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Tamil issues remain unaddressed in Lanka election: TNA

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, the TNA today said that Tamils were yet to decide their preference for the January 8 presidential polls as their concerns remain unaddressed by both, the incumbent and his main opposition rival.

"Tamils are facing various issues. There are hundreds of people who still can't go back to their own lands because Army is occupying them", Suresh Premachandran, a senior member of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said.

"There are hundreds of political prisoners. Even after 5 years (of the end of war), people are still in camps".

President Rajapaksa-led Freedom Party is pitted against the United National Party, an agglomeration of opposition parties including defectors from his own Cabinet.

Premachandran said they await answers from contestants.

"We are waiting for answers. If given the chance, we will talk to them," the TNA leader added.

He further said the opposition's utterances were equally worrying them (tamils).

"The opposition is saying we are not for a federal solution, they won't accept the UN enquiry, we will destroy all LTTErs who are living abroad," Premachandran said.

He claimed the opposition has failed to say how they would resolve their problems.

"We are citizens of this country we want to live as equals".

The Tamil minority support would be crucial for the both main candidates, incumbent and the opposition unity candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

In 2005, Rajapaksa was able to win by a wafer-thin margin as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) forced the Tamils to boycott the polls hurting his main challenger Ranil Wickremesinghe's chances.

Seeking a record third term after he pushed through changes to the constitution, Rajapaksa has ordered snap polls on January 8.

First Published: Sun, December 07 2014. 18:10 IST