As the deadline to the UNP–TNA May Day rally gets closer, the TNA appears to be splitting with the eastern sector of the party pulling out from the main event scheduled in Jaffna, well informed TNA sources disclose.Hence, the main opposition UNP now appears to trek on a course of derailment with a section of the TNA refusing to join the UNP on May 01.
Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarian P. Ariyanenthiran said he and his parliamentary colleagues in the East would not join the TNA–UNP rally in Jaffna but would participate at a separate May Day Rally in Batticaloa. “We will also have similar rallies in Vavuniya and Kilinochchi,” Ariyanenthiran said.
Meanwhile, TNA spokesman and Jaffna district MP Suresh Premachandran, who was earlier non committal of his participation in the Jaffna Rally, told The Nation he would abide by the party decision and be present at the Jaffna rally.
UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa, who would be busy on May Day with his father’s death anniversary events in Colombo, claimed that his absence in Jaffna on that day has been accepted by the party as he never did attend UNP rallies outside Colombo on May Day in the past. “I have to give precedence to the death anniversary events of my father and the party has accepted that position,” Premadasa asserted.
Democratic People’s Front leader and former parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan, who plays a key role in organizing a joint UNP- TNA rally in Jaffna on May Day, said the move was to integrate the Tamil people with the mainstream of politics of the country.
UNP stalwart and former deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya was not available for comment yesterday, and his aides claimed Jayasuriya was out of the country.
The joint UNP-TNA rally is backed by the Democratic People’s Front, the Nava Samasamaja Party and the United Socialist Party.