Sajith Premadasa has said if elected as Sri Lankan president he will develop the North-East, the Tamil homeland, by holding donor conferences to obtain foreign aid for each province, ten years after the end of the armed conflict.
Premadasa, whose campaign refused to engage with demands including a federal solution and an end to the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) put forward jointly by several Tamil parties, made the conference pledge at an election rally in Mullaitivu this week.
He said that there would be two conferences, one for the North and one for the East, despite the re-merger of the North-East being a key Tamil ask.
Premadasa has received the unconditional backing of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), the largest party of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) as well as some of its constituent parties. The TNA leadership admitted that they had not even broached the Tamil demands with Premadasa when deciding to endorse him.