Govt. willing to grand our demands, says Chnadrasekaran

(December 22, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Upcountry People's Front says that the government has accepted the proposals put forward by their party to render their support to the president and that an agreement was reached to implement them at the right time. The leader of the party, Minister Chandrasekaran expressed these view while addressing a function in Hatton yesterday.

“We have put forward our demands. The line housing system in the up country sector needs to be done away with and the people need to be resettled in lands of their own. A solution must be provided for the unemployment problem pertaining to upcountry youth.

“Employment opportunities will have to be created in the up country region. When devolving power, new divisional secretariats and provincial councils should be established that include the people in the up country region.

“Depending on the victories of our people, they need to be given a particular percentage of representation in parliament and other places at the same time, the Tamil language needs to be implemented in all places in the up country region.

“T he youth who are still detained after having been arrested and questioned under the Emergency Law and the Prevention of Terrorism Act must be released.

“The upcountry people need to be accorded special provisions when providing employment and promotions. A university needs to be established in Nuwara Eliya for the up country people. Our demands were accepted by the government and they will be implemented at the right time.

“President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be re-elected with the support of the up country people. He should receive the vote of the Tamil people. He should have that position with the support of the Tamil people,” said Chandrasekaran.

Parliamentarian Radhakrishnan said that based on Emergency Regulations, registering with the police was essential.

“As per Section 23 of the Emergency Law, everyone needs to register with the police. Many up country youth are arrested as they cannot verify their place of residence. The government has now created an environment where there is unity in the country. Therefore that section is no longer necessary. We request that this section be abolished,” he said.

Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa, senior advisor to the president, addressing the meeting said that despite difference of opinion the leader of the Upcountry People's Front, the President and the Alliance had a good understanding.

“As minister Radhakrishnan said, although they were in the government, they refrained from voting for the emergency law every month.

“That is in line with their principles. We respected that. The president respected that. We had problems. Some of your demands were discussed recently and we reached an agreement. A few more demands were put forward. Some of them were discussed and the necessary steps were taken.

“We have appointed official committees for the separation of the divisional secretariats. When they come to Colombo, they register at police stations. The president has declared that registration will not be necessary from tomorrow onwards,” said Basil.