Colombo, Feb 25 (IANS) Rehabilitated former members of the now defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militant group have formed a new political party with the hope of contesting Sri Lanka’s general elections this year, a media report said on Tuesday.
M.A. Yogeshwaran, the media spokesman of the party registered as ‘The Vanni Tamil People Union’, said it included 13 former members of the militant group that waged the almost three-decades long civil war for an independent Tamil Eelam state in the north and east of the island nation.
The party has decided to contest the elections representing the Jaffna and Vanni districts.
Many youths from universities and professionals including engineers and doctors have obtained membership of this party, the Daily Mirror newspaper report quoted Yogeshwaran as saying.
He said the objective of their party was to conduct development activities with the participation of youths in Vanni and provide solutions to issues faced by people in the mainland area of the Northern Province since any political party functioning in the region had failed to do so.
Even though politicians in the Eastern Province work in cooperation with politicians in the South in order to provide solutions to issues faced by people in the East, political parties in the North only work for their personal benefits and as a result the problems faced by people in Vanni remain the same, the Daily Mirror quoted the spokesman as saying.
He hoped to hold discussions with major political parties in the South.
Founded in May 1976 by Velupillai Prabhakaran, the LTTE was active in the until the civil war ended in May 2009.
The group carried out high profile assassinations, including that of late Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993.
In the 26 year long civil war, over 80,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka.