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'Sri Lanka one nation under President'

The forthcoming Presidential Election offers the people an opportunity to set in nation a process that would undo the damage of the past and move towards re-building and developing as one Sri Lankan nation, said Science and Technology Minister and LSSP Leader Professor Tissa Vitarana.

Speaking at a meeting in Jaffna in support of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the LSSP leader said Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays, Burghers and all other sections of society must come together to forge one Sri Lankan identity. The country needs a new Constitution that ensures every citizen has equal rights and privileges, lives in dignity. All Sri Lankans should share power both at the Centre and the periphery, he added.

Professor Vitarana said the attacks on innocent Tamils organized by the UNP Government in 1977, culminating in the pogrom of 1983 led to the emergence of several militant groups. The LTTE proclaimed itself the sole representative of Tamils and the Tamil National Alliance is the proxy of it. The JVP that opposed the 13th Amendment staged a terrorist war against the State in 1988-89, and for the first time in history of Sri Lanka, when the UNP Government promoted counter-terrorism, the white van abductions, killer squads and torture chambers appeared, he added.

Minister Vitarana said the LTTE spurned all attempts to reach an agreement for a political solution. Mahinda Rajapaksa as the President sought to have talks for peaceful solution while respecting the CFA. But the LTTE not only abandoned these talks but violated the CFA , directly attacked military and Government leaders and stopped the supply of water to farmers at Mavil Aru. The Government launched the fourth Eelam War and defeated the LTTE and united the whole country, he pointed out.

Professor Vitarana said in President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Manifesto he has committed himself to implement some of the proposals accepted by the APRC. Several proposals, including the principle of establishing a Senate, have been accepted. The need for electoral reform with a return to first-past electorate representation as the major component, and party-based proportional representation as a minor one, had also been accepted, the Minister added.

The Science and Technology Minister warned that the UNP,JVP, TNA candidate winning would only result in policies that would once again retard economic development and promote naked colonial exploitation of the economy. There would be more economic burdens. When the people protest there would be, without a doubt, imposition of a military dictatorship. The three parties cannot form a stable Government in the resulting chaos, Sarath Fonseka could use the powers of the Executive Presidency to legally become a dictator as he would have complete control over all the Armed Forces and the police.

The people of the North must join their brothers in the South to save Sri Lanka from this tragedy.

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