COLOMBO: An influential Tamil diaspora group based in the UK has asked the Tamil people in Sri Lanka to use every vote carefully in the January 8 Presidential election.
In a statement published in the local media today, the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has stressed on the need for the Tamils to exercise their vote.
"GTF is fully aware that in the post-independent Sri Lanka, Tamil people have continuously lost their rights under a flawed majoritarian electoral system.
"Their desire to have a degree of control in the Tamil majority areas was never granted, despite repeated democratic expressions of their wishes through all available electoral means," it said in the statement.
"Nevertheless, from our perspective, whether Sri Lanka should continue in the same path or whether change should be taken at this juncture to stop and reverse this trajectory is the fundamental question facing the electorate," the GTF said.
In a similar statement, the Tamil Civil Society Forum yesterday asked Tamils to vote according to their conscience.
"If taking a just position on the Tamils question during an election will lead to a candidate losing Sinhala Buddhist votes we wonder how that candidate will be able to mobilize the Sinhala people towards accepting a fair deal for the Tamils once he or she is in power," it said.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeks a third term based on his leadership during the defeat of the LTTE, who ran a violent separatist campaign for over 30 years.