Mayor-designate says Eastern
After 14 years Batticaloa has got a Mayor and for the first time it is a woman. Prabhakaran Sivageetha in an interview with The Sunday Times soon after being nominated as the Mayor said that while the Batticaloa Municipal Council (BMC)would be getting into full swing in developing roads and common amenities, her party’s (TMVP) Central Committee would be meeting to discuss the next step – contesting the provincial elections.
Assuring that TMVP armed cadres would be disarmed as police security would be given to party members, she said the BMC would be working closely with the government to develop the area.
- You have been elected as mayor after 14 years to the Batticaloa MC. What are your priorities ?
We are indeed happy about the victory. People have given us a good opportunity to serve them and for that we are grateful to them. We used to help the people even before these local polls. We were working with the government to develop this district even before we came into office. We have already got proposals from 11 departments including Agriculture, Irrigation and other sectors. I have submitted some of these proposals to Basil Rajapaksa and Minister Karu Jayasuriya to develop these sectors through the Nagenahira Navodaya programme. Our first priority is to repair the roads.
- How comfortable are you in the mayor's chair especially after your father was killed by the LTTE?
I have asked for police protection.
- You polled the highest number of votes. However in general there have been allegations of impersonation and buying over votes. How do you answer these allegations?
I do not agree with these charges. The people have always been backing us. It was a clean and fair election. We served the people even before we came into office we will carryon doing so now that we are in power.
- There are allegations that TMVP cadres especially those from the lower rungs are still moving around carrying weapons especially at night in Batticaloa town. Is this true and how do you hope to control it?
No, not at all since all TMVP officers will be provided police security.
- So you are sure there are no armed cadres?
We have already stated our stance. We have been provided with enough police security. We don't need to carry arms.
- So the TMVP cadres will disarm definitely?
- What was the agreement the TMVP reached with the government before the election because you contested the election on the UPFA ticket for the Batticaloa Municipal Council?
In brief I will say it was about development.
- Wasn’t it more politically motivated? After all if the UPFA wanted to contest it could have gone alone. What was the need for an alliance with the TMVP and the UPFA?
As I said earlier, we were working with the government for the betterment of our people even before the polls. Now we have joined with the government to bring more development to the area.
- Coming to the Provincial Council elections which the government hopes to hold in May, what is the position of the TMVP? Is it contesting on its own or will it be contesting with the UPFA?
The central committee is yet to take a decision.