Sri Lanka's new Constitution falls short of expectations Tamil party

    Colombo, Jan 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka's Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) has said it will reject any attempt to formulate a new Constitution, claiming that the proposals which have been announced so far fall short of an acceptable solution for the Tamils in terms of the devolution of power.
    The TELO, a constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), in a statement said that the party stood for a federal solution based on the concept of fully fledged self determination for the Tamils in the north and east, but the current proposals are aimed at preserving the unitary character of the island.
    The Tamil party's opposition comes days after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday said the new Constitution would not change the unitary nature of the country.
    Wickremesinghe's comments came in the wake of his political opponents headed by opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa alleging that his government is drafting a new Constitution to appease the main Tamil political party - Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
    The TELO recalled that the TNA which is their larger political front had received a public mandate to urge for a federal solution to address all Tamil grievances.
    The statement said that the proposals contained in the report issued recently merits only rejection as it aimed at preserving the unitary character while guaranteeing the foremost place for the majority religion Buddhism.
    It said the proposals would strengthen the Sinhala Buddhist majority community and place restrictions on the extent of power devolution to address Tamil issues.
    A report of the expert panel was submitted in parliament two weeks ago from the Constitution making process, which got underway in 2016.
    The Tamil struggle for self determination took a violent turn since the mid 1970s when the LTTE waged a bloody separatist war to create a separate Tamil homeland until it was militarily crushed in 2009.
    The TELO was originally created as a militant group, but its members later transformed the group into a political party. PTI CORR ZH