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TNA manifesto calls for constitutional change that accepts Tamil right to self-determination

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) election manifesto, released today, called for constitutional changes that accept the Tamil people's entitlement to their right to self-determination under the United Nations International Covenants on Civil political rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICCPR).

TNA launches manifesto in Jaffna     Photograph:Tamil Guardian

Noting that any political solution should accept the Tamil people’s right to self-determination and that Sri Lanka had ratified the international treaty, the TNA election manifesto, said:

“The Tamil People are entitled to the right to self-determination in keeping with the United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which Sri Lanka has accepted and acceded to.”

On accountability and reconciliation, the manifesto added that “truth, justice and reparation and the guarantee of non-recurrence are fundamental to the national question being comprehensively addressed so as to ensure permanent and genuine reconciliation.”

The manifesto added calls for a political solution that merged the North and Eastern provinces and devolved powers of land, law and order, socio-economic development, cultural affairs and domestic and foreign fiscal powers and direct foreign investment in the North-East under a federal structure.

Outlining immediate matters of concern for the Tamil people, the manifesto called for “meaningful de-militarisation” and “removal of armed forces, military apparatuses and High Security/ Restricted Zones from the Northern and Eastern provinces.”

The manifesto further called for “comprehensive development programme” of the North and East through support from the Sri Lankan state, the Tamil Diaspora and the International Community, “including upgrading Palali airport as an international airport.”

Highlighting the unresolved cases of disappearances of Tamils in Sri Lanka, the manifesto highlighted the need to ascertain the truth of the fate of thousands of disappeared, whilst calling for the release of all political prisoners and abrogation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

The manifesto added that “international auspices is inevitable to achieve permanent peace through reconciliation.”

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