1 December, 2022


This Victory Is A Victory For Soft Power

By M.A. Sumanthiran

M.A. Sumanthiran

M.A. Sumanthiran

The Tamil National Alliance has achieved a resounding victory at the 2015 General Election, successfully overcoming the challenges and fierce opposition it faced.

For the second time this year, the Tamil People have shown a clear intention to strengthen the hand of the Tamil National Alliance. They have done so keeping intact the goal of their long term political struggle, and with hope that their lives will be restored. Our People’s clear recognition of the crucial nature of this election, and their overwhelming response in casting their vote and thus ensuring the victory of the Tamil National Alliance, once again reflects to the world the great political wisdom of the Tamil People. Let me take this opportunity to first humbly express my heartfelt thanks to all those who voted for us.

Let me also express my heartfelt thanks to all the people of my native Jaffna who placed their trust in me and cast the 58,043 preferential votes I received from the Jaffna electoral division. This victory is just the beginning for us.

SumanthiranMy humble and affectionate thanks to all the Provincial Council Members and Local Council Members of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi who stood by me and gave of their time and energy, working tirelessly for my victory, expecting nothing in return. I will need your continued help and cooperation in the future as well.

This victory also belongs to the youth who campaigned for me, going from door to door, introducing me to people who did not know about me, and clarifying the doubts and questions concerning my political stance. Their clear thinking and political understanding gives me great hope for the future of Tamil politics. I am also aware of youth who have a part in this victory by way of their work via facebook. My thanks to you as well.

I see my victory as the victory of my politics. I had decided that if I contested and lost this election, I would withdraw from the political arena. The People have chosen me despite the overwhelming false allegations and propaganda that targeted me. This strongly reflects their faith and dedication to my political stance – the politics of soft power. This victory is a victory for soft power. This victory is a victory for our future. This victory is the victory of our youth.

The Tamil People cannot experience any more loss. We cannot continue to lose our youth in devastating numbers in the future. Now is the time to move forwards, with dignity, towards what has been achieved as a result of our suffering. Emotional speeches and empty rhetoric will only weaken us politically and will never result in a solution dawning.

I bow to the decree of the Tamil People. I will serve according to the mandate given. I will work tirelessly to reach a solution to the National problem and at the same time make a concrete contribution towards solving the day to day problems of our People, and strengthening our youth.

Your participation as a People does not end with your vote. You play an important role in providing me with direction and in strengthening our politics.

Let us decide our destiny.

*M. A. Sumanthiran – Member of Parliament for the District of Jaffna

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  • 22

    “I bow to the decree of the Tamil People. I will serve according to the mandate given. I will work tirelessly to reach a solution to the National problem and at the same time make a concrete contribution towards solving the day to day problems of our People, and strengthening our youth.”

    I hope, Mr. Sumanthiran and his mates will be true to every word in this paragraph. The Tamils went through a lot. TNA is their last and only hope.

    • 6

      M.A. Sumanthiran

      RE: This Victory Is A Victory For Soft Power.

      A Victory of Good over Evil, as represented by MaRa, Mara.

      This Victory over MaRa, MaRa Is A Victory For Soft Power of the People and Wisdom of the People despite the Deceptions by MaRa, Mara and his Army of Evil Doers.

      So Sing Jaya Mangala Gatha in its Original Pali..with English Translation to understand the battle won against Mara MaRa and his Army to Build A Civilized Society.


      Because MaRa , Mara and his Army of Demons, Shills and Cronies were defeated..

      MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa Amana MaRa HoRa MaRa Dhushana MaRa MiNi MaRu MaRa…

      Jaya Mangala Gatha-Verses of Auspicious Victory (rare Pali version)-Buddhist Chants.


      In Pali:

      Bahum sahassam-abhinim
      mita sayudham tam
      Girimekhalam udita ghora
      sasena maram
      Danadidhamma vidhina
      jitava munindo
      Tarn tejasa bhavatu te

      English translation:

      Creating thousand hands, with weapons
      armed was Mara seated on the
      trumpeting, ferocious elephant Girimekhala.
      Him, together with his army, did the
      Lord of Sages subdue by means of generosity and other virtues.
      By its grace may joyous victory be thine.

    • 8

      M.A. Sumanthiran

      Through the grape wine, through the Bulath wine, through the Vettila Wine …

      MaRa Mara Chatu Mara Amana MaRa Dhushana MaRa HoRa MaRa..

      Bankrupt Mahinda and his politicos eat humble pie trying to secretly enlist TNA to form Govt.- TNA tells them off !…..

      A most disgraceful , deplorable and disdainful attempt had been made by Kurunegala district M.P. Mahinda Rajapakse the notorious most bankrupt politician in recent times ,after discarding the people’s mandate to enlist the assistance of the TNA to form a government .

      Unfortunately for him this conspiratorial move was rejected in toto by the TNA, based on reports reaching the wines…

      The dejected and defeated group comprising Mahinda Rajapakse , Vasudeva Nanayakkara ,Dallas Alahaperuma, Wimal Weerawansa ,Tiran Alles and Dinesh Gunawardena in a desperate attempt like a drowning man clutching even at a straw had met with TNA parliamentarians Marvai Senathiraja, M.A. Sumenthiran , M. Saravanabavan and TNA leader R. Sampanthan and said , if they help them form a government, the politically bankrupt group led by Mahinda will in return grant administrative powers to the TNA that will be equivalent to a federal administration. The most contemptible and traitorous part of this overture is , this is absolutely running counter to the UPFA election manifesto .

      It is no secret that Mahinda Rajapakse group of the UPFA during the general elections carried on a vicious campaign against the UNP , and were openly anti Tamil following racist policies .

      Hence , the sordid media coolies trying to conceal these latest most shameful moves and maneuvres of the Rajapakse brigands who would not only sell their souls but even the nation if those could only propel them to power is most reprehensible . The media that should reveal such treason , treacheries and perfidies in the best interests of the people and the country , instead descending to the lowliest level even worse than that of the latrine coolie is unpardonable and inexcusable. Even the ink in their pens would curse them for using the saliva instead to lick the evil powerful choosing the best places where their stench is worst.

      Marvai Senadhiraja rejecting the request in toto had told directly and categorically to machiavellian Mahinda and his crooked group that , though it might be the habit and hobby of the Rajapakses to let down the Sinhala people and the country , the TNA does not belong to that ilk , and they will never stoop to that level –not for all the world ! The TNA will never betray the Tamils under any circumstance even in a dream , he had pinpointed.

      The TNA representatives had also made it abundantly clear to these unscrupulous bankrupt bunch of politicos led by notorious machiavellian Mahinda , the TNA conducted its politics in the north during elections without exerting any pressures or influence whatsoever on the politics in the south nor join in that , while Mahinda and his group were engaging in politics of racism instilling communal hatred among the Sinhalese against the Tamils. Therefore nothing can be more ridiculous ,ludicrous and even traitorous than this present effort of the main political groups led by Mahinda to seek the TNA support to capture power at this juncture, the TNA representatives have pinponted.

      The Mahinda Rajapakse led group was thrown out of power on January 8 th on a people’s mandate , and it was a verdict given by all communities standing together. Hence , the TNA cannot take any decision that goes against that verdict , the TNA had pointed out clearly to ex president Mahinda Rajapakse.

      Mahinda and Dinesh Gunawardena were obviously enraged at these exposures even though those enlightened them on the true picture and opened the minds of these culprits , who having no answers to give had left the venue crestfallen , yet full of fury . Some who saw the sad spectacle of humiliated Mahinda and his group of culprits departing were of the view , they left as sadder but wiser men after all the counselling .

      Now Sing Jaya Mangala Gatha in Original Pali the Victory over MaRa, Mara and his cronies.


    • 4

      Congratulations TNA! Congratulations Sumanthiran!
      Tamils always voted for unity and they fearlessly stood united to resist the threats despite continuous sufferings and losses. With all these difficulties and threats they were very firm on their aspirations and demand for justice. The aspirations & demand for justice are nothing new which continued for decades. Finding a reasonable solution to the National problem & lifting the social & economic status of the affected people needs commitment and saccrifice. I hope for better future for the people.

      • 3

        The trilingual M.A. Sumanthiran (MAS) endeared himself not only to Tamils – but to other communities as well – as he championed for decades the cause of many innocents – unduly charged under the PTA and other obnoxious legislation. These became the unwelcome part of the legal landscape since the late 1980s. In due course, he caught the attention of senior politician-lawyer R. Sampanthan, who judiciously and with much foresight invited MAS to join TNA politics. The rest is now history.

        On August 17 the people of Jaffna showed their political maturity in voting in the non-resident “Colombo Tamil” as one of their devoted MPs to advance their cause in the coming years. MAS served the cause of improving Tamil-Sinhala understanding when, about two years ago, he visited Galle, Matara and other areas in the South – at the instance of Nimalka Fernando and other leftists – to explain the Tamil position. This was a welcome move by some Colombo-based Leftist lawyers. The deep South, as is well known, holds strong views on the ethnic issue and, generally, not in favour of “concessions” to the Tamil people. But when MAS spoke to them sincerely, in fairly fluent Sinhalese, he dispelled many apprehensions and fears. Much good was done by him in creating understanding, harmony and goodwill between the communities in that visit.

        The Tamil Nation places much hope in the personable young lawyer in securing a safer and better future for them. I believe MAS has in him that what takes to progressively unite the two divided people. He has already proved himself popular in Parliament – particularly among the many Sinhala MPs who do not talk English that well. There is little doubt given time and the opportunity, he will rise in stature to the level of such Tamil giants as GGP, SJVC, S. Nadesan, Amir, Sivasithamparam and other politician-lawyers who are remembered fondly by the entire country for enriching our political and parliamentary culture.


    • 5

      MAS, did MR approach you to form a govt,? there is a story doing rounds

    • 0

      Rohan – You must look at the reality. If TNA, despite the request made
      by Tamils to join the govt. and accept portfolios so that they could
      solve the Tamil problem, at cabinet level, they opted to sit in the
      opposition benches, hoping to solve the problem by talking across the
      aisle. They should take SLMP as an example. Even if they got one MP , they always joined the govt.and improved the conditions of their people
      where as TNA is shy of accepting portfolios.Can Mr. Sumanthiran explain
      the principles involved in not joining the Govt.

      The President and the PM conveniently failed to ask TNA to join the Govt, sensing that they will have to take them on at cabinet meetings,
      if they joined the govt. and if not, they could avoid them

      The question is whether TNA could get anything done for the Tamils with
      16 SLFP ministers in the cabinet. Who opposed Federalism, 20A, merger
      of N/E,reduction of armed forces from N/E to required level and refused
      to hand over the govt. grabbed lands to their owners after the war. In
      short they opposed to any concessions to the Tamils for the last decade
      or so.
      However, Tamil people have a hunch that Tamil problems were discussed
      at length without much fan fare and a consensus reached during the last
      six months with the president and the PM with CBK as the mediator. Mr.
      Sampanthan had promised a settle is within reach shortly and lets wait and see how this is going to work with many at cross roads.

  • 29

    Congratulations to an educated, articulate and principled politician. Very few people of that stature are there even in the new parliament.

    • 12

      Thiruvalluvar, the greatest and the wisest Tamil poet said two millenia back; “One who has a perfect command over the spoken word, who is indefatigable and is fearless cannot be defeated by anybody”.

      All Tamils are more than delighted that the pernicious Fifth Column in their midst has been roundly defeated. Kamban in his epic says, when the sun rises and the lotus blooms, water lilies droop and fade away.

  • 15

    Congratulations Sumanthiran on your victory to enter the Parliament as an elected representative. I feel that moderate persons of your caliber in the Jaffna politics will have to plan seriously to go away from Political slogans to actual action plan to win the rights of the Tamils you represent. Tamil people o the North and east are fed up with emotional and ethnically inflamatory slogans during the period of every elections to grab the vote. The country need to read your action plan as how your team is going to achieve your political targets – the ways and means. Are you still planning to continue and exclusive mobilisation of Tamils (only)for your support base?????? and contribute to widen the ethnic divide. Are you continue to be directed your political activities by your Tamil diaspora supporters and powerful sates in the region and to give prominence to serve their expectations???? In my thinking, these are decisive questions that your team will have come openly if your team is serious in what they say about resolving Tamil questions.

  • 11

    Dear Ayyah. enough is enough now. Please stop EELAM claim and interact with all people of Sri lanka. After all, today more Tamils live out of North and East and live in luxury houses in Colombo. EELAM claim is no longer valid and people like to live in peace. If you can not deal with administration and you will never get on will with any one in SL.
    what you need is not war rather peace in North and East, Let people live in peace and you and your colleagues should work for it. United Sri Lanka Tamils should get their due rights as citizens of Sri lanka, to that end work on and you will have a good life.

  • 3

    Hope Mr Sumanathiran hasn’t signed off Mr Sambandan’s Election manifesto..

    Because President Sirisena has forced UNP Ranil to make a special statement along side his PM oath, that Ranil will not try to divide the Nation , let alone give the TNA a Federal Homeland.

    If Mr Sumanathiran’s aim is to help his people specially the Youth in Jaffna, to live like the Youth in Trinco , Batti Galle or Matara with equal opportunities for jobs, education and freedom to live and work anywhere they wish,Ranil’s tenure will be safe.

    After all Ranil has promised 1 Million assembly jobs for the Dalits . Starting with putting together VW Ponys for the Colombo elite …

  • 18

    Dear Mr.Sumanthiran,


    Please work for the North, the Tamil community and this country, with honour, dedication and vision,

    Remember the downtrodden, victims of war, the unemployed, underemployed and the unemployables. Remember that development and the advancing water crisis are priorities. The drug and narcotics menace has to be confronted. You have to do all this in addition to participating in making a new constitution and laws that gives all Sri Lankans, including the Tamils and Muslims a voice and hand in their governance.

    I personally hope you will help Mr.Sambanthan transform the TNA into a dynamic and forward looking political movement.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 8

      Dr RN,

      How should TNA change ?
      TNA manifesto calls for constitutional change that accepts Tamil right to self-determination http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=15385

      Tamil Guardian 25 July 2015 Print ArticleE-mail ArticleFeedback On Article

      The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) election manifesto, released today, called for constitutional changes that accept the Tamil people’s entitlement to their right to self-determination under the United Nations International Covenants on Civil political rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICCPR).

      TNA launches manifesto in Jaffna Photograph:Tamil Guardian

      Noting that any political solution should accept the Tamil people’s right to self-determination and that Sri Lanka had ratified the international treaty, the TNA election manifesto, said:

      “The Tamil People are entitled to the right to self-determination in keeping with the United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which Sri Lanka has accepted and acceded to.”

      On accountability and reconciliation, the manifesto added that “truth, justice and reparation and the guarantee of non-recurrence are fundamental to the national question being comprehensively addressed so as to ensure permanent and genuine reconciliation.”

      The manifesto added calls for a political solution that merged the North and Eastern provinces and devolved powers of land, law and order, socio-economic development, cultural affairs and domestic and foreign fiscal powers and direct foreign investment in the North-East under a federal structure.

      Outlining immediate matters of concern for the Tamil people, the manifesto called for “meaningful de-militarisation” and “removal of armed forces, military apparatuses and High Security/ Restricted Zones from the Northern and Eastern provinces.”

      The manifesto further called for “comprehensive development programme” of the North and East through support from the Sri Lankan state, the Tamil Diaspora and the International Community, “including upgrading Palali airport as an international airport.”

      Highlighting the unresolved cases of disappearances of Tamils in Sri Lanka, the manifesto highlighted the need to ascertain the truth of the fate of thousands of disappeared, whilst calling for the release of all political prisoners and abrogation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

      The manifesto added that “international auspices is inevitable to achieve permanent peace through reconciliation.”

      • 2

        TNA pledges to uphold people’s mandate for political solution

        Tamil Guardian 21 August 2015 Print ArticleE-mail ArticleFeedback On Article

        “The Tamil National Alliance will use their election victories to push for a political solution for Tamils according to senior members.

        In a special ‘victory statement’, the newly elected MP M. A. Sumanthiran said that he would uphold the mandate given him by the people, “while spending every breath to reach a political solution for our national problem, I will also participate in fulfilling the immediate needs of the people and in strengthening our youth.”

        “The Tamil people cannot face anymore losses,” Mr Sumanthiran said. “Our youth can no longer be destroyed in their masses.”

        The party leader, R Sampanthan also said that the TNA would waste no time in pushing for a political solution based on its election manifesto.

        “Once the new parliament has been formed, based on our election manifesto, we have resolved to address matters to be fulfilled regarding a political solution and the people’s immediate needs without any delay,” Mr Sampanthan told reporters shortly after news of the party’s election victory at Monday’s general election.

        In its election manifesto, released last month, the TNA called for a political solution that merged the North and Eastern provinces and devolved powers of land, law and order, socio-economic development, cultural affairs and domestic and foreign fiscal powers and direct foreign investment in the North-East under a federal structure.

        “The Tamil People are entitled to the right to self-determination in keeping with the United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which Sri Lanka has accepted and acceded to,” the manifesto added.

        See more here. http://www.tamilwin.com/show-RUmtyIScSVluzJ.html

        Full transcript of Mr Sampanthan’s interview to Lankasri is reproduced below:

        “Our people has awarded a victory to the TNA in the parliamentary election that took place, by this, the Tamil people have placed their trust on the TNA once again. We would like to express our heartfelt thank you to them.

        “Unfortunately, in the past few days, some bad powers have been involved in false propaganda to confuse people. It affected our victory to some extent, if that didn’t happen, our chances would have been easier. It is commendable that people supported us amid many difficulties.”

        “Once the new parliament has been formed, based on our election manifesto, we have resolved to address matters to be fulfilled regarding a political solution and the people’s immediate needs without any delay.”

        “With regards to the new government, our view is that in the presidential election took place in January this year, the people living in this country eliminated the former president and chose the new president, we wish for the continuation of the mandate given to them [the new government] by the people.”

        “We wish that the government that is being formed, should safeguard the mandate given, and assist president Maithripala Sirisena in the establishment and continuance of good governance. We will welcome such a government.” “


    • 7

      Dr,Rajasingham Narendran

      “I personally hope you will help Mr.Sambanthan transform the TNA into a dynamic and forward looking political movement.”

      Haven’t you noticed how dynamic the TNA was when they had all their infighting in the last few months? The party seem to thrive on internal conflict which brings more vibrancy to TNA than any other party in this island.

      This election has put full stop to KASmaalam framing Ranil as un-elected prime minister and the section of Tamil diaspora accusing Sumanthiran being un-elected member of parliament.

      My suspicion is that KASmaalam and diaspora work hand in hand. KASmaalam could be a secret admirer of VP.

      • 9

        Dear NV,


        The TNA has to go through a democratic transformation within. It has to also go through a soul searching exercise to be attuned to the people, their needs and their real aspirations. The TNA can longer act like a prophet leading people to their destiny. It should take in the promising young and proven old within its folds and open itself to debate , dissent and discussion. It should cease to be a closed shop, articulating the same age old nonsense over and over again. If it continues in the same old way, it will go the way of the dinosaurs soon.

        Further, this has been a defining moment for the Sinhala, Buddhist and the Sinhala-Buddhist electorate. They are as diverse as we are and less chauvinistic than we Tamils are collectively. They have proved themselves to be beyond an exclusive anti-Tamil agenda. Labelling all Sinhalese and Buddhists with the Sinhala-Buddhist extremist label has been proven untenable.

        This election has given an opportunity for the Sinhalese and Tamils to prove that they are not what they were assumed and labelled to be. We should give up using cliches once and for all.


        • 1

          We should give up using cliches once and for all.””


          • 1


            “We should give up using cliches once and for all.”” stupidity?”

            How do you call when you note “stupid is as stupid does”?

            Not just one but 21 Million.

  • 6

    Mr Sumanthiran,

    Congratulation on your magnificent victory!

    Let us hope that you will continue in your mission to build up confidence and trust among the major communities and their leaders to reach a solution to the vexed national problem and pursue relentlessly to create independent institutions and structures for the people in the Northern and Eastern provinces to continuously address their day to day problems, not on a piecemeal fashion, but on a permanent basis so that they will be independant and self-reliant communities within the overall Sri lankan context.

    • 5

      Yes congratulations from me too to TNA Sambanthan and Sumanthiran for their great performance at the last election.

      Yes slow and steady wins the race,
      Firstly try to cure the root problems prevails in the North and East . Multitude of problems needed to be seen to.

      A strong party with educated members speaks with ONE VOICE AND ONE GOAL should put the foundation for a bright Future for the Tamil people.
      You will go in history if you achieve something ,unlike the past politicians who takes up politics to get rich for themselves and their families only.
      We have seen the down falls in the past and present.

  • 4

    Congratulations .
    Consider your victory as a struggle for the people of SL for the restoration of their aspirations for their right for Social Justice,Democracy,and a dignified life, Today we live in a world where many lack employment opportunities,housing,health care,schooling for their children, coping to the best of their ability with escalating prices,and many such uncertainties.
    You would have noticed the incredible capacity of our people rich and poor, workers and peasants the old and the young all decided to organise and unify, across the racial and religious divide and express their solidarity in the recent election to identify and reject selfish subversion tactics which were relied upon to appeal to their base instincts .That failed.

    • 0

      Read “struggle of”

  • 6

    Congratulations to MR M A Sumanthiran and may the good Lord guide you as you represent Jaffna in the Parliment

    A big boooooo to the diaspora monkeys who tried to incite hatred while sitting comfortably in Canada,US,UK,Europe etc and serves Kumar Ponnambalams son a good lesson for listening to the diaspora

  • 4

    To Sumanthiran

    Congratulations on your victory at the recent election.
    May the Lord be with you and guide you in your endeavors


  • 8

    Hon Member,

    When ever you raised your voice in parliament be it for the national cause or the cause of the oppressed, your voice transcended all the ethnic divides. Pity TNA could not contest outside North and East. You surely would have a tremendous and overwhelming support. All the best as a forthright parliamentarian

  • 4

    Congratulations Mr Sumanthiran. As you said it is a victory for people, policy and the youth. Please keep up the good work and continue marching towards your proclaimed goals. Wishing you all the best in all your endeavours.

    PS: You are not the Member of Parliament for the District of Jaffna until you are sworn in. Now you are only a member elect. I am surprised that the smart lawyer in you missed this simple legal jargon.

  • 5

    Congratulation Mr Sumanthiran for being elected to the Parliament. Its a great sigh of relief for us as you are one of the few among the TNA members who was contributing sensible debates in parliament. This election also demonstrated the genuine opinion of the Tamil people from north and east. They no longer need extreme or fundamental path and they wish to go along with the national stream. All you have to do it to offer helping hand to the people living in war ravaged areas.

    Good luck

  • 5

    Thank you for rejecting a further 800 million of stolen money to reject the devil. TNA should look at a moderate approach to further the issues faced by the Northern & Eastern people displaced by the war.

  • 3

    You deserve this victory. Please show the diaspora the right path they should take? Tamil people cannot be fooled again by slogans and flags speeches poetry dance and empty rhetoric delivered from a safe distance.
    Well done
    A good leader for the country and teh Tamil people

  • 3

    Congratulations Mr. Sumanthiran on your convincing victory and the
    credit of sweeping the N/E electorates goes to TNA revered leader Mr.Sampanthan. The extremists among the majority kept calling TNA as
    a proxy to Ltte and they have now clearly proved that they are not for separation but for united Sri Lanka with devolution of power to run their own affairs in the country in a federal set up and convincingly defeated, the extremists among the Tamils just like the Sinhala people voted against communal forces, very first time. This is a clear proof that Tamils are not for separation, and the majority is willing to treat the minorities as equals, at least after the war was over.

    The only worry Tamils have at the moment is that TNA is opting to
    stay in the opposition, despite heavy demands from the Tamils to sit
    on govt. benches and accept cabinet positions.Although TNA has achieved
    a comfortable position,in the parliament,they are subjecting the Tamils
    of the North to a secondary position as they have to go behind,begging,
    people like unelected minister Swaminathan & the Muslim ministers from the East to get their things done and this was evident when the national govt. was in power just before the election. TNA failed to accept the concept that when you sit with the Govt, you are with the govt. and when sitting in the opposition, you are against the govt. and how could TNA get most pressing problems, that needs immediate attention,solved, while being in the opposition and more over, cabinet meetings take place, probably every week and that is the place where they could face each other and solve the pressing problems by dialogue,
    on a one to one basis , instead wait for appointments, which could take weeks or months. Think it over TNA as Tamils too would like to move forward. One request to TNA leaders is not to waste time with foreign govts. and diaspora and instead, talk with this moderate govt. often and get the problems solved as all feel that there is a Tamil problem and should be solved at the earliest.

  • 2

    This victory you earned after speaking the truth and against all fals news published by some new websites such newjaffna.com and underhand work of ANATHI AMMA AND SURESH MANDIAYAN.Please make sure not to give a place to MANDIAN SURESH A national list posting.

    • 3

      Greater than winning 16 seats is defeating this single unwanted MP. The Tamil voter has done wonders.

    • 1


      “Please make sure not to give a place to MANDIAN SURESH A national list posting.”

      Why do you want to exclude MANDIAN SURESH? He must be a clever chap with big brain. Doesn’t Mandaian mean brainy person?

  • 2

    Dear Sumanthiran,

    Congratulations.Thank you for tirelessly working to uplift the sprints of the Tamil people both in Sri Lanka and abroad.

    You have more work to do than ever before.In your endeavor to a working module to archive this do not forget to visit the war ravaged areas where our young widows,widowers and orphan children are still struggling to eke out a living.
    Seing their representatives for whom they voted will give them the assurance that TNA will always be for them.The youth is our future and their voices should be heard as you rightly repeat in your message.

    The south has to clean up their mess of infighting,murder,white van and black van abductions,torture,drug addicts,drug pedaling etc.With the newly formed government hopefully there will be a quick clean up like the overnight round up of stray dogs in Colombo.I do hope the innocent stray dogs have a better life now.
    The two legged ones knew the laws they were breaking to fill their banks,murder etc.
    I hope the new government will set up a true democracy for Sri Lanka where all lives matter and the pursuit of happiness is the utmost importance for all citizens of Sri Lanka.
    Thank you
    Ruba Rajaratnam Gnanaratnam

  • 4

    who is going to put the cat among the pigeon of NPC or tie the bell around the cat of CM CV

    • 0

      correction;Pigeons of NPC aka NPC Pigeons

  • 3

    Congratulations for moderate politicians of all communities! I hope this narrow win of the moderates against the ultra-nationalists (from all communities) can be consolidated by moderation of policies and politics by the new parlement.

    They HAVE to prevent further polarization of the communities in Sri Lanka if any of the stated economic objectives are to be accomplished. In order to strengthen the moderates we need to stop talk of separation, vilification of minority religions and ethnicities, corruption, nepotism and militarization of society.

    As for federalism, it is a highly polarizing and provocative concept for the majority of Sri Lankans. Tamil politicians who support it will have to talk to the average Sri Lankan people (sinhala and muslim included) about what federalism entails, and be honest and upfront about the possibility (or lack there of) of federalism leading to separatism. Sumanthiran might be the best Tamil parliamentarian to do that.

    They would also have to answer objectively the grievances that the sinhalese hold about the merger of the northern and eastern provinces. Majority of Sri Lankans feel that demarcating both these provinces (that constitute a large area of the Island’s coastal resources) as the heritage (and presumably ownership in order to exploit it) of only ONE ethnic group is blatantly unfair. Tamil politicians who support this merger will have to once again explain and substantiate their claims to the Sinhalese in order to convince them that this is the right thing for the state.

    If the above 2 issues are not resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, it is only a matter of time before the grievances of one community or the other drags the country back to violence and economic ruin.

  • 4

    Those who tried to dicredit Sumanthiran from the Diasphora are a small bunch who directly benefitted from the war -industry. Never truly cared about the Tamil people’s welfare.

  • 2

    Congratulations to Mr. Sumanitharan and TNA for winning the majority and having a mandate in the North and East. I would also emphasize if you Mr. Sumanitharan can promise to our entire nation that the TNA ideaology, if true to your party conviction and what you have refereed here in this article as “let us decide our destiny” is within a unitary state of Sri Lanka?

  • 0

    Congratulations Suma! You are THE greatest lawyer and the greatest figure in Sri Lankan politics. In fact, you are THE man that can unite all the diverse people of Sri Lanka! You got a victory, but it would even have been a greater thing for Sri Lanka if you were president or PM. In the last several years, you were the major voice that helped prevent Sri Lanka from losing its democracy. The fact is that you represent all people who love freedom and democracy and who want to work together for a better and more prosperous Sri Lanka that is united under the rule law where all people are equally treated and where all people have opportunities. That is the Sri Lanka you are trying to build. You are Sri Lanka’s version of John F. Kennedy and I wish you well!

  • 2

    Sadly, while the Tamil people voted overwhelming (almost unanimously) for moderation over extremism, the Sinhala people were clearly polarised between those who did so and those who once again voted for the worst forms of extremism as evidenced by very MPs returned from the UPFA.

  • 11


    This Victory Is A Victory For Soft Power:

    *** First of all congratulations on securing the clear mandate of the Tamil people.
    Having said that I wish I can be as confident as you are about what the means.
    We face a lot of challenges to get to where we want to be. Make no mistake our destiny lies in achieving the following in that order.
    1) first of all getting 13th Amendment implemented.
    2) Merging North and East.
    3) Devolution of Land and Police power without which Colonisation will continue and our Land and our Identity will be lost.

    The key to achieving all of the above is India and the oustside World. The majority will never give you what we want willingly without outside involvement.

    At last finally we have got the two who matter working together. The Iron Lady and Mr.Modi.

    India has finally woken up to the fact that Sri Lanka has to be brought under her control and hence the determination to build the Bridge and no one should doubt Indias relsove in this and I give the proof below.

    “Sri Lanka says not officially informed by India on Indo-Lanka rail link

    English.news.cn 2015-08-10

    COLOMBO, Aug. 10

    According to reports, the Indian government has asked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to carry out a pre-feasibility study for financing the project across Palk Strait between India and Sri Lanka.
    The project may be a combination of bridge and underwater tunnel which may allow unhindered movement of ships. As the project is in the conceptual stage, it is too early to comment on the time bound program of this project, reports quoted the Indian government as saying last week.
    However, Deputy Foreign Minister Ajith Perera told Xinhua Monday that despite these reports, Sri Lanka was yet to be informed of any such proposal.
    Perera, who is a candidate from the ruling United National Party (UNP) for the August 17 parliamentary elections, nonetheless said that if his party wins the polls and continues in government, they would consider India’s proposal if it is officially communicated.
    However, he stressed that the negatives and positives of such a project would have to be carefully studied along with the social and economic impact it would have on both countries before discussing the matter further.
    “It is a massive project which has to be thoroughly studied before any decision can be made,” Perera said.
    In the past, a short boat ride used to connect the railway lines that ended at Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka and Dhanushkodi in India, which was in operation till 1966.

    1) The Tamil National Alliance has achieved a resounding victory at the 2015 General Election, successfully overcoming the challenges and fierce opposition it faced.

    *** This is only a small consoltaion as I am sure you appreciate that your support will not needed are you are going to sit on the opposition benches so will not wield any power in the policy making.

    2) For the second time this year, the Tamil People have shown a clear intention to strengthen the hand of the Tamil National Alliance. They have done so keeping intact the goal of their long term political struggle, and with hope that their lives will be restored.

    *** But the Tamils are realists and they know that they are not going to shape the policies at the Centre.

    3) Our People’s clear recognition of the crucial nature of this election, and their overwhelming response in casting their vote and thus ensuring the victory of the Tamil National Alliance, once again reflects to the world the great political wisdom of the Tamil People. Let me take this opportunity to first humbly express my heartfelt thanks to all those who voted for us.

    *** It confirms to the World that the Nation is divided along ethnic lines and therefore the solution has to recognize that fact which I accept is a plus.

    4) Let me also express my heartfelt thanks to all the people of my native Jaffna who placed their trust in me and cast the 58,043 preferential votes I received from the Jaffna electoral division. This victory is just the beginning for us.

    *** It is commendable but be true to yourself and show the same Courage and Committment of Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

    5) The Tamil People cannot experience any more loss. We cannot continue to lose our youth in devastating numbers in the future.

    *** We have passed that stage. NO MORE TAMIL BLOOD.

    I will be writing to you on another matter.

    • 4

      ” Arasanai nambi, pursuanai kaividaathey” ( trusting the King, do not divorce your husband).


    • 2


      “We face a lot of challenges to get to where we want to be. Make no mistake our destiny lies in achieving the following in that order.”

      While I don’t want to deny your right to comment I wonder why you should be considered a decision maker and use the plural “we” in this context.

      Mr Sumanthiran is one of the very few well educated Tamils who have returned from abroad after studying there.

      You have admitted yourself that you abandoned Jaffna at an early age and never returned. Sorry to say that I have no respect for you and the rest of the pro LTTE Diaspora. Keep on whining from distance!

  • 0

    .the passion that rules.In praise of stupidity

    I have never been able to discover anything logical in English behaviour or in their national history, the historical growth of the uncatalogued constitution. The very strength of the British consists in the English lack of cerebration, in their total inability to see the other man’s point of view and in their strong conviction that the English way is the only right way and English food is the only good food. The moment the Englishman learn to reason and lose their strong confidence in themselves, the British will collapse. For no one can go about conquering the world or interfering if he has doubts about himself.

  • 1

    Congratulations Mr Sumanthiran in your victory, which is well deserved. I am if the view that the soft power, particularly in the circumstances the current situation turned into, is good enough to achieve what the Tamils in SL need first and then, even their wants as much as such wants are similar to any other Sri Lankans would enjoy.

    With Sampanthan leadership, I believe you can achieve what so far Tamils have failed to achieved. He was a leader when Prabaharan was at helm as well as when MR was, but these two hot heads could not shaken his resolves. Work with majority leaders and let them commit what they willing to offer. If there was goodwill from some majority leaders to sort out this issue once and for all, just be a pillar for them let them to bring forward such political changes rather than you do, which will be given a racial twist, even if it were nothing to do with an racial inclination.

    Your resounding victory confirms people mandate to take their destiny on their behalf. Just forgot about the effigies burning and national list MP call shots belittling by a section of our people. People will identify such cheats. Happy to see you taking our matters to the house with renewed confidence.

  • 2

    Well done Mr Sumanthiran. Congratulations.

    Joint Letter to UNHCHR re OISL Recommendations

    Joint Letter to HC Zeid_August18 2015

    August 18, 2015

    Dear Sir,


    We, the undersigned representatives of the Tamil Diaspora, in exile from the island of Sri Lanka[1] , and Tamils from all around the world, would like to express our gratitude to you and your office on the task of providing a definitive report on the events at the end of the war in Sri Lanka that brought unfathomable calamity on Tamil victims and survivors. We look forward to the release of the report as an impartial legitimate record of what our People have endured.

    We submit this memorandum to responsibly convey to you that neither a domestic mechanism nor a hybrid mechanism would be able to deliver justice to Tamil victims in Sri Lanka. We firmly believe that justice can only be meted out by referring Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court.

    In the Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka[2] (March 31, 2011) it is stated inter alia: “Accountability also requires official acknowledgement by the State of its role and responsibility in violating the rights of its citizens when that has occurred.” When the State itself is implicated in international crimes, it cannot play any role in the administering of justice pertaining to those crimes. As the accepted legal principle holds, nemo judex in sua causa– an accused cannot be judge in one’s own case.

    The underlying nature of the conflict in Sri Lanka is a conflict between two nations, namely Sinhala Nation and Tamil Nation. Given that, for a State to play a role in its resolution, it must be neutral. However, as demonstrated by Sri Lanka’s history since “independence”, the Sri Lankan State, including the judiciary, overwhelmingly dominated by the Sinhala Nation, has failed to uphold even the appearance of neutrality. The judiciary has always been subservient to the political leadership when it comes to abuses against Tamils, and that is evidenced by all of the past Commissions of Inquiry.

    The mandate of the OISL is not limited to war crimes but also includes international crimes, which is further defined in Article V of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court as consisting of the crime of genocide; crimes against humanity; war crimes; and the crime of aggression. Article II of the 1948 Genocide Convention defines genocide to mean “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such.” By this very definition of genocide, the Sri Lankan State, controlled almost exclusively by the Sinhala ethnic group, will not be able to adjudicate any charge of genocide by the Sri Lankan State against the Tamils, whether as part of a hybrid mechanism or a domestic mechanism. Therefore, an outside, independent international mechanism is essential for a fair adjudication of the crimes which fall within the purview of the mandate.

    It has been the belief in some quarters that the changing of the guard would result in change in institutionalized impunity in Sri Lanka. The Tamils have seen numerous regime changes since Sri Lanka becoming an independent State in 1948, and none of the regimes made any sincere effort to address Tamil grievances. The promotion of former Army Chief Sarath Fonseka to Field Marshal status and the recent appointment[3] of former Commander of the notorious 57th division, Major General Jagath Dias, as Army Chief of Staff, both of whom have been implicated in grave international crimes by reputable INGOs, is not only a slap on the face to the victims, but also to the OISL, an open flaunting of the accountability demanded of the Sri Lankan State.

    None of Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanisms, including the one that had the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons, has been successful. Accountability and justice are processes that must be credible in the view of the victims, ensuring the free participation of the victims, and complying with international norms and standards. Further, given that the exclusively Sinhalese Sri Lankan military apparatus is still intact, and given the intense militarization4 of the North East where the Tamil victims live, the Tamils will continue to be fearful to participate in any in-country process.

    Given the history and politics of Sri Lanka, a domestic or hybrid mechanism will not meet these standards and thus the only fair option is an international process led by the United Nations.

    A hybrid tribunal can be useful, where a state has the will, but lacks the capacity to deliver justice. This is not the case in Sri Lanka, because there is no political will to prosecute members of the Sinhala Nation or to deliver justice to the Tamils. Even the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka recently told the Southern constituency that they will set up domestic inquiry “to clear the name of the army.” In fact, much of the upcoming parliamentary elections will revolve around precisely this issue.

    The present regime lacks the stability and capacity to uphold a prolonged trial of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Such a trial, if held, will only intensify anti-Tamil sentiments and may result in anti-Tamil pogroms. The result will be diametrically opposed to what the accountability process hopes to achieve, namely non-recurrence, deterrence, healing and peace. The Secretary General’s internal report on the failures in Sri Lanka (the Petrie Report) gave birth to the Rights Upfront initiative, drawing lessons from Sri Lanka. The UN should not fail the Tamil victims yet again by instituting any mechanism dependent on the Sri Lankan State.

    Meanwhile, “One Million Signature Campaign,” a campaign to urge Your Excellency to refer the OISL Report on Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court has surpassed its target. It also urges you to recommend continued action on Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council. The one million signatures rejecting local and hybrid mechanisms also jibes with the recent survey results conducted by the Center for Policy Alternatives that found an overwhelming 84% of Tamils wanting an international accountability process. With great respect for your commitment and work to protect and promote human rights around the globe, to ensure justice and accountability, to build deterrence, and to ensure that injustices are never repeated, we would like to request the following action from you:

    A recommendation to refer the case to the International Criminal Court or an international accountability process, rather than support for a domestic or a hybrid judicial process.

    Thanking you,


    1. British Tamil Conservatives (UK)
    2. British Tamils Forum (UK)
    3. Illankai Tamil Sangam (USA)
    4. International Council of Eelam Tamils (Canada-Norway-Finland-Denmark-Sweden-HollandBelgium-Germany-France-Switzerland-Ireland-Italy-Australia-New Zealand and partner country Mauritius)
    5. Pasumai Thaayagam Foundation (Green Motherland), (India)
    6. People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (USA)
    7. Southside FM Radio (South Africa)
    8. Swedish Tamils Forum (Sweden)
    9. Ministry of International Affairs – Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)
    10. United States Tamil Political Action Council (USA)
    11. World Tamil Organization (USA)

    1Tamils in Sri Lanka have been referred to as Ceylon Tamils for centuries. The 1972 constitution that changed the name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka was adopted without the consent of Tamils, and hence their reluctance to be called Sri Lankan Tamils. Over the past 3 decades, they have been calling themselves Eelam Tamils. Referring them as Eelam Tamils also differentiates them from Tamil Nadu Tamils of South India.

    2POE Report, pg iv http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Sri_Lanka/POE_Report_Full.pdf

    3 Sri Lanka: New Army Chief a Blow to Justice. https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/05/17/sri-lanka-new-army-chiefblow-justice

    4 More than 18,000 people were taken away for interrogation by the Sri Lankan military at the end of the war. While few of these people have been released after undergoing torture and abuse in state custody, vast number of those remains unaccounted for. The Sri Lankan state continues to defy calls for a comprehensive list of those who were taken into custody.


    Further reading:
    ◾Internal Probe Finds UN Culpable of Inaction in Preventing Mass Atrocities in Sri Lanka
    ◾“I Remain a Friend of the Sinhala People and of Buddhism”
    ◾Geneva Resolution: Not A Victory For Tamils, But A Defeat For Sri Lanka

  • 0

    “This victory is a victory for soft power. This victory is a victory for our future. This victory is the victory of our youth.
    The Tamil people cannot experience
    any more loss. We cannot continue to lose our youth in devastating numbers in the future”.
    The well articulated and foresighted statement made by Mr.Sumanthiran speaks well of a politician who has vision to bring redress to a people that is still struggling to recover from the horrors and devastations of war. Congratulations Mr.Sumanthiran on your well merited victory at the polls. The ‘Fifth Column’ in the midst worked overtime relentlessly to stop your victory fearing that your presence in the arena will be an impediment and a stumbling block for their schemes and maneuvers but they got thrown off without a trace.
    We can have hopes for redress on immediate issues such as re-settlement of those languishing in IDP camps, release of war detainees from prisons, war affected female headed households be given economic and empowerment support and also protection from intimidation and to uplift their livelihood. The iniquitous army prevalence in the North and East be reduced to a considerable level for the people to enjoy freedom of movement and to save their lands and properties from exploitation.

    Your debating skill and the manner of speaking with courage in the last parliament using words in parlance with parliamentary etiquette were exemplary.So we can expect better and forth-right eloquence from you and that too as an elected MP in the next parliament.
    Good luck and Best Wishes,


  • 2

    Sri Lanka election: Tamil voters must keep TNA on straight and narrow

    By JS Tissainayagam Aug 21, 2015 3:27PM UTC

    The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) performed exceptionally well in Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election on August 17. But as it prepares to negotiate with the new government on behalf of its Tamil electorate on a political settlement, accountability and demilitarisation, it is up to the Tamil public, civil society and the Tamil diaspora to keep tabs to ensure the TNA remains true to the mandate given by the voters.

    Elections to parliament followed a presidential election on January 8, which saw the shock defeat of the corrupt and violent presidency of Mahinda Rajapakse. The new president, Maithripala Sirisena, who came at the head of a coalition which the TNA helped place in power, pledged to work towards restoring democracy and good governance through a 100-day programme. Last week’s parliamentary election was a referendum on the 100-day reform programme.

    However, the focus of parties contesting Tamil-dominated northern and eastern Sri Lanka was in stark contrast to party interest in the Sinhala-dominated parts of the country. In the Northern and Eastern provinces, the main campaign debate was between the TNA and the Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF). It concentrated on a federal constitution based on the right to self-determination for a political settlement, and for accountability for mass atrocities against Tamil civilians during the civil war that ended in May 2009.

    The contest in the Sinhala south was mainly between Rajapakse’s United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), led by Ranil Wickremesinghe. While both the UNFGG and UPFA had many differences, they categorically rejected the TNA and TNPF’s demands for both a federal constitution and international accountability.

    Thus it was a deeply divided Sri Lankan polity with entrenched prejudices that went to the polls. Of the 225 parliamentary seats up for grabs, the UNFGG secured 106 (just short of a simple majority, but expected to form the government), the UPFA 95 and the TNA was third with 16, with other parties taking the residue.

    While Tamils demonstrated their support to the TNA at the election, its failure to deliver on many needs of the Tamil electorate during the seven months of the Sirisena government has left its electorate worried. This is visible in at least three important areas of Tamil life.

    First are the families of the disappeared. Disappearances of Tamil civilians had been taking place even before large-scale armed combat war began in the 1980s: some were abducted by unknown people, while others were arrested by the police and military. None of them were seen by their families again.

    But disappearances following arrest crossed a threshold in May 2009. As hostilities wound down in the country’s civil war, around 300,000 people crossed from LTTE-controlled areas into government territory. Some of them were LTTE cadres others were civilians. They had to all register with the Sri Lanka military after crossing. In the weeks and months that followed an unknown number – said to be in the thousands – disappeared. They were taken by the military ostensibly for questioning. When they did not return, their families believed they were being held incommunicado in Sri Lankan prisons. In the following months these families began a mostly futile search for their loved ones.

    Families searching for their missing loved ones hoped that the Sirisena government that was placed in office by Tamil votes mobilised by the TNA would help bring their children back. But they were sorely disappointed. The indifference of the government to the disappeared is summed up in the words of Wickremesinghe, who told a New York Times interviewer, “‘there are people who are missing whose names are not found anywhere,’ which, he said, means they either “are not among the living, or they left the country. That’s all.’”

    Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena. Pic: AP.
    Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena. Pic: AP.

    Some families of the disappeared at least have got the message that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government does not care. But unable to avenge themselves on the government, they expressed their outrage at the Tamil parties, including the TNA. On the eve of the election at a protest, they said, “[t]hat they would not vote for anyone in this election or in any election until their missing loved ones were returned to them or they received news about them, the protesters condemned both the previous government and the present government.”

    The second group of Tamils who have been disappointed with the TNA are those who believed that despite the TNA helping Sirisena to become president, it had failed to protect them from continuing human rights abuses. Their expectation of this from a political party and not the police is understandable because in the past the police have been a force of oppression of the Tamils, rather than an agency to enforce law and order.

    The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), headed the South African jurist Yasmin Sooka, details many harrowing cases in its July 2015 report . The report said, “organised abductions, torture and sexual violence by the security forces have continued long after the change of government and as recently as July 2015.”

    The third group that entertains disappointment with the TNA is those who demand an international investigation for what the United Nations terms war crimes and crimes against humanity. The demand for an international investigation and trial before an international tribunal seemed possible when the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution in May 2014 for a report one year later. While the presentation of the report has been now postponed to September, media organisations highlighted a leaked document where the UN’s Office in New York pre-empts action in September and outlines plans to set up a purely domestic inquiry into human rights violations.

    Tamils – especially the victims – have consistently rejected anything other than a full-fledged international mechanism for the investigation and trial of the perpetrators. A survey by the British NGO Sri Lanka Campaign for Truth and Justice of the survivors that had outlined the merits/demerits of different models for seeking justice for war crimes concluded that there was “clear support for an international and clear understanding that this mechanism had to be established by the United Nations.”

    In the face of this, the TNA manifesto’s ambivalence on supporting an international mechanism to deliver justice for the victims provoked much irritation within the Tamil polity. The manifesto asked for “[a]scertainment of the truth … Truth, justice, reparation and the guarantee of non-recurrence … being comprehensively addressed so as to ensure permanent and genuine reconciliation between the different peoples on the basis of justice and equality.”

    The uproar this statement provoked had the TNA scrambling to reassure the voters that it stood unreservedly for an international investigation.

    In the light of these developments, it is now up to the Tamil voters, Tamil civil society – especially organisations such as the Tamil Civil Society Forum – and the Tamil diaspora to keep the TNA accountable and not deviate from its policy statements declared before elections. There are at least two areas where they should be vigilant.

    The TNA has had a tendency to act in the past as a gatekeeper between the Tamil people and the world outside – be it with Sri Lanka’s central government institutions or the international community. As such, it sees its role as keeping the northern and eastern Sri Lanka stable and quiet, while procuring for the Tamil public its needs.

    For instance, it is only a few TNA parliamentarians and provincial councillors who have been personally involved in grassroots-level organisation around issues such as returning private land occupied by the military in northern Sri Lanka while other leaders (unless canvassing for votes) remain aloof.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron greets villagers of Internally displaced people’s camp at Chunnakam village, in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, during his visit in 2013. Pic: AP.
    British Prime Minister David Cameron greets villagers of Internally displaced people’s camp at Chunnakam village, in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, during his visit in 2013. Pic: AP.

    When it comes to protests on disappearances, the TNA generally leaves civil society organisations to support the families of missing persons. A well-documented example of this was British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Jaffna during the November 2013 Commonwealth Summit. Rather than take Cameron to the place where families of the disappeared were gathered, thereby giving the survivors an opportunity to air their grievances to a powerful actor who could take their message to the international community, the TNA leadership chose to escort him away – a move that was later criticised by commentators.

    The Tamil public and civil society have to temper the TNA’s tendency to have a patron-client relationship with its voters and keep reminding the party that it derives its power and legitimacy only from the people it represents.

    The Tamil public has to also hold the TNA to the promise of pursuing international justice for mass atrocities. There are persuasive arguments that have been put forward that models other than an international investigation will be more expedient to establish. However, in the face of mounting criticism from its electorate the TNA pledged before the election to support an international mechanism and going back on it would be a horrendous betrayal.

    What the Tamils expected from the TNA after May 2009 was unique. While legally it had to function as a political party within the Sri Lankan system, the Tamils expected the TNA to also negotiate with the Sri Lanka government as an elected representative of a people – of a nation if you may. Up to now the TNA has not played that role well. But with the TNA’s remarkable electoral victory emasculating other Tamil political parties, it is now left to the Tamil public, civil society and diaspora to be check on the TNA to compel it to stay on the straight and narrow.

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