manner,” he said.
Sambanthan said the TNA was committed to the full implementation of the 13th Amendment of the Constitution – the amendment was a consequence of the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 – and building upon it to bring about meaningful devolution which must result in a “political solution that is reasonable, workable and durable”.
Asked about the possible participation of India in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Sambanthan said India is yet to decide on attending the summit. “It is India’s decision, but if required we will have a dialogue with India regarding this to help arrive at a decision that would help solve our problem. We will keep that in mind and hold talks with India if necessary,” he said .
The TNA leader also said that India’s support is very important for Tamils in Sri Lanka. “The international community is taking India’s view seriously with regard to our issues. It won’t against India’s stand. India has been supporting our genuine demands. We seek the support from the entire people of India,” Sambanthan said. He also requested the leaders in Tamil Nadu to speak up unitedly on the Sri Lankan Tamil issues.
Since the ruling alliance has targetted the TNA manifesto saying it promotes separatism, Wigneswaran said “We are for an undivided Sri Lanka, where there is a certain amount of self-ruling under the federal constitution.” He also said that the northern provincial election has been conducted due to the pressure from India.
Wigneswaran wants to work with Colombo on pushing his manifesto, which calls for “self-government” for Tamils. “We are ready to work with the government. That does not mean we are going to join the government,” he said.
Wigneswaran also said that once the new council takes oaths they will discuss future issues that need to be addressed including the issue of land and police powers for the provinces.
Wigneswaran also said that the people in the south must educate southern politicians on working with the Tamils.
“The Tamil people of the Northern Province have, despite several trials and tribulations, pronounced their verdict clearly and courageously and we strongly urge that their democratic verdict should be respected,” TNA leaders said in a joint statement.