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'I cannot vote against my conscience' – Ananthy Sasitharan

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) provincial councillor Ananthy Sasitharan has announced she will be boycotting the upcoming presidential election, stating that she cannot support a candidate that has a hostile policy towards the Tamil people.

Her comments come after the TNA announced its support for opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena earlier this week.

Speaking to BBC Tamil, Sasitharan said,

“My decision is that I will not vote... in the Nothern Provincial Council (NPC) election I campaigned for TNA, on a platform of recognising the Tamil homeland, the Tamil nation and the right to self determination. The people voted for me in support of that.”

“To vote for Maithripala Sirisena, whose stance is against that, is against my conscience. Therefore, I will withhold my vote in this election.”

The TNA swept the NPC election last year gaining 78% of the vote, with Sasitharan polling the second highest number of votes. Sasitharan said she was “disappointed” with the TNA backing of Sirisena adding,

“We are affected by the current situation so badly... to vote for a party without any agreement regarding disappeared persons, political prisoners, rebuilding the lives of those affected by the war and land grabs is a very painful matter.”

“I am saying this as a representative of those who are affected, that I cannot vote against my conscience.”

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