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ITAK endorses Sajith Premadasa despite rejection of Tamil demands

The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the largest party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has announced its decision to endorse Sajith Premadasa in the upcoming Sri Lankan presidential candidate, despite the candidate refusing to engage with demands put forward by Tamil parties.

Speaking in Vavuniya today, TNA spokesperson M A Sumanthiran said the decision to back Premadasa had been made unanimously by ITAK but that TNA leader R Sampanthan would communicate with the other constituent parties of the alliance to reach a decision.

Premadasa’s campaign defended the candidate’s rejection of Tamil demands, which included a call for the establishment of a federal state and the abolition of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), stating that while he supported devolution within a unitary structure there was “nothing to discuss beyond that”.

While the ITAK central committee meeting was taking place in Vavuniya, Tamil families of the disappeared protested outside, accusiing the TNA leadership of betraying Tamil demands.