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Sampanthan urges all parties to cooperate on adopting a new constitution


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Opposition Leader and leader of the main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) R. Sampanthan says failure of successive governments since Independence in 1948 to resolve the ethnic problem has left the island nation behind in economic development.

“As a result of the unresolved national question, we have faced the lack of peace and harmony and development of the country... Our failure in genuinely addressing the national question has left us far behind in economic development and prosperity in the region,” the Tamil political leader said in his Independence Day message.

The Opposition leader urged all political party leaders to cooperate to adopt a new Constitution, which will genuinely address the root causes of the conflict and preserve the dignity of every citizen of this country.

“We must come together to find a lasting solution through a new Constitution, the supreme law of the country,” he said.

The following is the full text of the Opposition Leader’s message:

With gratitude to our forefathers who fought for independence, I issue this message on the 70th Independence Day of our country.

We are at a crucial juncture of our history as we celebrate seventy years of Independence. As a country, we have not been able to enjoy the true benefits of the independence in the past.

As a result of the unresolved national question, we have faced the lack of peace and harmony and development of the country. The ethnic issue has widened the gap between communities and has caused distrust and disunity amongst our people.

The country as a whole is still struggling to come out of the adverse impact of the armed struggle. As we look back at the past seventy years, our losses outweigh our gains. Our failure in genuinely addressing the national question has left us far behind in economic development and prosperity in the region.

The past has left us with more events of grief and sadness than happiness and joy. But we cannot allow the past to be repeated. We must unite as people of one country, and it is only possible when people are treated with dignity and self-respect.

Therefore, l urge all political parties and leaders to cooperate to adopt a new Constitution. A Constitution that will genuinely address the root causes of the conflict and preserve the dignity of every citizen of this country. We must come together to find a lasting solution through a new Constitution, the supreme law of the country. My appeal to the leaders and the people of this country is to come together to find a reasonable and acceptable political solution, which will have an enormous impact in rebuilding our shattered economy and in bringing lasting peace and harmony amongst our people.

Let us not miss the opportunity before us to create a better future for our country and its people.


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