Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Media and Communications, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Trincomalee

Alliance Of Parties In The East?

It was reported today that an alliance of political parties plan to jointly contest local govt elections in Batticaloa, but a closer look is revealing.
The report stated the following:

“An alliance of Tamil political parties has been formed to contest the upcoming local council elections in Batticaloa, EPDP leader and Minister Douglas Devananda said yesterday adding that a final decision on the party symbol and other details would be decided upon within the next few days.

Minister Devananda said the alliance was formed between the EPDP, TMVP (Pillayan faction), PLOTE and EPRLF (Varathar faction) following an invitation extended by the EPDP and an agreement was reached to that effect at a meeting held in Batticaloa on Saturday. “The alliance was formed following the meeting held between the area political leaders of the Tamil parties in Batticaloa on Saturday. The alliance will focus on the rights of Tamils in Batticaloa and the development of the district,” Minister Devananda told the Daily Mirror quoting a joint statement signed by the representatives of the parties at the weekend meeting.”

While the EPDP spokesman confirmed the same story to me, TMVP’s Pillayan however said that a decision had not been reached. He said that though such a discussion had taken place the TMVP position would be stated once a decision had been made.
A TMVP source told me that there were concerns that EPDP and the other parties were seen as mainly from the North while TMVP identified themselves as from the East. He added that the TMVP might not have the freedom to do political work in the north, if the situation was reversed.