Sunday, July 24, 2011

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Devananda happy with the results

  • Sunday, July 24, 2011
  • Aruntha Kanagaratnam
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  • The Local Government election result in the Jaffna and Kilinochchi districts has abundantly proved the Tamil people’s confidence in the government though opposition parties in the region carried out an organized political campaign to promote racism among the Tamil people by potraying humanitarian operation which crushed the LTTE terrorism as a war against Tamils, Traditional Industries and Small Enterprises Development Minister Douglas Devananda said.

    He was addressing the media at the EPDP office in Jaffna yesterday.

    “We wanted to serve the Tamil people in a friendly environment where all ethnic groups would thrive with equal rights and preserving their identities. But extremist politicians wanted to sow the seeds of chauvinism and exploit the sentimental feelings of Tamils to their favour. They created a feeling that EPDP was working for the Sinhala government and not attempting to address Tamil grievance,” he said.

    “Through their political campaign they deliberately highlighted the ethnic difference and attempted to evoke hatred in the ‘Sinhala’ government,” Devananda said.

    “But as realistic politicians, we never allowed the Tamil people to consider other nationals as enemies. We made all attempts to help the innocent Tamil people in the region by establishing cordial relationship with the government,” the minister said.

    “I take this opportunity to thank President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa who came forward with a genuine idea to redress the Tamils issue,” Devananda said.

    Minister Devananda said though people were misguided by the opportunistic politicians, people voted for the UPFA with an aim to develop the region and to find an answer to their problems. He pledged that he will make maximum effort to serve the public and let them live as free citizens anywhere in the country.

    He thanked his constituents who kept confidence in them and by defeating all clandestine campaigns which tried to sow hatred against other communities.

    Devananda said these selfish politicians wanted to keep the Tamil problem unsolved as their existence depends on prolonging this issue.

    “Some newspapers published in the Jaffna district carried pictures of the 1983 July riots to turn the trend to their side. No obstacles were imposed to prevent their political campaign by the government and we wanted to have a free and fair election leaving the people to elect their representatives according to their wish,” he said.

    “We pointed out to the people how to develop the region instead of campaigning on racial issues. Therefore, we could be proud with the results we gained at the election,” he said.

    “Even the presence of members of the majority community in the election campaign was also used to create fear among the voters that the government was attempting to rig the election,” Devananda said.

    “They used their websites also to propagate the wrong picture to push the pressure on Tamils to decide to whom they should vote for,” he said.

    “They distributed handouts among the Tamil students to invoke hate feelings in the government,” he said. “The government has taken more votes than in the previous election and the time will come when the public will be convinced that they should rally round the government in the future,” Devananda said.

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