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Sri Lanka’s Tamil Political Parties Plan to Field Minority Candidate for Presidential Election, Says Senior Leader

A senior community leader has revealed that Sri Lanka’s Tamil political parties are strategizing to nominate a candidate from the minority community for the upcoming presidential election, aiming to offer a credible and acceptable political solution for them.

Scheduled for the last quarter of 2024, Sri Lanka’s next presidential election is expected to conclude by mid-November at the latest.

Speaking to reporters at his residence in the eastern district of Trincomalee on Sunday, senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan emphasized the importance of backing a candidate in the presidential race who commits to addressing all issues concerning the Tamil minority through a viable political resolution.

Sampanthan highlighted that the political parties forming the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) have put forward the idea of fielding a Tamil candidate. However, he cautioned that such a candidate might not garner significant support, urging the parties to deliberate on the most effective strategy.

Furthermore, Sampanthan stressed that the paramount consideration for the Tamil community should be supporting a candidate who advocates for a credible and acceptable political solution, particularly through the merger of the north and east provinces.

Responding to inquiries about potential support for incumbent Ranil Wickremesinghe should he enter the race, Sampanthan indicated that such decisions would hinge on discussions with Wickremesinghe following his submission of nominations for the election.

In the history of Sri Lanka’s presidential elections since 1982, Tamil candidates have participated, often aligning with the opposition front-runner against the incumbent in most instances.

Source: PTI

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