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TNA-SLMC tug o’ war over Kalmunai continues

By Skandha Gunasekara

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was adamant that a separate Tamil Divisional Secretariat in the Kalmunai Pradeshiya Sabha is established despite opposition from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), The Sunday Morning learnt.

TNA Parliamentarian Mavai Senathirajah told The Sunday Morning that the demand for a separate Tamil Divisional Secretariat is a decades-old request, going back to the late Appapillai Amirthalingam who once was the Opposition Leader of Parliament.

“This is longstanding request by the Tamil people and the TNA is continuing the agitation to establish a separate Tamil Divisional Secretariat,” MP Senathirajah said.

He said that the TNA had discussed the matter with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Wajira Abeywardana and that the TNA had requested that a cabinet paper be submitted in this regard.

“We spoke with the Prime Minister and the relevant minister and they were all in agreement with our request,” Senthirajah said, adding that the Prime Minister had agreed that a cabinet paper would be submitted.

However, State Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government H.M.M. Harees told The Sunday Morning that no cabinet paper would be submitted and that the issue had not developed beyond a mere request from the TNA.

“The TNA have made a demand but it has not been implemented. There is no issue at the moment, but if an issue arises we will discuss the matter with the Prime Minister and the TNA,”

He said that the meeting between the SLMC and the TNA, which was to be held this week, was postponed to next week.