By V. Anandasangaree –
This is an urgent invitation, coming from one who is one of the most senior Tamil politicians, of 84 years, still active in politics, to all the Sri Lankan Tamils living in Sri Lanka and elsewhere spread all over the world. The invitation is to know the truth, without being moved by sentiments and false reports. This is a desperate call to all young and old, students, teachers, undergraduates, professors, lecturers, doctors, engineers and above all every Tamil citizen. This need arose, due to the indifferent attitude many of us showed in the past to the ethnic problem, which after several years of non violent agitation, arms struggle etc, ended up with the death of several thousand innocent people men women and children, youths of both sex and destruction of billions worth of property. All of us must admit that leaving the responsibility in the hands of a small group of persons had been our serious mistake. When we woke up we saw so much of destruction had taken place in our midst.
The country and the people, more particularly the Tamil people, are still in a confused state. It is my duty as far as possible to pull out the country and the people from the present confusion that is prevailing in the country. It is very unfortunate, although over a period of time I had been trying hard to impress on the Tamil people as to why this confusion arose, most of them don’t seem to have understood the problem properly. The route cause for the confusion is due to the trust and confidence the people still have on the TNA and the Federal Party and their leaders without realizing the extensive damage that had been caused to the Tamil people that cannot be valued in terms of money.
To start with the TNA, the people are still made to believe that the TNA is the savior of the Tamil people. I have made it very clear that it was neither founded by the LTTE nor by Taraki as people had been made to believe. At the most appropriate time in Feb 2004 Taraki made it clear that:-
1. The Tamil National Alliance has been made out to be more than what it actually is. If not for a variety of external pressures, it would have imploded at inception.
2. It is a myth that it is managed by the Liberation Tigers.
3. That some of the leading politicians have had no scruples in running with the hare and hunting with the hound and smartly exploiting the LTTE for their own political advantage.
4. That some of them wouldn’t even care two hoots for the struggle and the aspirations of the Tamil people.
5. He had also said that even the name TNA was imposed by the Tamil media when the TULF and the All Ceylon Tamil Congress preferred to call it the ‘alliance of Tamil political parties’.
6. That the dominant image of the TNA as the political paw of the Tigers is deceptive.
8. That several interest groups in the North East should be brought under one Tamil National Umbrella regardless of their deep divisions and regardless of their long association with the military and allegations of rights abuses.
9. That when the matter was discussed with the Tamil United Liberation Front stalwart who strongly objected to the TELO and the EPRLF joining the proposed alliance claiming that the Tigers were completely opposed to the two groups.
10. That it was Karikalan a senior Tiger leader in the East who had said that the LTTE had no objection at all to the TELO and the EPRLF joining the alliance but also very keen that the two groups and the PLOTE should be brought under the Tamil National umbrella as soon as possible. (This was at a time when PLOTE,EPRLF and TELO were officially working with the Sri Lanka army in intelligence and counter insurgency operations)
11. That it was only at the eleventh hour that ACTC was persuaded to contest under the common ‘Rising Sun’ symbol. That the Federal Party gave up its long established ‘HOUSE’ symbol when the ‘Rising Sun’ was adopted by the Tamil national unity that emerged at the Vaddukoddai Conference that year, subsuming the ACTC and the FP by the new political identity of the TULF.
12. That is why one time ACTC stalwarts like M. Sivasithambaram and Anandasangaree continued their political carriers with the new political identity that they accepted with the forging of the TULF. Federal party leaders gave up their established political identity when the TULF was launched. Today the FP exists only on paper.
The above list is comprised of several extracts from an article of Taraki published on the 11th February, 2004. The contents of this article cannot be ignored. At the same time certain matters need some explanation. At that time in 2004 the people were made to believe that the TNA was a creation of the LTTE, that the LTTE had full control of the TNA and some other minor matters like some politicians making use of it for their personal benefits, that they were not much bothered for the struggle and aspirations of the Tamil people are matters that has shocked everybody. It is now very clear that under the name of the TNA the innocent people had been taken for a ride at heavy loss to them including loss of life. It is also clear that the TNA was formed by the TULF but named by the media although the TULF and the ACTC wanted it to be named as Alliance of Tamil Political Parties.
Although much effort had been taken for over two years by a group of Tamil organizations to bring all Tamil political parties under one umbrella, those who were in the forefront did not whisper even one word about the unity of all political parties. If only they had made it known that unity of all Tamil political parties was sought, I don’t think ultimately the struggle would have ended in the death of several thousand men women, children and total eradication of a freedom movement with several thousand brave youths and their leaders.
What vicious intension the so called TULF stalwart had in telling the Tamil groups that the Tigers will not accept the EPRLF and the TELO joining the alliance we don’t know, but it was not done with good intension. Perhaps they were trying to promote their own political party, the Federal party.
On the whole it is very clear that all arrangements had already been made for the TNA to contest under one symbol the ‘Rising Sun’, a common policy and one party. It is very clear that the Federal Party successfully sabotaged this move.
If the 2004 election had been contested as planed by the Tamil groups with full backing of the LTTE there is no doubt that a party common to all with a common policy and the symbol of the TULF the ‘Rising Sun’ would have contested the 2004 general election and would have won all the 22 seats in a democratic way, the war would have stopped and talks would have started with the government. Above all several thousands and thousands of lives would have been saved. Today the country would have become prosperous with all problems the ethnic problem in particular, also would have reached a solution or at-least talks would have commenced with the government with hopes of a fair settlement. The defeat in the war, large scale loss of lives, the eradication of the freedom movement, if compared with the activities of the TNA will clearly show that the TNA did not work in the interest of the Tamil people but only worked in the interest of some individuals. The activities of the Federal Party that functioned as a partner of the TNA, will be brought to light soon.