Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday held out the offer of political concessions to the Tamil minority including a second chamber in parliament to ensure increased representation as he geared up for the final phase in the run-up to the January 26 presidential election.
“The end of the war does not mean the end of the conflict. We need to politically address the needs of Tamils,’’ he said.
The Tamils, spread across the north and east of the country, account for 12.5 per cent of country’s 20 million population.
He was interacting with foreign journalists over breakfast at his official home, Temple Trees, on Tuesday.
On the role of Sri Lanka’s closest and biggest neighbour, India, Rajapaksa said he was in touch with New Delhi. “As of now, they (India), I think, are with me. But India is watching.’’
Referring to Sarath Fonseka, retired army chief and strongest contender, Rajapaksa said: “I do not think India will support a military man (in Sri Lanka).”