Karuna Group eyes cabinet portfolio
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 16 March 2004, 06:28 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance candidates in Batticaloa who might be elected in the April polls to Sri Lanka’s Parliament should be ready to work with the government that comes to power in Colombo, according to instructions issued Monday by the Karuna Group to Tamil politicians in the troubled eastern district, sources said. One of the TNA MPs elected from Batticaloa would be given a cabinet portfolio, according to Mr. Rajan Sathiyamoorthy, a TNA candidate who is a confidante of Mr. V. Muraleetharan, the leader of the Karuna Group.
The Sunday Leader, an independent English weekly published from Colombo reported in its latest issue that the Karuna Group had begun negotiations with the alliance between President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (United People’s Freedom Alliance- UPFA) from last month.
“They ordered us to stop speaking about Tamil national issues in our campaign. They told us to dwell only on maters relating to Batticaloa development. We were told that the necessary legal arrangements would made for TNA MPs elected from Batticaloa to work with the new government”, said an informed media source associated with a meeting between the Karuna Group and TNA candidates in Kokkaddicholai, 15 kilometres southeast of Batticaloa town on Monday.
“We are in a messy quandary because there is no development worth talking about in Batticaloa”, a TNA candidate said.
Meanwhile, SLFP sources in Colombo told TamilNet their party had neither talks nor contacts with the Karuna Group.
“Karuna has been accused of ordering the massacre of 600 Policemen who surrendered to the LTTE in 1990, of killing Buddhist monks in Arantalawa, of murdering hundreds of Muslims and abducting thousands of children. How can the SLFP sully its name, and the reputation of the UPFA, by associating with an individual with such a horrendous record?” asked a political columnist for a Sinhala weekly considered close to the JVP.