Colombo, Feb 20 (PTI) Sri Lanka’s Opposition Leader R Sampanthan has slammed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa for his remarks during the recent poll campaign that a vote for the ruling UNP or SLFP would be a vote to revive the Tamil Eelam – a separate Tamil state. Also Read - Govt Permits Pakistan PM Imran Khan to Use Indian Airspace For His Maiden Visit To Sri Lanka

Speaking in parliament, Sampanthan yesterday said that during the pre-poll campaign this message was propagated amongst the Sinhalese people in this country. Also Read - Coronavirus: Sri Lanka To Vaccinate 225 Parliamentarians From Tuesday

“They were told, ‘this is a referendum for an Eelam. If you vote for the Government or if you vote for the UNP, it will result in an Eelam being created. So, do not vote for them’,” said Sampanthan, also the leader of the Tamil National Alliance. Also Read - This Country Will Resume International Flights After Christmas

Sampanthan said his party in its election manifesto stated that it wants a political solution within the framework of ‘undivided, indivisible single country”.

“We only talked of a solution that is acceptable to our people, that is reasonable substantial power-sharing within the framework of a united, undivided, indivisible single country. That was the propaganda we carried out in all our areas and when we did that, how dare president Rajapaksa say that Eelam could bloom after the election,” the Tamil leader said.

Sampanthan stressed, “Eelam will bloom, not on account of us, but on account of your ‘Lotus Bud’. Your ‘Lotus Bud’ will bloom into an Eelam. That is what will happen. Therefore, please resist your temptation to achieve cheap political gain by carrying on such false propaganda”.

Rajapaksa’s lotus bud party swept the poll in the Sinhala majority parts of the island winning 225 councils or two-thirds of the 340 councils.

The UNP won only 41 councils while the SLFP was a distant third with just 11 in the first electoral test of the unity government headed by Sirisena.

The LTTE, which led the separatist war for a separate Tamil homeland, was crushed by the Lankan military in 2009 with the death of its supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.