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'Only option is to boycott Sri Lanka's elections' says TNPF

The Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) called on Tamils to boycott the upcoming Sri Lankan presidential election, adding that they must refrain from casting their vote until the Tamil aspirations are also fulfilled. 

“The Sri Lankan government looks to the Tamil homeland as enemies,” their statement read. “They continue with their Buddhization, militarization, and structural genocide in the homeland. As long as the majority representation is in their hands, they will not consider the Tamils as their people but enemies.”

“The only option left to the Tamil people is to reject the presidential election,” said the TNPF.

The party emphasized that boycotting the elections would send a clear message to the government the Tamils do not want to take part in this exercise.

The TNPF went on to talk about the economic crisis and its impact on the Tamils, noting that the Sri Lankan government allocates nearly 48% of its salary budget to defence personnel even in the absence of any armed conflict.

“The Security Forces are a huge burden on this economy, but they do not want to accept it,” their statement read.

“In the absence of a permanent political solution for the Tamils, whenever Tamils take to the road, they are met with stiff resistance from the security forces. At this rate, if they continue to deploy the security forces for the Tamils, they will not be able to reduce their defence spending.”

The TNPF said there were two paths left for the island’s ethnic conflict. “One of them is to silence the Tamils, make them abandon their quest for a political solution, while the other one is to be honest about the prevailing situation and to offer a permanent political solution.”

Tamils in the homeland and diaspora have been demanding a lasting political solution including an independence referendum for Eelam Tamils.

Last week, a landmark resolution was introduced to the US Congress calling on the United States to work towards an independence referendum for Eelam Tamils and recognise the genocide committed against them by the Sri Lankan state.

The resolution, introduced by Representative Wiley Nickel, is the first of its kind to be brought to the US Congress. It came as Tamils marked 15 years since the Mullivaikkal genocide this week, with several commemorations that took place on May 18 both in the North-East and around the world. 

Read more on the call for a referendum here

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