By K. Anaga –
Mr. R. Sampanthan, the so-called leader of the opposition, is actually a state sponsored opposition leader. Although he was elected by the people of Trincomalee to look after the interest of the Tamils, he seems to be more concerned about the safety of the ‘Yahapalanaya-Naladchi’ government. He, together with Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran (SAM-SUM) is deaf and blind to the voters who are on the roads for months asking for their lands taken over by the army to be returned, locate the missing relatives and children handed over to the army, release of political prisoners lingering in prisons for years without trial and employment opportunities for the unemployed graduates. Quite a number of graduates appear to have long passed the age of commencing employment, under normal circumstances. These demands are simple and straight forward and need no constitutional amendments or parliamentary approval. What is need is conscience, which the president seems to lack. His Excellency the President Mr. Maithripala Srisena is seen touring the island, preaching what is good, bad and ugly. Unfortunately, the bad and the ugly seem to eclipse the good as far as his government is concerned. Sam-Sum is shamelessly supporting the bad and the ugly with a thick skin. Thus, cheating, not only the Tamils but also the Sinhalese.
May be, the present president HE Maithripala Srisena is awaiting the approval of the former president Rajapakse, whose influence on him seem to be intact, to sort out this problem, despite the fact that he was essentially defeated by the Tamil/Muslim votes.
The Tamils supported the TNA to support the government and obtain relief with regard to the immense humanitarian problems and there after settle the political problems. Unlike Sumanthiran, Sampanthan is not a ‘Podian’ who may not know the past. Sampanthan, had associated with M/s Chelvanayakam, Amirthalingam, Thiruchelvam and perhaps Vanniayasingham and Dr.Naganathan too, who were stalwarts of the Thamil Arasu Kadchi(Federal Party). Even these representatives of the Tamils were taken for a ride by the successive governments of both UNP and SlFP. Written agreements were unilaterally abrogated. Mr.Thiruchevam, once as a Minister in the UNP government had to resign without achieving anything due to lack of co-operation from the government.
Mr.Amirthalingam, became the leader of the opposition, in his own right, as the leader of his party which won the highest number of seats next to UNP, which became the ruling party. Here again, Mr. Amirthalingam, as a leader of the opposition lost sight of the purpose of his election and failed to achieve anything for the Tamils. His activities as a leader of the opposition resulted in him being treated as neither fish nor fowl. Finally a no confidence motion was passed on him by the government members.
Very often, you, Mr. Sumanthiran crie out arrogantly that you have been elected by the Tamil people and therefore other Tamil parties have no say. Yes Sir! You have been elected by the Tamil people, but on what basis and what was your manifesto? Are you adhering to it? .Are you aware of the fact that Illankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (Federal Party) was routed in the 1952 general elections? No! You wouldn’t have been born. Even, Mr. Chelvnayakam lost his seat. After the defeat, if ITAK would have been licking their wounds, without fighting back and educating the Tamil voters of the danger lying ahead, even you and Sampanthar would not be in the parliament to-day, of course, causing irreparable damage to the Tamil speaking people.
Despite his knowledge and past experience, Mr. Sampanthan appears to have dumped himself with his associates into the deep sea without wearing life jackets. It is evident, that some of the representatives are struggling to extricate themselves from the clutches of Sam- Sum, but something seems to hold them back. What is it?
Even the Sinhalese from the south are supporting these legitimate demands. But, unfortunately the TNA led by Sampanthan appears to be in a world of his own on the axis of Sumanthiran or vice versa.
A young boy from Colombo Hindu College, in his speech, a couple of week back, in the presence of Sumanthiran, exposed the double tong treachery of Sam-Sum with documentary evidence. This speech had gone viral in the face book and other media. One would have expected Sumanthiran, at least as a lawyer and not as an MP, to repudiate the statement made by the school boy in an appropriate manner – but it was not to be, as facts are stubborn. Instead, he was humble enough to distribute the prizes to the boys.
It is said, that the present government, unlike the previous government has given the freedom to the people to demonstrate and demand their rights. Fine, but what purpose does it serve? Previously, you were not allowed to demonstrate and you did not get anything. But now, you may demonstrate, but get nothing, except blood, tears and sweat, which are invariably washed away by water cannons. Demonstrations are only ‘a means to an end and not an end in itself’.