20 July, 2024

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The Thamil Thesiya Kootani – A Plague On The Tamil People!

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Word is out that a “party”, The Thamil Thesiya Kootani, has been formed to put forward a common Tamil candidate as President. It is an unmitigated disaster, a plague on the Tamil people. The Federal Party has wisely dissociated itself from the move.

I say this because we Tamils have been reduced to nobodies in Sri Lanka through persistent discrimination and state violence amounting to genocide. But now suddenly the conversation is different as all three likely Presidential Candidates –  Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajit Pemadasa – are bidding for our Tamil votes, even promising the 13th Amendment and more.

It is however, a time for great caution as the 13th Amendment is already the law. When we are offered what is already ours, it exposes the lawless milieu in which our politics operates. Nonetheless it is an opportunity not to be frittered away. The prospect of a common Tamil candidate does exactly that, take away from us an opportunity have a greater say in our own affairs as Sinhalese candidates offer us freedoms that they refused earlier. They may promises us things and after getting elected President with our vote, they may change their minds as has happened many times. But that is a chance we need to take. If we do not grab the opportunity, we get nothing. If we do, with Sri Lanka under greater international scrutiny than ever before, may be we will get some freedoms. Between nothing and a may be something, the choice should be clear.

Be that as it may, to put forward in these circumstances a Tamil candidate, who anyway has no chance of being elected president, shows how stupid Tamil politics has become.

The TNA under Sampanthan has had the good sense to advise our saying no to the idea of a common candidate. But why do the others lack this good sense? I suggest that it is because the nobodies in Tamil politics see this as an opportunity to become somebodies as Kumari Jayawardena put it in another context of social nobodies becoming somebodies.

As reported today, Sunday 30.06.2024, in the Virakesari, the alliance consists of 1) the Tamil Makkal Kootani under C.V. Wigeneswaran, 2) the TELO under Selvam Adaikalanathan, 3) the PLOTE under my relative Tharmalingam Siththarthan, 4) the EPRLF under Suresh Premachandran, 5)  Jananayaka Poraalikal (Crusaders for Democracy) under Sivanthan Navidra, aka Venthan,   6) the Thamil Thesiya Katchi under N. Srikantha, and 7) the Tamil Thesiya Pasumai Iyakam under Ponnudurai Ayngaranesan.

It was decided by this grouping to include Prof. K.T. Ganeshalingam as Civil Society Representative; and to include  Yothilingam (who was associated with Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam), Nilaanthan a video reporter from Jaffna, Yatheenthira a reporter from Trinco, Vasantharasa, Dr. K. Vigneswaran from Trinco and former administrator Selvin from Valvettithurai.

The move lacked transparency. For example, which civil society put forward Ganeshalingam? All this may be a precursor to forming a Party as the TNA had refused to register itself saying TNA candidates may contest under the Federal Party. The real objection by the FP was that these fringe parties had no standing among the Tamil people and wanted the TNA registered so that they who had no chance of being elected  if they contested independently could claim nomination as part of a registered TNA. These fringe parties include many murderers and the people are reluctant to vote for them if they stand without the TNA.

Whether this reluctance is still true remains to be seen as Mr. R. Sampanthan and Mr. Mavai Senathirajah are physically down due to age, and the Federal Party is in disarray on account of the ongoing and bitter leadership dispute between M.A. Sumanthiran and S. Shritharan.

One such nobody in the new party worked closely with the LTTE and organized their large gatherings called Pongu Thamil (Rise-up, Tamils) and became a somebody, an LTTE Poster Boy. When a Poster Boy fails and your organization has made much propaganda using him, then you cannot abandon him. You have to defend him or lose the value of all the propaganda you made using him. There are many such cases in the church when a Poster Boy evangelist is caught exploiting women or children. They are allowed to continue and be predators to save name of the church, especially the free churches. This nobody had his wife going on pilgrimage to India leaving a child servant with him “to tend to his needs.” Women’s groups, says Saroja Sivachandran of the Centre for Women and Development, pressed hard for the child-abuser’s punishment and he was temporarily jailed. The LTTE could not afford it. The had too much to lose if he was exposed. They used their influence and got him released. Many years since then, few know his past. He is so rehabilitated that he has even given a lecture at St. James’ Church Nallur inside the main worship area which is prohibited for non-worship activities including church meetings. So complete is his rehabilitation that he is a key member of the Thamil Thesiya Kootani.

Sampanthan’s is the Thamil Thesiya Kootamaippu. Wigneswaran’s is the Tamil Thesiya Kootani. Kootani and Kootamaippu mean the same thing, alliance. In English both would be Tamil National Alliance, the TNA. Coincidence?

I am not being paranoid or promoting a conspiracy theory. I know Wigneswaran and know that trying to take over the TNA name is not beyond him.

The law requires that a party name to be eligible for registration must not even resemble the name of another party. The real TNA’s weakness is that it is not a registered party.

I will stop with an explanation of what I saw at the Election Commission. Wigneswaran was trying to register his own party. But there are limits to how many times he could apply  without a break. That was his last attempt after which a break was required. When it became clear he did not meet requirements he tried to withdraw on  Mahinda Deshapiriya’s advice that  he had been elected MP and would be eligible the next time he applied. However, the compulsory break was a problem. I argued at the Commission and the Commission accepted that when there are only 3 shies at the GCE A.Level to be eligible for university admission and on your third shy you go for the exam, find that the exam paper was too tough for you and you will not pass, you cannot withdraw without that sitting being counted. That was Wigneswaran’s situation. He had exhausted his permitted number of applications and would need a break.

I had left the Commission the next year. Wigneswaran applied and got his party (Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kootani) registered. Everything is possible with our Election Commission. Somebody fixed the minutes of the Committee in charge of party registration applications.

As elections approach with a possibly registered TNA tricking people into thinking it is Mr. Sampanthan’s TNA, will the Election Commission uphold the reasons for which it exists? I doubt it after seeing so many serious election travesties I pointed out at Commission meetings being disappeared without record. In Sri Lanka, there is impunity for every bad thing you do.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    0

    Good that you have raised this concern. The fact is Tamil nation question is still a simmering national issue.

    And it will indeed be a tragedy if a non-national candidate runs in a national election. It is irrational as well.

    But if the intention is to gauge the continued desire for pre-2009 type resolution, using the election as an indirect measure, it can only produce a non-discernable outcome after the election run.

    It is patently obvious, that any peaceful resolution to the Tamil national question shall involve discussion with Sinhalese leaders, and it is certain as the sun will rise in the morning, that no single Sinhalese leader is or will be capable of settling Tamil national question on his or her own. Everyone of them will be foolish to claim that they have that capacity.

    Hence, it is incumbent on the majoritarian leaders to declare that, irrespective of whoever wins, each should declare that they will devise a political mechanism to bring the two linguistic groups together for a lasting solution.

    They, the majoritarian leaders, thus must eschew competition among themselves on the Tamil national question, and must state it publicly to de-rationalise the Tamil politicians’ desire for a candidate on their own in a national election for the president.

  • 1
    0

    Good that you have raised this concern. The fact is Tamil nation question is still a simmering national issue.

    And it will indeed be a tragedy if a non-national candidate runs in a national election. It is irrational as well.

    But if the intention is to gauge the continued desire for pre-2009 type resolution, using the election as an indirect measure, it can only produce a non-discernable outcome after the election run.

    It is patently obvious, that any peaceful resolution to the Tamil national question shall involve discussion with Sinhalese leaders, and it is certain as the sun will rise in the morning, that no single Sinhalese leader is or will be capable of settling Tamil national question on his or her own. Everyone of them will be foolish to claim that they have that capacity.

    Hence, it is incumbent on the majoritarian leaders to declare that, irrespective of whoever wins, each should declare that they will devise a political mechanism to bring the two linguistic groups together for a lasting solution.

    They, the majoritarian leaders, thus must eschew competition among themselves on the Tamil national question, and must state it publicly to de-rationalise the Tamil politicians’ desire for a candidate on their own in a national election for the president.

  • 1
    14

    Those two treasonists and the like should have been deported to their motherland Tamil Nadu long time ago. Since bogus independence, they have been sabotaging Sri Lanka’s development.
    /
    Wiggy is distorting Sinhalese’ history and writing their own bogus history to steal a half of Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka.
    /
    13 amendment and Indo-Lanka accord are “illegal” and have violated country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Do you remember how a brave naval soldier gave Rajiv a riffle butt touch?
    /
    Without church there would not be LTTE terrorists, Prabakaran, Western and UN support, bogus peace talks, bogus ceasefire, immunity for terrorists of prosecution and 30 year longevity for war.

    • 9
      1

      TONY THE SINHALA RACIST@
      “The 13th Amendment and the Indo-Lanka Pact are “illegal” and have violated the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Do you remember how a brave mariner gave Rajiv a rifle butt touch?”

      It was Rajapaksa and the JVP who made waves to rise up against the late Rajiv Gandhi – however, decades later we are still struggling to build a consensus on it.
      As the majority of this country, how ashamed should we be? JVPs cannot be clean in the eyes of Tamil Sri Lankans considering how radical they have been against minorities.
      .
      If we want everyone to be treated equally under one nation, I think it’s time to agree on a federal or similar solution.

      Your hatred against minorities is setting us back decades so a sicko like you should be locked up forever.

  • 8
    1

    Sampanthan is no more. May the soul rest in peace. It’s time for all Tamil parties to get their act together and unite for the benefit of their community ( common cause, I’m not talking about common candidate) at the same time, they by now should have ” seen and heard it all ” ( 75 years of BS). Other communities too are in the same boat.

    • 2
      3

      Thanks chiv,
      .
      https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cgrl4nnkk8ro
      .
      The time now is 13:53, (submitting, 14:18) and I saw your comment when, in any case, I had been thinking of posting that link. I saw it, perhaps an hour ago. Before that I had looked, cursorily, at the results that I got after I had googled “Sri Lanka news”. Shame on all out other sources of news.
      .
      I have never seen Sampanthan in person, not even at a distance. I’m quite familiar with his photograph; his voice? I’m not sure. I know that he was fluent in Sinhala. See the schools he was educated in. But I have seen plenty of things written by him, or of him.
      .
      He is a man for whom I had immense respect.
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._Sampanthan
      .
      Wikipedia already speaks of him in the past tense. I’m sure that I have read the Wikipedia article before, but I have now noted only that he dies yesterday.
      .
      “Sampanthan married Leeladevi, daughter of P. K. Rudra.[5] They have two sons (Sanjeevan and Senthuran) and one daughter (Krishanthini)”
      .
      His wife may have departed already, (if Leeladevi actually sees this, I hope she will pardon me), my sympathies to Sanjeevan, Senthuran, and Krishanthini.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC483111444V), 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela

    • 7
      0

      Hope Mr. Hoole read the interview given by VP’s nephew living in Denmark. Of course TNA / TULF, and it’s political leaders have their own draw backs. But, what about money collectors, opportunist, people who exploit, cheat, turncoats . . . . . .. . . . . . . multiple parties, many with their own agendas , egoism, . . . . . . . . self goals, taking things / community for granted, stereotypes, . . . . . . . . within community , diaspora and TN. Tamils do not need enemies,

    • 1
      1

      Dear chiv,
      .
      I’ve given your comment a like although it is not clear to me who VP’s nephew is. (What appears in your second comment). When I realised that Mr Sampanthan had passed away, I looked for a place to say how sad I was, and chanced on this, where you, too, had heard of it, perhaps elsewhere than from the Internet. .
      .
      I didn’t want to mix it with any other issue. But now that I have looked at Jeevan’s article, I see that there must be more to be said.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 1
        0

        SM I guess you didn’t notice the interview in DM , with Prabhakaran’s brother’s son living in Denmark

  • 2
    9

    The FP was a disaster after its stupid handling of a poorly planned Satyagraha which seemed to succeed because of police brutality on its first day. The FP hadn’t a clue of how to catty it forward from a stalemate. It started a postal service that provided the excuse for the government to declare a state of emergency. From then on it had no plans. Out of desperation it went into partnership with the UNP and among others two Sinhala racist groups. The agreement with the UNP was wrecked from within by JRJ and others. The FP quit the alliance with nothing ton show to the Tamil people. It performed rather poorly in 1970 compared to 1965, and Amirthalingam himself lost in his stronghold.
    The blunders of the PA in the early 1970s gave the FP a helping hand, and the FP formed the TULF and called for a separate state in 1976, purely as an election ploy. The youth who worked hard to secure its success in 1977 turned bitter, and the rest is history.
    The TULF was India’s glove puppet from 1983. It lost badly in elections that followed until the militants-turned-moderates lost credibility by the mid-1990s. To in elections it made a deal with the LTTE in 2002 and earned India’s ire. It lost the name TULF to another client of India and formed the TNA, which was not regitered

    • 1
      8

      contd.
      As the TNA was not registered as a political party, it had to contest on the FP symbol. The FP seized the opportunity to assert itself causing spits in the TNA.
      It was a stooge of the LTTE until the LTTE fell on 18 May 2009. Shortly after, it dissociated itself from the LTTE and even claimed that it never called for secession.
      That much for its principles, which restored its position with the Indian masters.
      The FP/TULF/TNA misled the Tamils all along by claiming that it will get the UN, the US, EU and India to intervene to win Tamil rights. It still does it.
      As for the common candidate, the TNA (really the FP) has been dishonest all along.
      It has not taken a clear stand to this day.
      The FP has all along obstructed the registration of the TA as a political party, purely to preserve its dominance.
      Wonder who is really he plague on the Tamils!

  • 1
    8

    “…how stupid Tamil politics has become.”
    .
    Has it ever been any wiser?
    .
    From disproportionately benefitting from British colonial administrative policies, to GG Ponnambalam asking 50% of the State Legislator’s seats to minorities, undermining the very basis of democracy, an attempt that was considered by the British themselves, as an attempt to make mockery out of democracy, to Vadukkodai Resolution, to a 30 year brutal war during which many war crimes were committed against Singalese, for a separate Tamil Ealam, to now trying to claim a disproportionate amount of lands for a mono-ethnic racist federal state called Tamil Ealam in the North & East of Sri Lanka; all funded and fuelled by organised crime and fake propaganda including fake cooked up histories, when have Tamil politics ever been wiser?
    .
    Can someone please educate?

  • 0
    1

    Dear Ratnajeevan,
    .
    Now that I have read through your article carefully, I realise that it had been completed, and perhaps appeared, before you had heard of the demise of the man who was easily the oldest Member of Parliament.
    .
    My comments got delayed because I got tied in knots, after I failed to access Colombo Telegraph, a little after mid-night today. I actually discussed the problem after telephoning the office of the National People’s Power, saying that Colombo Telegraph had been blocked. That was at 12.05, ante meridiem. I’m avoiding all abbreviations now because of the confusion that they lead to! Then, after much trying I was able to get on to CT, but I was too tired and rang the NPP office again at 3.46 am and went to sleep.
    .
    tbc

    • 0
      1

      Continuing:
      .
      Now for the politics of it all!

      .
      Ratnajeevan (sounds strange! I always call him Jeevan) says all sorts of things about the names of Parties (in Tamil, which is a language that he says he knows), and the Elections Commission (he was a Commission Member – which means that he was “an Elections Commissioner), so he is an expert on such matters.
      .
      Isn’t it correct to say that nominations for the Presidential Elections will be accepted on 17/7/2024?
      .
      https://www.dailymirror.lk/top-story/Presidential-poll-to-be-held-between-September-17-October-16/155-282248
      .
      Before the Elections are held there have to be nominations, surely. And that date is only 13 days away! But you still have horrible Ranil still saying that elections must be postponed, not by days, but by years.
      .
      Without solving that conundrum, we’re not going to get anywhere!
      .
      I want Elections Held! Latest October 16th, 2024.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

    • 0
      1

      17/7/2024 That is now the key date, is it not?
      .
      Repeat:
      .
      17/7/2024
      .
      I wanted that in bold! Interest now centres for me on who will be nominated. To be more precise, will Ranil Wickreamsinghe put his name there?
      .
      One now begins to understand his selfishness and his “egoistism”. I’m not even sure that there is such a word! That’s how much the fellow has to answer for!
      .
      And they now want to sell off Sri Lankan Airlines! During these 13 days? Or is it between 17/7/2024
      and Election Day?

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