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* Sri Lanka Tamil people have asked for political power to decide on development in the North - DPF
Wed, Jul 27, 2011, 10:54 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 27, Colombo: A minor Tamil party in Sri Lanka, the Democratic People's Front (DPF) says that the results of the recently concluded local government elections in the North indicated that the Tamil people needed political power to make their own decisions to develop their regions.

DPF Leader Mano Ganeshan said in a statement that the Tamil people have rejected the development decisions made in Colombo.

He said that the government played the development slogan explicitly in its campaign in the North and Minister Wimal Weerawansa openly said they wanted the Tamils on their side in the East, in order to face the international community.

Ganeshan observes that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had repeatedly said it was prepared to share power within a united Sri Lanka and that the Tamil people in the North and East have agreed with the TNA position by rejecting government overtures and positions at last Saturday’s local government elections.

The DPF supported the election campaign of the TNA at the recently concluded local government elections.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) took control of 18 of 26 local bodies in the north and east in Saturday's polls. The ruling UPFA won three local bodies and another Tamil party, TULF secured two.

The dismal outcome for the Sri Lanka ruling party in the North, despite its massive campaign that highlighted the development projects in the region is being viewed as a setback for the government and an urgent call to implement power sharing measures with the Tamils.

A government minister yesterday challenged the TNA to develop the 16 local bodies they won and not take the country backwards.

"The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) should keep in mind about the overall mandate given by the people to the government. They should not drive the country backwards by winning 16 local government bodies. These areas were destroyed by the LTTE for thirty years and the government has taken steps to develop these areas," the Power and Energy Minister and the General Secretary of Sinhala nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) party ,Patali Champika Ranawaka said.

The Minister pointed out that the TNA was able to win the local polls due to the freedom created by the government and the security forces by defeating terrorism.

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