Will continue to espouse NorthEast unity - Pararajasingham

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 March 2004, 04:21 GMT]
"I will carryout my campaign only on the basis of the LTTE's cardinal principles - find a political solution to the Tamil national problem based on the acceptance of the fundamental proposals regarding Tamil homeland consisting of North and East, Tamil Nation, Tamils’ right to self-government. If I am forced to deviate from these principles then I will not hesitate to withdraw my candidacy from the forthcoming elections," said Joseph Pararajasingham speaking to Canadian Tamil Radio (CTR).

Excerpts from the CTR interview follow:

Joseph Pararajasingham, MP
Radio: Are you meeting any difficulties in being able to carry out your election campaign?
Pararajasingham: The last three days of election campaign have been really hectic. From yesterday my campaign has been based mainly on explaining my own policies.

Radio: There are reports that Karuna loyalists are forcing the candidates to change the campaign policies. Can you tell us about these reports?
Pararajasingham: There were attempts to force me to accept these policy changes. I categorically told them that I cannot accept those. I told them my political background...I spent 50 years in Thanthai Selva's camp...In my visits to countries around the world I have always articulated my view that only Liberation Tigers can represent Tamils in any peace talks. I have told this to the former and current foreign ministers in the Canadian Government.

I will carryout my campaign only on the basis of the LTTE's cardinal principles - find a political solution to the Tamil national problem based on the acceptance of the fundamental proposals regarding Tamil homeland consisting of North and East, Tamil Nation, Tamils’ right to self-government. If I am forced to deviate from these principles then I will not hesitate to withdraw my candidacy from the forthcoming elections.

I also told them that I cannot speak regionalism.

I was asked to continue my campaign and that I will receive a response soon.

Radio: We are told that in the last two, three days Karuna group met with TNA candidates from Batticaloa. Can you tell us what transpired in the meeting?
Pararajasingham: We were asked to campaign on the basis issues related only to Batticaloa district. I told them even if others agree I cannot agree to this request. I fought for Tamil Nationalism; I promoted the importance of unification of NorthEast.

Radio: How did the other candidates respond? Did they clearly express their opposition as you have done?
Pararajasingham: I cannot comment much on the positions of others. But they generally agreed to abide by the new framework in the meeting.

Radio: There are also reports that your stopped from attending the Trinco election meeting.
Pararajasingham: I can't say I was stopped. Since I am the Senior Vice President of TULF, and the president is not standing as a candidate, I have the responsibility to assist the election campaign in Trincomalee. They did not like that. They said they will give me a response on this soon.

Radio: Did they come back with a response?
Pararajasingham: They have allowed me to continue the campaign on the basis of my policies. And I will continue to do so until I am told otherwise.

Radio: What can you say about people's support?
Pararajasingham: People and other Government officials that I have met hold the firm view on Tamil Nationalism and a combined North East as the Tamil homeland.

Radio: Is personal safety a concern to you?
Pararajasingham: I am not talking against anyone. I am only espousing my policies. I have been threatened several times by the Sri Lanka Army, SLA officers in my political career. I have always worked to promote my policies.

Radio: Did you receive any instructions from LTTE leadership from Vanni?
Pararajasingham: No.

 

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