The TMVP led by Karuna Amman yesterday said it would contest future elections and tie up with the government to serve the people, the Tamils in particular in the East.
TMVP Ampara district leader I. Bharathi told the media that the party had already laid the groundwork to serve the Tamils in the East and the party was confident of sweeping the polls in the province.
`The problems faced by the Tamils, especially those in the East, should come to an end. We firmly believe the problems could not be solved through military action. They should be addressed in a democratic way,` he said.
Mr. Bharathi also said his party believed that Eelam could never be achieved and the country should not be divided.
`We are not only interested in the Eastern Tamils but we are forced to focus on them because of the injustice meted out to them by Prabhakaran.
The people should be given a chance to decide whether they want a North-East merger or not. These two provinces were temporarily merged under the Indo-Sri Lanka Pact. Future elections are to be held on the basis that North and East are two separate provinces. However, the ultimate decision on the future of the two provinces lies with the people in the East,` he said.Asked whether his party would participate in future peace talks as a separate delegation, Mr. Bharathi said, there was no immediate decision since the TMVP hoped to be a part of the government. `But if the government is to hold talks prior to an election we should definitely be given a chance to represent `our` people.`
He said his party was not seriously concerned over the recent SLFP power devolution proposals since they did not represent the final solution.
`We also submitted a set of proposals. We are of the opinion that the national problem could be solved by implementing the provincial council system as envisaged under the Indo-Lanka pact in 1987. We are not in favour of a federal solution,` he said.
He also said that the Tamil community did not face problems just because they were born Tamils.
`The main problem is the LTTE. What they did and are doing are creating problems for the Tamils today.`
Mr. Bharathi also said they would lay down arms once the situation returned to normal.
`We carry weapons for our safety, because the LTTE is our prime enemy. Government troops are now engaged in wiping out terrorism in the country. Once the Tigers are defeated or when they hand over their weapons, there will be no need for us to carry arms,` he said.
Commenting on reports about a rift between top TMVP leaders, he said the problem ? a trap set by the by the LTTE - had now been resolved.