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CM appointment in line with pre-polls agreement



Transport Minister
Dullas Alahapperuma

Colombo: The United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday reiterated that the appointment of the Chief Minister of the Eastern province will be made in line with the agreement reached by parties supporting the UPFA prior to the provincial council poll.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, SLFP Assistant Secretary Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said there was no change in their earlier stance that the party which obtains the highest number of seats will be entitled to nominate the Chief Minister.

"According to the final result of the election, the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) has emerged with the highest number of seats. However, in my view, the question as to who becomes Chief Minister has no more significance than the issue created about Ranil Wickremesinghe's helicopter during the election campaign."

Alahapperuma stated that the important question one should consider was what made it possible for the Government to hold elections and establish democracy in the East. "It was the breakaway of Karuna and Pillayan from the LTTE on one hand, and the bravery of our Armed Forces on the other that created conditions conducive for the establishment of democracy in the East.

Therefore the President will appoint the Eastern Chief Minister according to democratic values in recognition of these facts".

Questioned about the reported tussle between the parties who backed the UPFA regarding the appointment of the Chief Minister, Alahapperuma pointed out that TMVP Leader Pillayan has clearly stated that his main interest is to serve the Eastern people of the East rather than becoming the Chief Minister.

"The Eastern province is a unique area of this country constituting equal proportions of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people and bearing paramount historical, geographical, social and political significance.

As a result the message emerging from the East is felt by the entire country, especially the North, and also the world," he said.

"Therefore, I request people creating these problems and also the 35 members who were elected to the Eastern provincial Council to look at this broader picture without dwelling on trivial issues like the Chief Ministerial position," he added.

 

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