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'Easterners aware of UNP-LTTE tie up'

COLOMBO: SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday that even President J.R. Jayewardene who introduced the 13th Amendment failed to hold an Eastern Provincial Council Election and this is the very first time it is being held after the introduction of the 13th Amendment.

"We have to thank the Supreme Court for giving a judgement separating the North and Eastern Provinces administrative wise," Minister Sirisena said.

Addressing a United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) press briefing held at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo yesterday in connection with Eastern Provincial Council Election.

Minister Sirisena said the people in the East know very well that there is an understanding between the UNP and the LTTE regarding this election. The two parties have agreed in Colombo to work unitedly in the East. The LTTE is trying to save the UNP from its 18th defeat and the UPFA will defeat not only the UNP but also the LTTE, he emphasized .

Minister Sirisena pointed out that the war heros liberated the East sacrificing their lives under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and the people should thank them for liberating the people and establishing democracy. We have to thank all the parties for contesting because it strengthens democracy.

From the beginning the UNP attacked, humiliated and ridiculed the Government and described the East as a jungle and a rock. But it is an important part of Sri Lanka. After the Local Government Election in the East, the Opposition Leader made complaints but all independent observers said it was a fair election, Minister Sirisena said.

He stressed that the UPFA needs to win the election in order to develop the East and this is a golden page in the history of Eastern people. There is a huge support towards the UPFA in the East and victory is certain. The people in the East say that it is President Mahinda Rajapaksa who saved them from Prabhakaran.

The Muslim people who were prisoners in the East for 17 years are free today and ready to elect their representatives.

Leader of the House, Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva said that the theme of Eastern Provincial Council Election 2008 is `Let us protect and develop the East liberated from terrorism'.

This can only be done by the war heroes and the Government and not the UNP. The Government would have been happy if the LTTE came to contest directly without linking itself to the UNP. Now the UNP is offering various gifts to the people in the East but they cannot be bought and they will not betray the UPFA.

Minister De Silva pointed out that there is a very good coordination and unity in the UPFA and the election campaign is proceeding smoothly. Now there is a war between the Sacred Alliance, UPFA and the Sinful Alliance, UNP+SLMC+LTTE.

The UNP is busy building up various pretexts to hide behind after its certain defeat. After the elections funds will be handed over to the Eastern Provincial Council to develop the East, he added.

Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne said that four Presidents failed to liberate the East and President Mahinda Rajapaksa did that. Earlier, the East was a prosperous region where all ethnicities lived in unity and harmony. But it was destroyed during a period of 20 years and a large number of Muslim, Tamil and Sinhala people were killed.

Minister Jayaratne pointed out that history showed how even a serial killer like Angulimala came to the correct path and became a good person. Sri Lanka receives aid from several foreign countries. The people who were tortured for 20 years will be brought back to life within two years. "The world is concerned about our human rights.

The countries which killed pregnant mothers and bombed schools killing children now question us.

They ask whether there are guns in the east. This is shameful.

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