Following on an invitation from Mr. Lalith Weerathunga, Secretary to the President to the TNA leader Mr. R. Sampanthan on the night 17th September 2012, for a meeting at the president House on 18th morning, a meeting took place between the President and Mr. Sampanthan as arranged.
Ministers Maithripala and Prof. G L Peris were also at the meeting.
The President congratulated Mr. Sampanthan on coming a good second at the Eastern Provincial Council Election and Mr. Sampanthan stated that if the Elections had been free and fair the TNA would have come first. Mr. Sampanthan further stated that as per the mandate received by the TNA and the SLMC, the TNA invited the SLMC to form a government and offered the SLMC the Chief Minister ship. The UNP would have backed such an arrangement. The President responded by stating that he was quite prepared to sit in the opposition and indicated this to the SLMC and also referred to the offer made by the TNA to the SLMC. He however stated that now things were finalized.
Mr. Sampanthan stated that the eleven members elected to the Eastern provincial Council from the TNA should be able to function freely and independently and without any deterrence or discrimination. If this did not happen it would be mean that the Tamil people were being punished and that this should not be allowed Mr. Sampanthan also stated that five of the elected Provincial Council member from the TNA approached and harassed with offers of vehicles, house, money, and contracts to cross over to the government and that the Telephone numbers and vehicle numbers of these persons, believed to be military intelligence personnel, were available. The President initially denied this but later agreed to look into the matter. Mr. Sampanthan also raised the question of resettlement in sampur and in Valicaman and the appointment of civilians as Governors of the Northern and Eastern provinces and the appoinment of Tamil speaking civilians as Government Agents of Tricomalee and Ampara. The President responded by inviting Mr. Sampanthan to attend the Parlimentary Select Committee and stated that there matters could be addressed when that process commenced Mr. Sampanthan responded by stating that the TNA has never taken up the position that it will not attend the PSC, but has only insisted that commitments made must be implemented before attending the PSC session. It was agreed that this matter would be further pursued on the return of the President from his visit to India.
Press Rekease - R. Sampanthan