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‘Premadasa is a leader with clean hands’ claims TNA endorsement

Leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) released a statement endorsing Sajith Premadasa in this month’s Sri Lankan presidential elections, despite his refusal to engage with demands put forward by the parties.

“Mr. Sajith Premadasa is a leader with clean hands,” claimed the TNA statement on Wednesday. “In whatever capacity he has functioned, it is accepted that he has done his best.”

The statement was signed by senior TNA party leaders, including head of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R Sampanthan, Illankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) head Mavai Senathirajah, Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) head Selvam Adaikkalanathan and People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) head Dharmalingham Siddarthan.

The TNA accused Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the front runner in the presidential polls, and his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna of a “dismal” record in government, which included “assassinations and disappearances”. It goes on to claim the previous Rajapaksa regime “attempted to dilute and diminish existing constitutional arrangements for the sharing of powers” and “failed to keep its commitments domestically and to several sources in the International community to take further steps to constitutionally enhance and make more meaningful the sharing of the powers of governance.”

See the full text of the TNA statement here.

Earlier this week the ITAK pledged its support for Premadasa, despite his coalition stating it was unwilling to enter into discussions with the TNA based on the 13-point memorandum signed by five Tamil political parties.

Shiral Lakthilaka, a member of Premada’s campaign team, has defended this decision stating that his policy is to support devolution within a unitary structure. He told reporters, “there is nothing to discuss beyond that”.