23 October, 2017

Sampanthan Chosen As New Leader Of The Opposition

Ending a long debate on who will be the opposition leader, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya informed parliament today that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan will lead the opposition in the house.

sampanthan-colombo telegraphWhile announcing his decision Jayasuriya noted that the SLFP and the UPFA which earlier clamoured for the position had not made any submissions on the issue.

A UPFA leader meanwhile said that there was an inside deal with the involvement of some powerful politicians in the Sirisena and the Rajapaksa factions in ensuring a safe passage for Sampanthan to become the opposition leader.

A letter which was sent to the President with the signatures of 57 UPFA MP’s requesting Kumara Welgama to be appointed as the opposition leader was disregarded by Sirisena.

TNA leader R. Sampanthan the Opposition Leader of the Eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka will become the first Tamil in 37 years to occupy the prestigious position.

A. Amirthalingam, became the opposition leader in 1977 when his TULF relegated the SLFP to the third place in parliament.

The TNA, which holds 16 seats in parliament, was demanding the post since the UNP and the SLFP came to an agreement to form a national government.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 6
    4

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    9

    I hope this deal with the Jarapakse group doesn’t mean that the accountability for their actions are not wiped out either with a show or without the show. With the show is continuing with the judicial process and deliberately making the prosecution side weaker. If this ever happens MY3 is killing the momentum with the people who supported him and killing the good governance concept once and for all.

  • 2
    2

    [Edited out] Please write instead of posting link – CT

    • 0
      1

      Anpu,
      CT does not allow to post links to you and me. But it allows Mali Karunaratna below to post links! Who said MR suppressed the press?

  • 11
    0

    Marwan…… many thanks for your true words.

    I watched that interview and profoundly and vividly Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe emphasized the strategy.

    He is a wise leader.
    Both Mr. Maithreepala Sirisena and Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe will do their best for the interest of the country.

    Both of them are not racist.
    They stand on their principles and policies.

    Both of them are good and suitable leaders for the betterment of this country.

    Mahinda, Buruwansa, Vasidewa, Brailess Dinesh and Gembanpila and all henchmen of Mahinda are now frustrated and despondent.

    Mr. Sampanthan is the most suitable Opposition Leader for the country than Walgama.

  • 2
    6

    Hooray !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    What power the less than 1m Northern voters posess…….

    What happened to that big talking JVP & Anura Kumar who collectively got more votes than the TNA ??
    Resigned to the dustbin of Politics ?
    National List candidate Mayadunne too resign……….
    Stuck with $$$$ not knowing how to encash them?

    Its a first in History, looser appointed through the national List appointed Deputy Speaker.
    MY3 kick the Universal suffrage and the Voter in the TEETH to say shut up.

    Paddy Farmers of Polonnaruwa yet languishing with no purchase.
    Has MY3 & Ranil gone into hiding ?

    • 4
      0

      This sounds like sour grapes. The JVP was forced to take a back seat was because the main objective was to get rid of MR. If JVP split the votes MR would still be in govt and most probably further increased the size of govt and Mega Projects that no one wants.
      The way I see it JVP took a hit for the people. They will be stronger next time.

  • 2
    0

    Not bad with less than 600,000 votes

  • 8
    0

    An M.P. who belongs to a party that forms part of a National Government cannot be appointed Leader of the Opposition as well. That would be like having your cake and eating it too.

    Those 56 politicos who signed the petition asking that Kumara Welgama be appointed L.O. are just a bunch of monkeys! They want to continue with the Mahinda brand politics that had turned the previous Parliament into a kind of perverted circus.

  • 1
    6

    The cat is out of the Bag. Why did the government give the leadership of the opposition to Mr.Sambanthan? They won’t have given that position to the Tamil party unless otherwise the Tamil party has agreed to support the government. Mr.Sambanthan has to follow the agenda of government now. Mr.Adaikalanathan MP of the TNA has been appointed as Chairman of the Select Committee and will sit on the Government side. These are the rigmaroles played by the politicians in the name of the people. The immediate and humanitarian needs of the Tamil people have seems to be forgotten by the TNA. Naturally the Sinhala government is not concerned about the Tamil people. Under normal and happy circumstances, the offer of the leadership of the opposition to Mr.Sambanthan would have been welcome. But the people have to wait and see what Mr.Sambanthan is going to do and perform as leader of the opposition.

    • 10
      0

      I don’t see anything wrong in following an agenda if its for the common good. Politicians are rarely forced into politics they volunteer to serve the populous so they better do that with accumulating wealth for family and friends.

      Best wishes to the new govt and the opposition. People deserve better after the crap they have been putting up for the last decade.

  • 4
    0

    The well-seasoned and balanced thinking Sambanthan becoming the Leader of the Opposition is a very healthy development. Besides, the ethnic issue is the only one in which the TNA differs from the parties that have formed the Govt and also with the JVP. Further both the TNA and the JVP have strongly demonstrated their commitment to democracy values. In such a situation the TNA and the JVP sitting and working together in the opposition could bring about a good understanding between two major parties representing the people people of the North and the South on issues that keeps them apart and causes conflicts. This combined opposition of the TNA and the JVP could be very effective bringing pressure on the new Govt to eradicate all the ills of the country and create an healthy nation,

  • 3
    0

    amirthalingam from north became leader of the opposition in 1977.nevil Fernando from panadura proposed a NO-CONFIDENT motion against him.that was followed by 1983 COMMUNAL RIOTS.now in 2015 sampanthan from east has become the leader of the opposition.its looks like history is going to repeat again.wimal weerawnse from kaduwela is acting in this manner is not good for sri-lanka specially for battered tamils .

  • 0
    1

    Sampathan is Prime Minister in waiting eh!

    • 0
      0

      In this world or next? Two facts will not let this happen. One he looks very old. Two TNA is still a small party that contests only in parts of the country.

  • 11
    1

    It is good for Sampanathan
    It is good for Sirisena
    It is good for the Tamils
    It is good for the Sinhalese
    It is good for the US
    It is good for India
    It is good for the UNHRC

  • 1
    0

    TNA in the opposition and also in the Government, so called National Government. Anyway, now after Sampanthan being appointed captain of the opposition it will be easy to have a domestic investigation. Good deal.

  • 4
    0

    A clever move by the govt.!!
    with this the govt did silence the international communinty.

  • 3
    0

    I think this is a good decision by the PM and the President. Now the Sinhalese government has shown genuine interest to solve the long overdue national question in collaboration with the Tamil parties. I saw a news article that Mr. Smabandhan reiterated his committed for unitary state and rejected any separation. Now it is the responsibility of him to show his genuine friendship to Sinhalese people to eliminate misunderstandings between two ethnic groups. Now he is not only a leader of Tamil speaking people, but also the opposition leader for the Sinhala speaking people in the south and Muslims. If he can show this to people in the south, Sinhala extremist parties have no way to criticize giving this position to a person like Mr. Sambanthan and the timely decision of PM and President. Sometimes Mr. Sambanthan can do a better job as an opposition leader to Sinhalese than traditional opposition usually did nothing to both communities. I think the Sinhalese parties correctly took this opportunity which they missed not appointing Mr. Kadiragarmar as a Premier during the Chandrika regime.

    At the same time, I am sure Sri Lankans do not expect from Mr. Sambandhan to go around the world using the position to spared hatred and separatism as Mr. Amirthalingam did as an opposition leader in 1977.

  • 0
    4

    What a better way to accept LTTE than into the Lankan fold. All is forgiven. (but now I hear he is asking for separatism already!)

  • 0
    1

    Because Sampanthar became opposition leader, Jeyakumari arrested again without bail. Colombo Magazine Prison Tamils were tortured. On the pain of the other Tamils, this leadership to serve the Sinhala Royal government is necessary for Sampanthar?

    Sampanthar cannot stop these, so he should resign now not further to torture the Tamils.

  • 0
    1

    Mein gott! It is deja vu all over again.

    This brings memories of the 1977 opposition debacle that brought in A. Amirthalingam as Leader of the Opposition, only to face a motion of no confidence in July 1981.

    Will history repeat itself?

    Is this a poisoned chalice?

    Fasten your seatbelts folks; methinks the ride will be bumpy.

  • 1
    0

    Congratulations Sir! Hopefully this will empower you to work towards a true Federal system in Sri Lanka which the Tamil people who elected you deserve.

  • 0
    0

    You cannot blame anyone but the UPFA secretary who is supposed to have sent a letter to the speaker saying that they (the UPFA) will not form an opposition.

    Looks like there is some disagreement within the UPFA. The good governance thing would be to ask the courts to decide.

    Looks like 77 all over again : remove the SLFP opposition, marginalize the JVP and appoint TNA as opposition leader. UNP heavy handed tactics may not give the results they want, however, there are better ways to form a UNP led government. The Prime Minister is simply wanting to do too much: he is a strong leader with good intentions, I support his efforts, but he has to be more careful otherwise the whole country will be in trouble.

  • 2
    1

    Native Vedda

    You referred to my comments about Amirthalingam in your reply.

    In fairness to Amirthalingam I must say that he was well qualified to be the Opposition Leader.

    I met him during that time in Parliament at the Opposition Leader’s Office to interview him for a radio program. I admired his knowledge about international and regional affairs when he smartly answered my questions which were not discussed with him before hand. He had excellent command of English and was one of the great Sri Lankan Parliamentary debaters. During those days I enjoyed listening to the great contributions Amirthalingam and Sivasithamparam made during Parliamentary debates which were relayed to us at at the SLBC News Room.

    It is also on record that it was Amirthalingam and Sivasithamparam who escorted Mrs Bandaranaike when she left the Parliamentary chambers after being stripped of her civil rights amidst the hooting and jeering of the UNP MPs.

    My only criticism here is that after being made the Opposition Leader he still considered that his duties were only to the Tamils. He could have done better by projecting himself as the Leader of the Opposition of the whole country. In my opinion he did fail in this regard.

  • 3
    0

    UPFA choice was Kumar Welgama. Do you think ths man deserves to be the Opposition leader. Please watch this video

    Wal Katha- Top 10 Sinhala Kunuharupa by Kumara Welgama
    Video for kumara welgama▶ 8:18
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv2NEvziw6g
    Sep 2, 2014 – Uploaded by TopHits Lanka
    THL counts down the top 10 dirty talks (Wal Katha/ Kunuharupa) by Sri Lankan Minister Kumara Welgama …

  • 0
    0

    Get the new voters list and carefully mark the Tamils. They will hide in hidi and pali names. Petrol is cheap now. Tamils make kattamarams ready to drift in the sea. Beware Indian and US, australian donated deep sea patrol are there. And big white sharks are waiting for you. That will be your fate.

  • 1
    0

    It is a wrong move that TNA accepted the position of leader of opposition, instead of joining UNP like what SLMC did. There are 48 ministers and 46 will represent the Sinhala areas and none appointed from Tamil areas so that the Tamils can go to them directly with their problems instead going through a third party. This gives room for militants like Douglas Devananda, Pillian and Karuna Amman, who played havoc with the Tamil people of the N/E under the guidance of the past regime, to creep in as ministers to represent Tamils of N/E and the Govt.will see to it that, this is done to break the unity of the Tamil
    race, under the pretext of good governance. If the Govt.is serious about reconciliation, they could have nominated more Tamils in the National list and appointed them ministers, proportionately in the absence of TNA on their side. There were more Muslims than the Tamils on the NL.

    Frankly, some one must explain as to what The Tamils will gain by
    accepting the opposition leader’s position. This position is to represent the people opposed to the govt. all over the country and
    not only the N/E. For e.g., technically, Mr. Sambanthan Opp.leader should speak for and against federalism, representing both leading communities and he also should visit Sinhala areas as opp.leader and
    attend to their problems as well, while his hands are full with Tamil
    problems.
    How come it did not dawn on TNA leadership that, after having taken
    major part in electing a moderate democratic Govt, as against dict-
    atorial Govt, the Tamil people should not be subjected to humiliation of not having a Tamil minister elected from N/E. Will M/S Mono Ganeshan
    and Swaminathan, who are ministers, know the ground situation in N/E.or
    is TNA prepared to accept the dictates of these two on Tamil issues. If TNA accepted couple of ministries in the Govt.they could settle the Tamil grievances at the cabinet level, one by one without much fan fare, and without giving room for communalists to spread their wings. This is not the period for Tamils to look forward for prestigious positions and perks and what they want is an amicable settlement to move forward along with other communities.
    all along, these difficult period of 60 years, the Tamil leaders were
    under the wrong notion that if Tamils want to achieve something worth
    while, they should be in the opposition and not work alongside the govt.and get it. While wishing Mr. Sambanthan, on his appointment,we pray that God gives him confidence to manage his position without prejudice and he could do it as he is respected by both side of aisle.

  • 0
    0

    Plato has always advocated an Ideal State.True,Idealism is a dream.

    But,mark my words,the TNA will regret this decision as the months roll by.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.