Tamils call for change after elections in Sri Lanka
in a set-back for Sri Lanka's ruling party, the Tamil National Alliance has won a landslide victory in local elections, capturing 20 out of 25 seats it contested in areas formerly held by rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Tamil politicians in the north and east of the country said yesterday that the results had delivered them a mandate to pursue change, adding that the Government in Colombo should work towards delivering a genuine political settlement.
Speaking last night from Sri Lanka, Suresh Premachandran, a TNA member of parliament, claimed the elections had seen incidents of intimidation and yet his coalition had been successful.
"The majority of the people support the TNA," he said. "This shows the Government of Sri Lanka that they must work with the TNA to solve the problems amicably. This means not just [bringing] development – people voted for a political settlement."
In an attempt to boost support for a pro-government Tamil party, President Mahinda Rajapksa had campaigned aggressively in the north and had promised he would deliver on development promises.
Yet in the aftermath of the 2009 military operation to crush the Tamil Tigers which saw thousands of civilians also killed, many Tamils remain deeply sceptical of the government and rejected his overtures. Tamils have long complained of discrimination at the hands of the country's Sinhala majority.
The TNA has called for greater political devolution for the north and east. Mr Rajapaksa has already rejected demands for greater autonomy over issues such as the police and land management.
Ukraine crisis: Helicopter gunships take country closer to all-out war
Undertaker dead hoax: WWE legend not 'found dead in home' as Facebook and Twitter reports
Malaysia Airlines MH370 co-pilot's phone 'was on and made contact with network tower' 30 minutes after plane turned around
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp told athlete she 'loved him' for first time in Valentine's Day card
Lunar eclipse 2014: Images of the spectacular 'blood moon'
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Ukip and Nigel Farage on the up over Maria Miller furore and 'Sexminster' culture
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
- 3 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
£100 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We are looking for a Teacher of...
Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: English Teacher RequiredImm...
£90 - £120 per day + tax deductable expenses: Randstad Education Leicester: KS...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + excellent company benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group...