Sri Lanka’s Tamil parties plan to field presidential candidate from community

R. Sampanthan - TNA

Sri Lanka’s Tamil political parties plan to field a candidate from the minority community for the presidential election who would present a credible and acceptable political solution for them, a senior community leader has said.

Sri Lanka is set to hold the next presidential election in the last quarter of 2024. The next president would be elected by mid-November at the latest.

Addressing reporters at his residence in the eastern district of Trincomalee on Sunday, senior Tamil leader R Sampanthan said that Tamils would be well served in the forthcoming presidential election by supporting a candidate who would pledge to resolve all issues concerning the Tamil minority through an acceptable political solution.

Sampanthan said the political parties that form the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have proposed to field a Tamil candidate. But the Tamils must understand that such a candidate would not be able to pull much support and as such the parties must decide on the best course of action, he added.

Sampanthan stressed that the candidate who would present a credible and acceptable political solution for the Tamils by the merger of north and east provinces should be the important political factor for the Tamils.

Asked if the Tamils were likely to extend support to the incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe if he came forward to be a candidate, Sampanthan said it would depend on talks with him following his handing over of the nominations to contest the election.

In Sri Lanka’s presidential election history since 1982, Tamil candidates have contested the election but at most elections, they have by and large supported the opposition front-runner against the incumbent.

(Source: PTI)