20 May, 2019

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Significance And Challenges Of The TNA Decision

By S. I. Keethaponcalan

Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

Dr S.I. Keethaponcalan

Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) made the decision to back the opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena about ten days before the election. The decision was not easy as the party was under pressure from internal as well as external groups to either boycott the election or to stay neutral. The party finally came out and announced the decision on December 30, 2014. This was a significant move.

First, the boycott call came from within the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in the West. Locally, rival Tamil parties such as the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), leading members of the TNA, and Tamil civil society groups resisted the idea to participate in the election. Some of them wanted the TNA to stay neutral and other advocated for a boycott. In a way, the TNA strengthened the call for a boycott and thus the pressure on itself through earlier pronouncements that the party had no confidence in either (major) candidates. Sanity however, prevailed. Now we know that the party is not boycotting the election and not staying neutral. The TNA has become a partner in the common opposition alliance.

In the last few years Tamil politics was stalemated due to the attitude and policies of the Sri Lankan government and the TNA. Now, the party has decided to vote for a change. Therefore, if the opposition alliance wins the election, the TNA will have an opportunity to play a more proactive role in the Sri Lankan politics and promote the interest of the community that it represents within accepted parameters. A decision to stay neutral or boycott the election would have further isolated the party from mainstream politics. The decision has the potential to undo the isolation the party faced thus far, which in turn could solve some of the major problems. If elected, the new government led by Sirisena and the TNA just need to be reasonable.

TNA Sampanthan SumanthiranThere is no guarantee that everything will be rosy between these two parties in the post-election period. Yet, it is worth a try. Given the nature of the opposition coalition, especially the minority participation, if elected, the Sirisena led government could device new mechanisms for improved ethnic relations. There will be an opportunity to look at ethnic issues from a new perspective.

Second, the call for a boycott mainly came from the Tamil diaspora in the West. The Tamil diaspora in the West is not homogeneous. However, a radical segment within the diaspora led the call for a boycott. This group tries to shape and determine the political agenda of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Their strength emanates from the fact that they supported the war efforts of the LTTE financially. At times, the TNA itself was trying to appease this group by adopting hardline policies. Since the realities of the two groups, the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the diaspora, are different and any consequence of all policies or actions will be faced by the people in the country, policy making power should be with the people in Sri Lanka; not the diaspora. The diaspora could and should support the decision of the people who live in the reality.

Obviously, the TNA by deciding to participate in the election and support the opposition common candidate has successfully resisted the dictates of the diaspora. This is significant and could be a new beginning. In fact the TNA and the diaspora are dependent on each other for their politics. Therefore, the TNA decision could mark the beginning of a new relations between these two entities. The Tamil people in Sri Lanka and their political leadership should be the dominant partners in this relationship.

Therefore, the present decision of the TNA is notable and significant. However, it is not without its challenges. The first and foremost challenge is the possibility of a rift within the party. As already indicated, the call for boycott also came from within the party. Some of the second tier leaders like Ananthi Sasitharan and Shivajilingam advocated a boycott and are extremely unhappy about the present decision. It is believed that a number of leading members also subscribed to the idea of a boycott. Some of these leaders have already indicated that they will boycott the election regardless of the decision of the party hierarchy. Hence, there is a possibility of serious disagreements and accusations in the future.

This election is already proved to be the most divisive in nature as almost all the parties are divided. Now the TNA could also face similar problems. One has to wait and see how the TNA leadership will handle differences of opinion within the party on the election.

The second challenge is to deliver the 80 percent votes the party gained in the Northern Province to Sirisena. It is important to note that the TNA decision came rather late. To be really effective the common opposition alliance and the TNA should have come to an understanding before the postal votes began. A concrete decision by the TNA before the postal votes would have allowed the Tamil electors to vote with confidence, which would have favored Sirisena. Probably, Sirisena lost a few votes there.

Some argue that the TNA decision was delayed due to strategic designs. It remains to be seen if this strategy was effective. The indecisiveness of the TNA for a considerable period and the lateness of the present decision allowed the advocates of boycott and the government to make inroads into the Tamil vote base. For example, at least a small number of Tamil voters, will stay away from the elections due to the influence of advocates of a boycott.

Also, it is imperative to note that President Rajapaksa polled about 25 percent of the votes in Jaffna and Vanni districts in 2010. Given the mood prevailed within the Tamil community in 2010, this was an impressive number. The indecisiveness of the TNA probably allowed the President to campaign effectively among the Tamil voters. It won’t be surprising if the President increases his gains in these two districts in January. If the TNA is serious about delivering those 80 percent of the votes to Sirisena in January, it will have to campaign hard in the remaining one week before the election. This will be a tough ask.

*Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan is Chair of the Conflict Resolution Department, Salisbury University, Maryland   

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  • 1
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    S. I. Keethaponcalan –

    RE: Significance And Challenges Of The TNA Decision

    1. “First, the boycott call came from within the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora in the West”

    They are known as Tamil MOOTAAL Community or Tamil Madu Community, given the current situation.

    It was the same Tamil MOOTAAL Community that got Mahinda Rajapaksa elected, and many of the Tamil MOOTAALs are gone., bur looks like many are still left.

    2. Second, the call for a boycott mainly came from the Tamil diaspora in the West. The Tamil diaspora in the West is not homogeneous. However, a radical segment within the diaspora led the call for a boycott

    Second, They are known as Tamil MOOTAAL Community or Tamil Madu Community, given the current situation.

    Who is not a Tamil MOOTAAL Community member?

    Anandasangaree.

    Anandasangaree hits out at TNA

    http://colombogazette.com/2014/12/31/anandasangaree-hits-out-at-tna/

    The Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) V Anandasangaree has hit out at the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for publicly calling on the Tamils to vote for common opposition Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

    Anandasangaree said that the public announcement by the TNA could have consequences and in his opinion the TNA should have allowed the Tamils to make their own choice.

    “The TNA had taken three weeks from the day of nomination, to announce the name of the candidate of their choice. The excuse they gave was that they were waiting for the arrival of Mr. R.Sampanthan from India where he had gone for a medical check up, for which three weeks are not required. He could have been either summoned or his views obtained over the phone. The claim that they had wide discussions with members of other organisations and important personalities is far from the truth. But from the day of nomination till now a number of Members of the alliance parties, had directly or indirectly announced their decisions and over 5,00,000 voters have already cast their votes. There should be a limit to misleading the innocent people,” he said.

    Anandasangaree said that the TNA’s announcement to support the New Democratic Front candidate will prove counterproductive and also detrimental for the cause.

    He noted that there are several thousands of Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese who had undergone untold hardships and also lost very many kith and kin as a result of the war.

    “This is why I warned the TNA much earlier, to join cautiously without alerting these people and leave it to them to decide as to who they should vote. My suggestion will look reasonable for some and ridiculous to others. Left alone the whole episode will appear to be a dream, if alerted the consequences will be terrible,” he said.

    Anandasangaree also said it is his strong view that TNA leader R. Sambanthan and TNA Parliamentarian, M.A.Sumanthiran alone cannot solve a problem without the assistance of the leaders of the other parties to the alliance. (Colombo Gazette)

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    TNA made a clear decision to support common candidate, Maithree. They may have acted independently without the compulsions of the diaspora or others which augurs well for everyone.
    The people who had left the country and are permanent residents of other countries have no right or claim to dictate the Tamil politicians. These are people who had left Srilanka looking for economic opportunities to satsfy their personal gains. Why should local Tamil politicians listen to them?

    TNA by their decision has given indications of their interest of the whole country and not only of Tamil issues. Someone has to move the ball and TNA has given the start and similarly with mutual respect and understanding Maithree/Ranil should extend their collaboration so that they can reach agreement
    To bring real peace to all Lankans.

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      dcn,

      “The people who had left the country and are permanent residents of other countries have no right or claim to dictate the Tamil politicians. These are people who had left Srilanka looking for economic opportunities to satsfy their personal gains. Why should local Tamil politicians listen to them? “

      What are Rajapakse brothers (American citizens ) and other Australians doing in Sri Lanka?

      Most Tamils were forced to leave the country. They left the country not for economical reason.

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      “”The people who had left the country and are permanent residents of other countries have no right or claim to dictate the Tamil politicians. These are people who had left Srilanka looking for economic opportunities to satsfy their personal gains. Why should local Tamil politicians listen to them?”””

      These sort of bullshit arguments is very dangerous. If this is the true mentality of those who wants a change of politics then I think TNA and Tamils should consider their decision to support the opposition candidate. Tamils who left this country did not go merely for economic benefits. Further during the past 30 years and even now Tamils who live in the North East depend on their family members who live abroad (Diaspora) for their day to day life. If not, they would have all died because of hunger. The Srilankan state or Sinhalese did not bothered about their livelihood. You Sinhalese who blocked A9 route and you maintained the population of vanni at 70000. You all never questioned your state about thousands of Tamils massacred.

      The relationship between Tamil Diaspora, Tamils in Sri Lanka and TNA cannot be questioned by anybody. If you want reconciliation it should be with the origins of Tamils of Srilanka and you should not play divide and rule game. Reconciliation is about building Trust and it is the responsibility of Sinhalese who hold power and should avoid such statements.

      In another note, it is wrong to say LTTE was funded by Diaspora. LTTE was funded by Tamils of Srilanka. Almost every Tamil contributed to LTTE and other armed groups to fight occupying Sinhala army and State.LTTE members are sons and daughters of Tamils not imported from Moon.

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    The TNA made the correct decision at the correct time. Had they made this decision earlier there would have been a backlash in the South. The radical Tamil diaspora are totally divorced from reality and have still not got over their Eelam hang over! All Tamils, whether in the island or overseas have to bear in mind that the ultimate solution to the national question has to be evolved locally through reconciliation and goodwill. It will never ever come through any external help, be it from India, the West or even the UN. These external agencies will only be primarily concerned with their interests and not with any Tamil interests.

    Sengodan. M

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    Keethapngalan
    Thank you for writing this before it is too late.

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      If Maithri Sirisena wins, the academics should educate him to be a statesman:

      ‘Movement joint’ described by Prof Priyan Dias in Groundviews.org on 24 December 2014 must be explained to him.
      A statesman must be prepared to do what successive Prime Ministers and Presidents have been failing to do – this was pointed out by Prof John Richardson in his presentation(April 2010) as part of the Global Asia Institute Speaker Series (2010), National University of Singapore and reproduced in groundviews.org on 5 November 2010.

  • 2
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    So Tamils should boycott the election?

    Fantastic! Genocidal Rajapaksha family will rule Tamils forever.

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    Good analysis.

    One thing is that TNA and its TNA leadership have withstood in few other times also agaianst diaspora calls.

    There have been blaming of the TNA for slow action in UNHRC and the so called “Civil Soc.” operatives tried hard to TNA contesting NPC etc.

    It is now funny people such as Ms. Ananthy Sasitharan & MK Shivajilingam are using the NPC platforms to being difficult with TNA leadership and also travel to Geneva to UNHRC sittings.

    The author is right about President Rajapaksa’s vote share.

    Some voters may see the antics of these “second tier leaders” to think that Mahinda Rajapaksa has given them enough room to act this way and increase the his share.

    There is also some thoughts in the diaspora that in fact Ms. Ananthi Sasitharan is propelled by Sri Lankan intelligence for various needs of the Sri Lanka Army & GoSL.

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    Thanks for this article. Interesting analysis of the role and status of the Diaspora vs. Tamils on the Island. I wonder whether there are parallels between this group and the Cuban diaspora in the US.

    It has now been shown that the over-whelmingly anti-Cuba politics adopted by the US against Castro’s Cuba have in fact hurt the ordinary Cubans in the long term. It looks like most ordinary Cubans on the island have welcomed the opening up of diplomatic channels by Obama – defying the dictates of the extremist section of that diaspora.

    It also seems that with time the influence of the extremist factions of diaspora groups tend to dissipate, as the old and angry die off and the young get more integrated with the host countries.

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    It is my opinion that the decision to boycott would have been counterproductive because that would have amounted to a voluntary disenfranchisement the consequences of which would have been effectively cutting the Tamil nationality from having a political role in the country.
    One thing that the Tamil speaking representatives should take into consideration is that ours is a small island and that the Tamils and others who speak Sinhalese language have to live with in the island because their fate is inextrcablly
    Intertwined and linked. That is the reality if one likes it or not. It may be an unhappy marriage but both can exercise the right of self determination if they wish to separate, but that would result in instability and eternal problems for both, so the only sensible thing IIs to try to tolerate,compromise and live amicably.there is no other way.
    The Tamils must understand that their fight with the Sinhalese is not something like fighting a foreign imperial coloniser.
    Both the Tamils and Sinhalese have lived together in the island before the European colonisers came on the. scene into their lives and they are still living together after they have departed.
    The only difference is the British coloniser had when leaving the country, foisted constitutional a system of government which would have been suitable for them as Imperial colonisers.

    That system iwas like the curates egg having it’s good parts and not so good parts.

    The mistake made by those of our leaders who took over from the British is, instead of adjusting that system to suit our requirements was to adopt it in toto unlike what India did in 1947 on obtaining independence, which was to take the option of devising a constitution to suit their own needs.

    The present political situation prevailing in the country is a result of that failure to devise a constitution and as a result, the consequence of that neglect of foresight on the part of the leaders of that generation, we are now facing the effects.
    Having seen two attempts to tinker with the constitutions of 1972& 1978 and lived through a quarter century war as a result , we are now faced with a situation where we are smothered with the effects of the infamous 18thAmendment to the Constitirution.
    Unless the people of the country irrespective of their race or religious differences are prepared to see through and decide to put an end to the deception of scheming politicians who have arrogated to themselves political power for their own selfish ends no progress in the lives of people will materialise.

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    Boycotting an election is very undemocratic, unless it is for an extremely worthy cause, as every citizen should use their universal franchise to vote to any one of their choice. Boycotting and abstaining
    from voting is a punishable offence as in some countries like Australia.

    The Tamil people of N/E expected TNA to remain neutral as TNA knew to which party the votes will go and there was no spoon feeding required and no party could have accused TNA of taking sides.If the ruling party
    wins, the Tamils are in for more harassment due TNA opposed the ruling party candidate, and if the opposition candidate wins, how will TNA handle Gen. Fonseka, who will be decorated and given the position of Defence secretary and the presidential aspirant Mr. Sirisena. who was the actg. Defence minister during the last days of the war, when thousands of innocent Tamil civilians got killed or maimed and even the make shift hospitals were bombed and shattered and inmates killed. It appears TNA has short memory or does not care about the dead and the
    past.

    With TNA supporting the opposition candidate,the Tamils of N/E are bound to believe that they would have at least reached an understanding
    with the opposition on matters affecting the Tamils and if negative, TNA will be in deep trouble this time making the 03rd wrong decision in selecting the party and the EP candidate.
    Firstly, tho’ TNA had no close relationship with Ltte, they were in talking terms and could have persuaded Prabhakaran to avoid the boycott as people of N/E were behind political solutions and not for armed conflict, secondly they made the biggest blunder in getting the Tamils to vote for an army general, who extended the security zones,
    ten fold in the North, grabbing fertile lands, chased the fisher folks and the farmers, and killed their livelihood, destroyed farms, temples and leading schools and made young children walk around 10 miles each way to reach the next school and made North a killing field. This is why the second tier Tamil politicians are against supporting any one of the candidates as they are on the field and face the hardships, themselves, unlike the leadership.
    If TNA fails in their decision, this time or did their math wrong,
    there will be certainly a new Tamil party coming up as Tamils say enough is enough and some hard talking is required with the govt.in
    Power. In conclusion, should say Tamils are not interested in new roads,bridges or stadiums but want to live in peace and harmony with the other communities and move freely in an area not under occupation by the armed forces,proportionately much higher than the requirement.

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      Dr. S.I. K wrote” policy making power should be with the people in Sri Lanka; not the diaspora. The diaspora could and should support the decision of the people who live in the reality.”

      Although I have been a very active member of the diaspora for nearly 32 years, I fully agree with this statement.

      It is just a handful of Tamils who are really non entities in the diaspora who were repeatedly arguing rather foolishly to boycott the elections ala LTTE of 2005. Just 2 MP’s, 1 senator, and the deputy Minister in Cyber space were the members in TGTE. Only 2 members of the GTF, Surendran and Emmanuel, came out early attacking Ranil and Sajith Premadasa of the UNP and calling for boycott. Suren is a newcomer from Africa where he grew up, and despite all Emmanuel’s grandiose claims his activity was only from 1994. His greatest asset was his priesthood and the white dress he wears. He was not involved in the policy making power should be with the people in Sri Lanka; not the diaspora. The diaspora could and should support the decision of the people who live in the reality.

      Emmanuel was not involved in the initial formation of the GTF but was brought in to ensure that the acting President was not confirmed permanently at the first formal GTF meeting in Paris.

      Nevertheless, both have been silenced and against their will, brought in line to support the TNA position.

      The myth that the people who support the boycott were big financial donors to the LTTE is totally wrong. I will leave it at that although LTTE was not a proscribed organization in the USA until 1997, and other countries followed much later.

      Lanka Watch, and others Please note that General Fonseka will not be the Minister of Defense, under any circumstances. Also, he will not be handling matters related to the
      North and East, unless Ranil, Maithri and Chandrika is interested in a recipe for disaster, in the likely event that the JOP wins the elections.

      As far as the timing of the TNA decision is concerned, it is more strategic than a simple delay. There was no interest in the TNA coming out with their decision before the 26th/27th. There was at least 10 days necessary to get the logistical machinery ready for the voters to be get readied for the elections, as well as polling agents and volunteers to man the polling booths. In certain areas in the Vanni, polling booths were 30 KM from the voters homes.

      Overall, TNA made the right decision and at the right time. I am certain that about 78-80% of the Tamils who will vote especially in the North and East will vote for the JOP candidate. The TNA’s decision not only influences the Tamils in the North and East, but it also helps all the Tamil voters in the whole Island to make their decision.

      Donald Gnanakone
      Tamils For Justice
      Founder.

  • 2
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    .
    What’s the point in this election if the outcome is not going to make a change?
    What I mean is even if MaRa looses, he will continue as President till end of his term in 2017.
    Between Jan. 8, 2015 to Jan. 2017, so many things can happen……
    Just waste of time and money…..

    :-)

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      No, he needs to vacate immediately if he loses. If he wins he would take the two years.

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    Known Devils are better than unknown Devils. I think both main candidate are Known Devils. Will a Devil do good for –? The forces joint Kingdoms into a Unified SriLanka are still Tring hard to Keep it that way. The people minds have fallen apart now than any time in History.forcing the Tamils only into a Unified Sri Lanka is not going to work. They don’t try the Singhala Kingdoms into the Unified Sri Lanka But force the Tamils into a unified Sri Lanka during this Election. It is very unfair. And it is a psychological and social war for a subjugation of the Tamil People. Let those who has ears to hear, hear.

  • 1
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    Interesting article, although the writer cleverly avoid the main game which is creating a Tamil Homeland in the North with total Land and Police Powers under the 13 A plus, plus..

    The TNA strategy is to kick Rajapaksa out at any cost.

    Which will bring chaos to the country through factional fighting between UNP, CBK, JHU, JVP,DNA and DNF.the new MS party..

    TNA expects the UNP to fight tooth and nail to give them the Homeland, when the parties which represent the Sinhala Buddhist inhabitant majority are killing each other.

    And Sambnadan and his new ally Hakeem will be watching from the side lines with glee.

    While the Western HCs and Embassies in Colombo will be giving absolute backing to the UNP to help the TNA.

    And keeping Foreign Intervention Forces ready and on alert to do the job under the guise of Human Rights protection. if the Sinhala Buddhist followers of the above parties try to sort out thing outside parliament..

    No wonder it took so long for the TNA to convince the Tamil Intelligentsia about his strategy .. in Sambandan’s own words..

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    Really what is interesting in this is that raelly this made the TNA and other stakeholders all come together to put their brain power together to find th appropriatte decision.

    Then what is really interesting is that this decision was controlled at the headpoint of the PM which made the call or the party leader by an external actor who is trying to influence elections in over who gets to power in Colombo.

    If anything that is the only things to take away from this, and not anything else.

    Actually so TNA benefitted and Tamils benefitted in sharing ideas and dealing with the point.

    Also this might make the more genuine sections of the TNA more viable in the next provincial council election.

    Anyways, this whole thing benefitted Tamils because they exhchanged ideas and debated over it, and also exposed the weakness of having a headpoint which can be coreced.

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    Thanks:

    ”Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)made the decision to back the opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena about ten days before the election. The decision was not easy as the party was under pressure from internal as well as external groups to either boycott the election or to stay neutral. The party finally came out and announced the decision on December 30, 2014. This was a significant move.
    ……..if the opposition alliance wins the election, the TNA will have an opportunity to play a more proactive role in the Sri Lankan politics and promote the interest of the community that it represents within accepted parameters ……
    Also it is imperative to note that President Rajapaksa polled about 25 percent of the votes in Jaffna and Vanni districts in 2010. Given the mood prevailed within the Tamil community in 2010, this was an impressive number. The indecisiveness of the TNA probably allowed the President to campaign effectively among the Tamil voters. It won’t be surprising if the President increases his gains in these two districts in January. If the TNA is serious about delivering those 80 percent of the votes to Sirisena in January, it will have to campaign hard in the remaining one week before the election. This will be a tough ask.

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    S. I. Keethaponcalan –

    RE: Significance And Challenges Of The TNA Decision

    The Question to ask is

    Significance And Challenges Of The Frauds being Committed by Mahinda Rajapaksa on the Decisions of the People.

    Looks like Mahinda Rajapaksa is doing to win, the ballot papers have already been marked… only counting is needed..

    “හොර ඡන්ද පත්‍රිකා හමු වේ” Fraudulent Ballot Papers Found..

    http://www.lankatruth.com/home/sinhala/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13466:2015-01-02-17-24-50&catid=41:local&Itemid=74

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    The writer who is well acquainted with Thamil politics has written a fairly objective analysis. However, he seems to exaggerate the influence of those sections of the Diaspora Thamils who called for a boycott or to remain neutral. Also his assumption that there was a call for a boycott of the elections by Diaspora Thamil organizations.
    As far I know no Diaspora Thamil organization called for a boycott. The GTV strongly urged the Tamil people in Sri Lanka to use every vote carefully during the January 8 Presidential Election. The TGTE statement was neither fish nor fowl. The PM said both Rajapaksa and Sirisena are racists. Voting for Rajapaksa is short term pain, but long term gain. The reverse is the case if Thamils vote for Sirisena. The BTF as usual is sitting on the fence. It cannot make up its mind. They know at heart that calls for boycott will be political suicide. In fact any one conversant with the history of our people from 1931 will know the disastrous consequences of boycott. In any case these organization have little or no influence at all how the people in the north and east vote during elections. The TNA secured only 43.85% of the votes cast in 2010 parliamentary elections. But the share of votes dramatically increased during elections for the Northern Provincial Council to 78.48%. The moral is Thamil voters have rejected call for boycott decisively. After losing the 2010 parliamentary elections Gajendrakumar who is the president of two parties (All Ceylon Tamil Congress and the Tamil National Peoples Front) have boycotted elections. Today both parties are consigned to the wilderness. Both are considered a spent force in politics confined to 3rd cross street, Jaffna.

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      I agree with most of what Thanga has written, except the TGTE and GTF called for a boycott.. 1 or 2 MP;s 1 senator, 1 Minister and the Prime Minister all living and operating from Cyber space.
      GTF Surendran and Emmanuel called for the boycott initially when Suren issued statements from India. Soon after, he was simply told to Shut Up from two different sources. I cannot give more details because I respect those two sources and I work with them.

      I agree with Thanga that these two Tamil associations have NO SAY with the Tamil voters in the island. But I was only exposing their ignorance, stupidity, and political bankruptcy. If one is handed a hammer in the hand, and when cockroaches are running wild you have to smash those cockroaches with the hammer.

      Read my earlier comments on this same subject.

      Donald Gnanakone

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        Basically what I mean to say was that the MP (not PM typo), Sumanthiran knows what is going on but for some reason Sumanthiran and or maybe just Sampanthan gave into the blackmail from foreign embassy. Everybody is getting blackmailed. Even Sinhalese are getting blackmailed. the Northwestern provincial governor suddenly defected after a thunderous speech? It doesn’t make sense. It is obvious. CIA yes, India maybe.

        Tamils never contradict one another. TNA, LTTE, Tamils abroad, Tamils in Sri Lanka everybody agreed to stay neutral. They all have the same voice. What has happened is at the last the MP or TNA party person got blackmailed. And really it doesn’t even matter. Just a joke. Tamils don’t even care who wins in the elections.

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    WOW…. Read the statement by TNA. See the maturity that reflects in those lines. They speak like the most matured lot of all. Keep up the good work, TNA!!!

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    Dr. Keeth …. Very nice analysis.
    Pls. keep writing.

    Cheers!

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    It is time TNA should start ignoring the diaspora groups. These diaspora groups are comfortably living with their families overseas and educating their children in developed countries. Most of these children cannot read or write Tamil, so why are these diaspora groups interested in Sri Lanka – Nostalgia! In addition these groups are still collecting money from the Tamils living abroad with various excuses, this is another reason for these groups not to find any solution for the minority issues in Sri Lanka. Its time TNA takes a stand and cuts its ties with the diaspora groups. If these overseas individuals are interested then they have to come back to Sri Lanka, become a citizen of Sri Lanka and then make their moves.

    Further by the diaspora groups setting up a transnational government of eelem they are directly challenging the democratically elected TNA Northern Provincial Council.

    Diaspora – if you want to help provide assistance in all other fields other than putting your stinky nose into Tamil Politics in Sri Lanka.

    I am a minority living abroad, so don’t call me by any other name.

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    Significance And Challenges Of The TNA Decision

    1. “First, the boycott call came from within the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in the West.”

    As far as I am aware there was no call for a boycott of the elections by the Thamil Diaspora. The GTF asked the people to exercise their franchise carefully. An indirect way of telling the people to vote against Rajapaksa and vote for Sirisena. The BTF is sitting on the fence. The TGTE statement was neither fish nor fowl. As for the TNPF it is a spent force confined to 23, Third Cross St. Jaffna.

    2. “The Tamil Diaspora in the West is not homogeneous. However, a radical segment within the Diaspora led the call for a boycott.”

    Again the author of the article is exaggerating the influence wielded by Thamil Diaspora over the people back home. They have almost zero influence. This is proved by the fact the Thamil people have consistently and increasingly voted for the TNA in spite of a section of the Diaspora talking about Homeland, Nationalism and right of self determination.

    3. The author of the article is exaggerating the popularity of Ananthi and Sivajilingam. Ananthi is a novice in the art of politics. She is highly emotional with little education and experience. Both are non-entities as far as the TNA is concerned. At worse they can only be of a nuisance value. Sivajilingam first said the TNA should leave the voting decision to the people. After TNA’s decision to support Sirisena, he said he will go along with the decision. In any case these two mavericks are likely to face disciplinary inquiry by ITAK after January 8, 2015.

    The most significant factor is the decision by the Jaffna University Teachers Association which is asking people to vote only for Sirisena. Not to exercise their second and third preference vote.

    The author of the article appears to be unaware of the support TNA enjoys among the Thamil Diaspora. TNA(UK) and TNA(Canada) ‘branches’ have actively supported the TNA in their political campaigns in the past and continue to do so now.

    The delay in announcing the decision was due to the absence of Sampanthan who was away in Delhi for medical treatment. But the ground work to support the opposition candidate was laid by Mavai and Sumanthiran who met ITAK party activists in the North as well as in the East. As for timing the announcement came after a call by the opposition common candidate who asked the TNA to declare their stand as soon as possible. Finally, even if Rajapaksa wins the election with a small majority, he cannot act dictatorially as he is doing now. He has already lost his 2/3 majority in the parliament after 27 MPs switched sides.

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