(Tamil and Muslim parties feel betrayed says DPF leader and national executive council member Mano Ganesan in a media statement. The full text of the press release issued by the DPF media office is given below)
Parties representing Tamil and Muslim people in this country were against the abolition of the executive presidency. This was our original stand. But later we changed our stands to be in the national band wagon with the political parties and civil movements such as that led by Ven. Sobitha those wanted executive presidency abolished.
The minorities in this country obtained whatever the rights and arrangements in force today in this country were agreed upon during the tenures of the presidents J.R. Jayawardene, R. Premadasa and Chandrika Bandaranayke Kumaratunga. Despite this fact we stood with national mainstream that wanted executive presidency out.
When we understood and agreed to play with the rest, what is happening today is pathetic. We feel betrayed. The majority parties and forces fail to understand the sentiments of the minority parties. The current PR electoral system is the best system that has paved way not only for minority parties but also for the minor parties. We agree on the shortcomings of the current system. They have to be rectified. But such rectification should not lead to large blunders in haste.
We call upon all those who campaign for the electoral reforms to let the next elections to be held under the current system. Any new system need to address our fears. We need further discussions. Besides the voters need to be given reasonable time to understand the new system. We cannot agree to the private agendas of certain big parties those wanted reform to suit their own ends.
We will seek legal intervention to stop any unilateral actions on this subject. The minority and minor parties are meeting on Sunday evening in Colombo to formulate our common stand on this all important issue of electoral reform and our plan of action.