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Last updated: 23 October, 2008 - Published 17:34 GMT
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We need police powers - TMVP

TMVP president says Karuna's view on police powers is not that of the party
The leadership of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) has distanced itself from the stand taken by its leader, Karuna, over the devolution of powers.

Kumarasamy Nandagopan, also known as Raghu told BBC Tamil Service said the TMVP is for the full devolution of powers, including police powers, to the regions, contrary to views expressed by Karuna.

Mr. Nadagopan stressed that he is the president of the party according to the registration documents.

Vinayagamurthy Muralitharan (Karuna) was recently appointed as a national list MP by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ruling coalition.

Explanation sought

In a meeting with the heads and editors of media at the presidential secretariat recently, he has said that police powers should not be devolved in to provincial councils, a provision under the 13 amendment to the constitution.

 We are also of the view that devolution of powers at least to the extent of stated in the 13 amendment should be given not only to us but also to all the provincial councils
TMVP president

“We do not need police powers at the moment because of the current security situation,” he said at the meeting chaired by President Rajapaksa.

However, the TMVP president says Karuna’s opinion is not that of the party.

“This announcement by him is shocking to us. This opinion cannot be considered as the opinion of the party or its general council. We are also of the view that devolution of powers at least to the extent of stated in the 13 amendment should be given not only to us but also to all the provincial councils,” Kumarasamy Nandagopan said.

He added that a formal letter was sent to Karuna by the TMVP general secretary asking for explanation.

Administrative functions

“The TMVP has many units such as the political unit, media unit, development unit and so on. I am the president of the political unit and the TMVP,” he said.

Mr. Nandagopan said Kaileswara Raja is in charge of administrative matters of the TMVP, a paramilitary turned political party.

It is widely believed that eastern province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan) is the deputy leader while Karuna is the TMVP leader.

Mr. Nandagopan says it is the chief minister who developed the party.

“The credit for developing all the units of the party goes to the present Chief minister. However certain credit also goes to Karuna since the party was formed based on a decision by Karuna”.

The BBC could not get Karuna’s views in this regard.

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