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Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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Nort East Merge No way Says the President PDF Print E-mail
North-East merger is an expired issue and there is no room for such a talk hereafter, emphatically said the President, Mahinda Rajapakse when he was speaking to media editors and publishers was held at Temple Tree yesterday. Among the media men were the editors and administrative directors of the Tamil News Papers Sudar Oli and the Uthayan at Temple Tree.

While speaking further he said 'I agree that dialogue with TNA should be held and I am ready for such talk and I have resumed comprehensive contact with them. Your demand for North-East merger is not acceptable. This issue is expired along with the demise of LTTE politics. Don't exhume the issue once again. Muslim community is the majority people in the East we could not commit injustice to them by merging.

I pledged to bring a Tamil as a chief minister during the election campaign in the Eastern provincial council; I fulfilled my pledge, which caused me untold oppositions. Though a group of Muslim ministers, provincial council members and parliamentarians vehemently opposed to my decision I was rigid and firm. No community could claim ownership to a particular area. Sinhalese community is minority community in Colombo now their demographic pattern is reduced to 27%. They are not staging agitation for their dwindling population. It is right for all communities to mix and live around the country. We will talk about some other issues rather than talking about the expired North-East merger, said the President.

While speaking to press men earlier at the Temple Tree he said 'we are determined to conduct violent free Presidential election and we will permit neither pistol gang nor other violent group. However, it is a usual practice here to blame the Govt. even if a minor incident like pelting stone is happened. I have gone through this political challenges and came to this position. Though UNP secured five sixth's majority in 1977 we demanded an election within next three months. Therefore, election is necessary. Media people like you should behave in a neutral manner in order to conduct this election in a peaceful, simple and justifiable manner. We all could live in respect and honor when we have a country only. We could not allow foreign intervention.

Democracy in the East begins to bloom and people in the North and East allege that they were prevented from voting in the last Presidential election. As such we wish to conduct the next presidential election as early possible and the gazette notification for such election was proclaimed in a bid to give them an opportunity to exercise their universal franchise.

You should also notice that I have come forward to sacrifice my two-year term of office. Abolishing executive presidency is not a one-man job and setting up Independent Commission too is not one-man work. We should all join in the parliament to achieve these tasks.  I also wish that the head of state should be accountable to parliament and I am firm to bring such system.

Whoever comes to the presidency giving assurance for abolition, it is difficult to abolish when he resumes office. I might be sidelined from politics after the next presidential election. Therefore, don't think that I am against the abolition. Cooperation from the opposition is needed for the abolition.
I have no objection to see the General Sarath Fonseka as the candidate from opposition. I am ready to welcome with open arm. Overseas living locals are allowed to vote in the election. This practice is found in some countries. Law on this regard should be enacted. There is no time to draft such law now. Therefore, it is not practical for the forthcoming election.   We can study for a system where around 2 million Sri Lankans living overseas could cast their votes in their respective Sri Lankan high commissions in future, he added.

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