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'TNA won't support any party until Tamils' grievances are met'

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lanka's main Tamil party will not support any southern political party until the minority community's grievances over a new Constitution are addressed, the party sources said today.

The (TNA) deliberated in Jaffna yesterday and arrived at this decision, the sources said.

The decision has come in the context of current speculation that the may support to continue his government.

After its electoral debacle in local council elections, Wickremesinghe's has run into problems with the premier facing pressure to give up the party leadership.

The unity government is even facing the prospect of collapse following the Saturday's election results in which former Mahinda Rajapaksa's new party People's Party (SLPP) recorded a resounding victory.

Maithripala Sirsena's Freedom Party (SLFP) which is in the unity government had demanded the resignation of Wickremesinghe, but the has refused to step down.

SLFP suffered its worst drubbing with just 13 per cent of the vote.

The UNP is looking to form a government of its own despite having only 106 seats, 7 short of the working majority.

The had supported the unity government's opposition coalition against Rajapaksa in 2015 and was elected on the party's support from the Tamil-dominated north.

Despite the moderate Tamil support for Sirisena's reconciliation, Tamil nationalists remain disgruntled with the slow pace in the delivery of a new Constitution which will address the political aspirations of the community.

The government had aimed to replace the existing 1978 Constitution with a new one while accommodating the Tamil demand for devolution of power to their regions.

Rajapaksa's large support from the Sinhala Buddhist majority appears to make the Constitutional reforms effort a non-starter.

Last year, the TNA had said it will not be a part of the ongoing Constitution-making process and will quit if the government abandoned the idea of finding a to the Tamil issue and more devolution was not considered.

The new Constitution will replace the current executive president-headed Constitution adopted in 1978.

The government expects the new Constitution to address the demand of Tamil minorities for political recognition.

With the defeat of the in 2009, the Tamil groups have opted for maximum devolution as opposed to LTTE's goal of a separate Tamil homeland.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 14:45 IST