TNA rejects alliance bid by ex-LTTE members

Reconcilation & conflict resolutionA bid by a newly formed group of former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to join the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has failed.

Representatives of the group, called Crusaders for Democracy, met leaders of the TNA including R. Sampanthan in Vavuniya on Monday but could not convince them about getting nomination for the parliamentary polls, slated for August 17.

TNA spokesperson Suresh Premachandran told The Hindu that even though it was commendable for the former LTTE members to join the mainstream, the group had just been formed and its credentials were not fully known. “But, we have told them to work with us during the elections,” he said, adding that the issue of accommodating them in provincial elections could be taken up later. N. Vithyatharan, coordinator of the group, said his organisation received feelers from other parties such as the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) to participate in the parliamentary polls. Shortly, it would hold a meeting of its members, numbering around 400, and take a decision.

On the composition of the group, he said the members either underwent the government’s rehabilitation programme or were released after serving their sentences. The tally of the members might go up to 500.

V. Anandasangaree, TULF general secretary, said he wanted to promote the group, which had assured him that it would strive for the welfare of victims of the Eelam War.

As for the seat sharing arrangement in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Mr Premachandran said constituents of the TNA had arrived at an understanding, according to which the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) would get the lion’s share of seats.

Out of 44 seats, the ITAK had been allotted 23; Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) eight each; and the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) five seats. (The Hindu)

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