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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2525

Be A Statesman & Resolve Country’s National Question – Srisena Was Told

Jaffna, 21 March, (

“We want a statesman to rise in this country who can say, ‘I resolved the country’s national question’,” said Leader of the Opposition R.Sampanthan, while addressing a gathering at his alma mater St. Patrick’s College in Jaffna in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena, and called on the president to offer a solution to the national question, a mandate upon which the Tamil people had voted him into power for.

Sampanthan added, “We think you can do it, we think you should do it and it is our expectation that it will be done,” he said, speaking at an event in Jaffna, where he shared the stage with Mr. Sirisena.

Referring to the crucial minority vote in 2015, which propelled Mr. Sirisena’s alliance to victory, Mr. Sampanthan said the Tamil people supported him to achieve the objective of a political solution. “We know that you want to do it. I know that you want to do it. But your efforts are being stymied,” he said, adding that Mr. Sirisena must overcome the impediments and be recognized world over as a statesman who resolved the Tamil question.

The Colombo government faces severe criticism from the Tamils for its delayed efforts in fulfilling promises Mr. Sirisena made in 2015, in regard to war-time accountability and reconciliation. Political observers have said that the government, fragile and significantly weakened after Local Government polls, is unlikely to address concerns of the Tamils.

‘We want a statesman who can rise up and bring an amicable solution within the context of a united, indivisible and undivided country for the sake of amity between its people,” he said. “You must overcome whatever impediments that stands in your way to become that statesman who resolved the national issue.”

“The country cannot go on like this, it has bled enough,” he told a gathering.

The Opposition Leader referred to the President’s efforts to solve the national question, stating that the Tamil people were aware of his efforts as well the impediments that stand in his way.

Sampanthan tracing Sri Lanka fraught history battling colonial powers cited that it when the 1972 Constitution failed to accommodate the minimum demands put forward by the Tamil people, that these marginalized citizens began their demand for separation, after which the separatist war ensued.

“I make this request to you in Jaffna and at my school, St. Patrick’s College, to bring about a lasting solution to the national question. A mandate upon which the Tamil people voted you into power for and gave you unstinted support.”

The Opposition Leader also called on the diaspora to invest in Sri Lanka, in particular small and medium enterprises that are wholly Sri Lankan. “Invest in your country, support small and medium scale enterprises that are trying to make it big, not just in the North and East but throughout the country.”

- Asian Tribune -

Be A Statesman & Resolve Country’s National Question –  Srisena Was Told
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