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UNP candidate vies for Tamil votes in Jaffna

The United National Party candidate for Jaffna Vijayakala Maheswaran has released a poster with her photo appearing alongside the image of a Tamil Eelam map, as part of her campaign ahead of next week’s parliamentary elections.

Earlier she had declared that if elected, Ms Maheswaran would allow Mahatma Gandhi’s 1927 visit to Jaffna to be commemorated in the North-East.

The Indian leader visited the peninsula on the 26th and 27th of November, coinciding with important dates in the Eelam Tamil calendar - the leader of the LTTE Velupillai Prabhakaran's birthday on the 26th and the national day of remembrance Maaveerar Naal on the 27th of November.

 

The Sri Lankan government currently suppresses any form of commemoration on those days, going as far as removing bells from temples and churches and beefing up military presence across the Tamil homeland.

Last month Ms Maheswaran also reportedly refuse to raise the Sri Lankan flag at a sports event in Jaffna.

However, in the run up to the election the UNP has been staunch in its rejection of federalism and giving Buddhism the foremost place on the island, as was declared in their manifesto and reiterated by Mr Wickremesinghe last week. A host of Sinhala parties have almost unanimously endorsed the same position.

Earlier this year the party also declared that it would protect Mr Rajapaksa from any potential war crimes probe.

Ms Maheswaran is the widow of former Tamil Member of Parliament Thiyagarajah Maheswaran, who was shot dead by gunmen while he was paying homage at a temple in Colombo in January 2008. The Sri Lankan government was blamed for the assassination by the UNP.

See our earlier posts:

Tamil MP shot dead in temple (07 Jan 2008)

Government blamed (07 Jan 2008)