The Tamil National Alliance has decided to back MP Dullas Alahapperuma for interim president at today’s crucial vote in Parliament that will decide which of the three candidates in the fray will finish former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s term.
“There are no ideal choices in this interim election,” TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran said in a statement, vowing to hold Alahapperuma to his pledge to enact the 21st amendment and deliver on economic and democratic reform if he is elected President.
“Parliament has a duty to give expression to the people’s protests that deposed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and ensure the interim president earns the legitimacy and moral authority to govern the country,” the TNA spokesman said.
The interim President will hold office only in trust, until the next election, Sumanthiran said.
See text of full statement by TNA Spokesman below:
After a careful consideration of our choices in today’s election of an interim president by Parliament, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has decided to extend our support to MP Dullas Alahapperuma.
Parliament has a duty to give expression to the people’s protests that deposed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and ensure the interim president represents the people, and earns the legitimacy and moral authority to govern the country.
Sri Lanka is facing monumental economic challenges affecting all citizens, including the Tamil people whose economic struggles are compounded by the enduring impact of the war, and neglect by successive governments.
To navigate this unprecedented crisis, we believe Sri Lanka needs a stable government, one that must gain the trust of the people by heeding their call, after the historic citizens’ uprising and much-needed political awakening in the country.
The Aragalaya demanded systemic and deep-rooted changes, including the recognition of minority rights, truth, justice and accountability for crimes committed during the war, and a just and durable political solution to the Tamil question.
Even as we cast our vote for a consensus government led by MP Dullas Alahapperuma, the TNA will keep the pressure up on the new administration on the long-standing demands of the Tamil people and engage constructively on rebuilding our economy.
While TNA represents Tamils of the North and East, as a party that believes in an inclusive, united, undivided, and indivisible Sri Lanka, we remain committed to national economic recovery. We recognise the need for urgent measures, especially to help our most vulnerable people.
TNA has long held that meaningful economic recovery and stability in Sri Lanka hinges on all its people feeling heard, included, and equal. We will keep pushing for a just political solution for the Tamil people, which is central to our country’s economic growth and prosperity.
We recognise that there are no ideal choices in this interim election. If he succeeds today, the TNA will hold Mr. Alahapperuma accountable for delivering on the 21st amendment to the constitution and the democratic and economic reform that citizens are clamouring for.
He will hold the presidency in trust only, until popular will can be given expression in the next election. (NewsWire)