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Tamil National Alliance backs Rajapaksa-ally Dullas Alahapperuma

The Tamil National Alliance has announced ahead of the election that they would "unanimously" vote in favour of the Rajapaksa acolyte Dullas Alahapperuma of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

In their announcement, they are photographed standing alongside the opposition leader Sajith Premadasa and Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary G.L. Peiris.

Sri Lanka's Muslim Congress (SLMC), the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) and Sri Lanka's leading opposition party, Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have also announced their support of Alahapperuma.

Last week TNA spokesman, MA Sumanthiran, claimed that the support of his party would be conditional on meeting certain demands but failed to detail what those demands would be. The Tamil National People’s Front has instead chosen to abstain from voting explaining that each of the candidates has failed to meet the demands of the Tamil people.

Alahapperuma has consistently opposed Tamil demands. In 2013, as the Tamil National Alliance released a manifesto for the Northern Provincial Council elections, Alahapperuma compared it to the TULF’s 1976 Vaddukoddai Resolution, and labelled it “a cyanide capsule to the Tamil youth".

He has also not been shy over his fidelity to Sinhala Buddhist nationalism, being photographed alongside extremist politicians Sarath Weerasekara and Udaya Gammanpila waving a flag emblazoned with only the Sinhala lion. The flags have been associated with the racist ‘Sinha Le’ movement and other organisations accused of hate speech.

He has also rejected demands for an international investigation into war crimes.

Read more about his record here: Who is standing to be Sri Lanka’s next president?

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