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* Major Tamil party agrees to accept a unitary state in Sri Lanka
Wed, Jul 16, 2014, 07:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has agreed to denounce separatism and accept a united Sri Lanka for all communities.

The TNA on Tuesday agreed to submit an affidavit to the Supreme Court, stating that Sri Lanka is a unitary State.

Lawyers appearing for the Secretary of TNA and its main constituent Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah and Leader of TNA R. Sampanthan on Tuesday (15) agreed to submit the affidavit to the Supreme Court that Sri Lanka is a unitary state when six petitions filed by representatives of Sinhala majority nationalist organizations were taken for hearing.

The six petitions filed in the apex court alleged that the political objective of the TNA is to form a separate government in Sri Lanka.

The petitioners, Galage Don Punyawardana, Gunadasa Amarasekera, U. Abeykoon, Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Thera, U.K. Anura and Ravi Kumar alleged that the main Tamil party campaigned for a separate state in the North and East during the Northern Provincial Council elections held in September 2013.

The petition claimed that the ITAK and TNA distributed election manifestos among voters in the North indicating that they are planning to form a separate state in Sri Lanka.

Petitioner has further cited in the petition that the manifesto is in line with the hidden agenda of the defeated Tamil terrorist organization LTTE.

In its election manifesto, the TNA, once considered as a proxy for the terrorist group LTTE during the war, has called for establishing power sharing arrangements in a unit of a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure.

The petitioners also claimed that the TNA manifesto violates the sixth amendment of the Sri Lankan Constitution which says that no political party or other association or organization shall have as one of its aims or objects the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.

Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court has power to proscribe any political party or other association or organization found guilty of having the objective to establish a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.

TNA leaders have vehemently rejected the allegation that its election manifesto demanded a separate state of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka.

A three-member Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justices Rohini Marasinghe and Priyantha Jayawardana heard the petitions.

Counsels appearing for the respondents told the court that the two parties are for a unitary state in Sri Lanka and there was no intention to form a separate state. The petitioner's counsels said the agreement must be submitted to the court as an affidavit and the respondents' counsels agreed.

The Court postponed the case till 22 September.

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