Four Tamil political parties have rejected a government call to contest the proposed local elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Urban council under the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) banner, party sources said yesterday.
The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (Pathmanabha Wing) and the Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) were the parties called to contest under the UPFA banner.
TULF President V. Anandasangaree told The Sunday Times he had been requested to contest under the UPFA, but he turned down the request and instead wanted to contest elections under the newly formed alliance known as the Democratic Tamil National Alliance which comprises the PLOTE and the EPRLF (Pathmanabha Wing).
He said, however, the alliance was of the opinion that it was not the proper time to call for elections as the people were unsettled with many of them not knowing the whereabouts about their relatives displaced in the Wanni.
EPDP leader Douglas Devananda said his party too would be contesting on its own, but he believed that if elections to two councils could be held, the government should be able to hold elections to all the local councils in the north where elections were due.
“We are having discussions with the senior members of the party to ascertain whether the conditions were conducive to hold elections at this moment,” he said.
PLOTE leader Dharmalingam Siddarthan said his party was asked to contest on the UPFA ticket but it had already decided to join the new Tamil alliance. He also echoed Mr. Anandasangaree’s views regarding the timing of the elections.
“This is not the best of time for local elections as people are still trying to locate their relatives. We are appealing to postpone elections,” he said.
However Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, who is now a vice President of the SLFP, told The Sunday Times last night that his party members would contest the local council elections on the UPFA ticket.