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UNP coalition partner calls for on Tamils to ‘integrate’ with Sinhalese

A senior leader of the United National Front has called on Tamils to integrate with the larger Sinhala society in order to progress.

Champika Ranawaka, the leader of the JHU which is a founder and partner of the UNP-led UNF, said to The Hindu that Indian-origin Tamils and Muslims had progressed well because “they simply integrate [themselves] with the Sinhalese,” adding that if Tamils followed suit, “they can [also] achieve a lot.”

Contrary to Mr Ranawaka’s claims, Indian-origin Tamils and Muslims still face widespread discrimination and have limited political power.

On the discussions about devolution and federalism the JHU leader said the Tamil National Alliance and others should be “very pragmatic” and have to accept that “separatism or federalism cannot be achieved”, stressing that “separatism won’t work.”

Mr Ranawaka said Sri Lankan society was “a compassionate society”, and that “our country is based on Buddhist philosophy, which teaches us that all people, all human beings are equal. No caste or no creed.”

Calling the present political climate “very peaceful”, the minister asserted that the government machinery, including the state media, were now “totally free”.

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