Feature Article

'Frankenstein' franchise in Batticaloa - TNA MP

[TamilNet, Friday, 07 March 2008, 01:52 GMT]
"Ceylon was the first country in Asia to receive universal adult suffrage as early as in 1931. Even though many at that time eulogized it, from the very beginning, it was doomed as it was implemented in a country where the voting was communal. The Tamils boycotted the first elections. The curse continued and has become a Frankenstein monster in Batticaloa today. People are terrified at the thought of elections and would feel greatly relieved without it," said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian S. Jeyanandamoorthy while sharing his opinion with TamilNet on Friday on the local elections in Batticaloa.

S. Jeyananthamoorthy
Batticaloa District TNA MP, S. Jeyanandamoorthy

"The government of Sri Lanka is conducting these elections as a prelude for permanent separation of East from the North; to institutionalise the forcibly altered ethnic composition of the East; to legitimise its genocidal agenda to the outside world and to get foreign funds for the oppression of Tamils in the name of their development."

"The elections are conducted in an atmosphere of terror, intimidation, displacement, disappearances, non-participation of mainstream Tamil political parties and the persecution of media."

"The Tamil National Alliance is totally boycotting these polls. Had our party fielded candidates, they would have been brutally murdered by the paramilitary groups. Even our fellow parliamentarians have been murdered. Some of them became victims of bombing. Why, even my own brother was shot dead. In the final budget voting that took place in November 2007, relatives of the Parliamentarians were abducted in order to ensure that these Parliamentarians abstained from the voting process. I am unable to visit my own constituency."

"Whatever atrocities are faced by the Tamils in the East, are also shared by the Muslims. A terrorising, armed culture is deliberately promoted by the government among the Muslims."

"It should be noted here that an independent group of 9 civil society organisations comprising Sinhalese and Tamils, which undertook a fact finding mission to Batticaloa in February, has advocated against the elections, saying "Afraid to even say the word: Elections in Batticaloa."

"The civil organisations have further said that even participation in the monitoring would amount to legitimise the elections."

"At the most, the present local elections in Batticaloa may only serve to the show of the might of arms. It has nothing to do with democracy or with the opinions and wishes of the people."

"Those who uphold liberal democracy should note that elections in Sri Lanka could never be meaningful without a political solution to the ethnic crisis and without an acceptable constitutional framework," said Mr. Jeyanandamoorthy.


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