TMK will take a neutral stand

The former Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province C.V.Wigneswaran has said that his organization the Tamil Makkal Koottani (TMK) will take a neutral stand at the upcoming Presidential election and will not ask people who to vote for.

In a statement issued in Jaffna on Tuesday he said that both the main candidates viz. Minister Sajith Premadasa and former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa have not accepted the 13 demands jointly put forth by the Tamil parties.

Wigneswaran said that he is asking the people to make the decision on their own and cast the vote considering the past history, and the present internal and external conditions.

The rest of the Tamil parties, which signed an MoU with each other on the 13 demands, were to meet and take a decision on Wednesday, reports said.

A group of five Tamil political parties recently signed a memorandum containing 13 demands including a demand for self-determination, political solution and abolishing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

It notes the acceptance of the political aspirations, recognition of the merged Northern and Eastern Provinces as the historical habitat of the Tamils and the realization of the fact that the Tamil People under the provisions of international law are entitled to the right of self-determination.

The parties had declared that their support to any candidate will be based on the support they receive for the demands but a meeting of these parties on the issues yesterday had remained inconclusive.

Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Tamil People’s Council (TPC) led by former chief minister and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) signed the memorandum.

The statement by the TMK asked the Tamil voters to weigh and consider which of the candidates are likely to meet their 13 point demands and vote accordingly. It pointed out that in its efforts to get the demands accepted the TMK had failed to secure a positive response from any of the candidates.

However, the TMK hopes to continue the talks with the winner in the election to get its demands met and expects the international community to stand by its commitment to safeguard the rights of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. (

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