22 September, 2018

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TNA – Is It Taking The Tamils For A Ride?

By Kumarathasan Rasingam

Kumarathasan Rasingam

Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a loose group of four parties, Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), People’s Liberation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Eelam People’s Liberation Front (EPRLF) was formed in 2001 with the blessings of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leadership.TNA then always followed the decrees of LTTE while speaking for the Tamils to the outside world and in Parliament. The TNA’s leader Sampanthan has been at the helm directing the fortunes of Tamils as well as controlling the often rebelling and dissenting members within the alliance. He has been successful in maintaining the brittle alliance without break-up, though dissenting views often appear to lead the break-up. TNA is sustaining its survival due to the charm of Sampanthan and after the election in 2015 it emerged as the second largest group, thanks to the coalition of major rivals UNP and SLFP opting to unite and forming an uneasy coalition Government dubbing it as a Government of ‘Good Governance”. TNA openly called on the Tamil voters to back the SLFP-UNP combination for the sake of a prospective “government of Good Governance” particularly meeting the demands of the TNA for a just and permanent political settlement based on a Federal System of government and to defeat dictatorial Rajapakshe regime.

TNA extended its support unconditionally to the coalition Government without any written agreement or pact. When Sampanthan was asked by the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga as to why he did not insist on a written agreement, TNA leader frankly admitted the earlier betrayals written agreements and pacts. It is an interesting question to ask Sampanthan whether an oral or mutual understanding or consensus is stronger than written ones or whether he knew the fate of this oral understanding to suffer the same death.

It is thus becoming a relevant matter to query Sampanthan as to why he should go on continuing his meaningless support when the net result would be disappointing with deceiving outcome.

If one looks at the track record of TNA from 2015 to as the representative of Tamils and donning the role of the official opposition party, the performance of the TNA is surely souring and hurting the dignity of self-esteem and self-respect of the Tamils.

After more than two years, and with various promises made by the President Maithiri and Prime Minister Ranil, the Tamils are still faced with hordes of problems following the war which ended in 2009.

The release of all political prisoners as promised is yet to be fulfilled and TNA also seems to have left it high and dry as it is.

The release of lands occupied by the security forces in the North and East is another promised matter which is still hanging in balance and there is no likelihood it will ever happen as demanded by the Tamil leaders and TNA.

In Jaffna district, a total of 4800 acres [4200 acres belonging to civilians] is still in the hands of Army while in Kilinochi district a Total of 1600 acres of lands is occupied by the Army.

The Army Commander as well as the President has already declared their stand by confirming that there would be no reduction on Army personnel or release of private lands occupied by the security forces After the defeat of LTTE in 2009, there is no justification to hold on to these lands as there are no signs of any militancy to pose threat to the state or security forces.

TNA’s achievements during this period of ‘Good Governance’ reflect a sorry state of affairs marked with contradictions, inconsistencies, wavering and lack of courage and determination.

Besides the failures to release the political prisoners and seized lands, there are also failings of TNA on many other issues.

TNA leadership failed miserably to identify and join with the peaceful and voluntary protest campaigns of the traumatised people who are searching for the disappeared, while crying for information as to whether they are alive or dead, so as to end their continuing and agonising suspense.

It is to be noted that TNA leaders however marked their attendance as visitors, while the protesters are left along to continue the protest campaign without any official undertakings to investigate same and reveal the truth and statistics of those disappeared. In this respect, TNA leadership has neither cared to compile the details of those missing nor demanded quick answers to the questions of how, when, where and by whom the estimated 146,679 missing persons met their fate, a figure compiled by Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph

TNA’s wavering stand on war crimes investigation and international mechanism started with a bang and has now ended with a whimper with no prospect of international mechanism or a credible international mechanism accepted by TNA. By co-operating with the Government and supporting the extension of two year period to implement the UNHRC’s Resolution 30 of October 2015, TNA has effectively became a complicit party to the slow death of this resolution in the years to come as indicated by the past and present foreign ministers.

By not opposing the GST+ concession which was subject to 58 conditions mainly dealing with human rights, and ratification of various UN Conventions, TNA has committed another betrayal causes of Tamils by sending TNA Member Sritharan to Brussels, Belgium along with the Governments delegation casts doubts on the role played by TNA in Geneva during the GSP+ discussions with the European Union, which fell for empty promises.

Sampanthan’s failure to observe or participate in the annual Mullivakkal Memmorial Day on a regular basis speaks of his level of sincerity and grief to the fallen youths & civilians which is not the quality of a leader of the Tamils. His belated and afterthought wily-nilly secondary participation this year while shielding behind Wigneswaran failed to impress those present while some created embarrassment for Sampanthan with question which broke the solemn purpose of the occasion.

TNA’s markedly grave failure is their deafening silence over the agenda of Buddhisisation going on before its eyes and ears. The proliferation of Buddha statutes and building of Viharas in Tamil Areas where there are hardly any Buddhists is going on at a hectic space in the North & East. TNA’s inexcusable silence is nothing but a consent to this cultural genocide tantamounting to justification of this pernicious agenda which was set in motion since independence. As Martin Luther King remarked “We shall have to repent in this generation not so much for the evil deeds of the wicked but of the silence of the good people”.

TNA as the official opposition party has also buried its constitutional role as an efficient opposition party to engage in constructive criticism which is an unwritten rule in a Parliamentary system of Government. TNA is also wholeheartedly supporting the government for most of its legislation and action while making some noise of opposition to some issues like counter terrorism legislation which has been contemptuously ignored in Parliament and Committee discussions. Its blind support to the budget of the Government is surely a betrayal of the Tamil’s causes when the Government is blessed by TNA to strengthen the Army’s hold on Tamil areas with a massive and defence expenditure. This failure of its role as an opposition party has even drawn the criticism of Sinhalese voters and parties who legitimately feel their dissenting voices being ignored and not taken care of.  With no signs of any internal revolt against the government, the massive defence expenditure is only to tighten the strangle hold on Tamils.

TNA’s stand on the new constitution is still shrouded in inexplicable secrecy and mystery. TNA which was all for a Tamil Eelam until 2009 dropped this demand in 2010 and opted for a federal system or a regional self-rule. The Election manifesto of TNA is specific on this demand.

It is learnt that TNA has even dropped this federal demand and is now calling for provincial autonomy under a unitary system which in effect means autonomy hanging on the dictates of a central Government. This is the biggest let down for the Tamils whose sacrifices are nil valued by TNA.

In the face of the ultimate goal of Sri Lankan Governments to make Sri Lanka a Sinhala-Buddhist state, by giving up its fight for a federal system or a self-rule based on the right to exercise self-determination to preserve the Tamil nation, TNA has inflicted a mortal wound to the legitimate aspirations of Tamils. Undoubtedly history will record this betrayal as one which endorsed the disappearance of Tamils as a race and nation in Sri Lanka with its ancient history, culture and language. In addition, it will be an infliction of injustice to the thousands of youths who sacrificed their lives and limbs to the cause of Tamils besides the billions of worth properties destroyed during the genocidal war.

Another persistent ill afflicting TNA is the lack of unity and union of minds on the crucial issues facing the Tamils. This disunity is sapping the strength and effectiveness of all Tamils’ demands locally and internationally. It appears that TNA leaders are bent on promoting self-image and glory while falling to the old age tactics and trap of divide and rule policy’ of Government.

TNA instead of drifting like a rudderless boat must set out its agenda of action for the Tamils towards the Government and launch fitting and timely campaigns to promote and pursue it locally and abroad. TNA’s muted silence and absenting from expressing its protest vehemently and vociferously is disturbing and causing suspicion as to where the loyalty of TNA lies, to the Tamil people or to the Government.

To be continued …

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Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    There isn’t a lot to blame on Sampanthar. As he said, if he had got anything on writing nothing might have been better than this.
    This was a substantial blunder committed by Ambassador Blake to support Old King. Latter days, he tried to revert but failed. Unlike the current American Shiv Shankar Menon, whose mentality is total negligent like Appe Aanduwa, Robert Blake tried to fix; couldn’t; regretted about it in Congress.
    Sampanthar’s mistake is a small part; but highly damaging. He did know that Obama Administration by drenching more into that will not achieve anything, but will have tangled more into that, yet he still supported to the power change the West wanted. Now the West has cut it golden goose, TNA, to take all eggs and have killed TNA to save UNP. TNA never can be TNA again even if Sampanthar bring out his secret solution with an Abracadabra. Few days ago only ICG had observed that the TNA has lost it standing within Tamil. Within days, the sole Royalty of the Tamil Land, FP, has been forced to back off and lick its wound in NPC. But in that “Taming the Shrew”, what came out is how much the worms have penetrated the Tamils unity’ wound. The unity looks, if like to save but not to leave to death, remove anything from waist underneath and permanently let it be immobile.

  • 2
    0

    Further NPC, hereafter unmanageable, may go voluntarily under Governor. These all the Southern powerful government’s, muscling all with the West’s blessing. Many times in the past we had pointed out that Mandela, Abbas, Netanyahu, Saudi King, Turkey Erdogan, Pakistan Nawaz, Egypt President and Aung San Suu Kyi -they all enjoyed very good relationship with West but never did anything damaging for them because West was asking. Even Yahapalanaya has been getting done all it wants with West but has not given an inch for West. So, not supporting to power change is not taking arms against the West. But that was the way that time left to save the West’s interest and Tamils safety. Sampanthar arrogantly refused to listen and damaged everything.

  • 3
    1

    As for the preelection secret deals between TNA and one of the Sinhala contesting parties bartering Tamil votes we the people are not responsible. The same grievances for 65 years – when are the Tamils going to learn? For my life I can’t understand how your politicians don’t realise that our crooks are promising things back doors they are not empowered to deliver. ——-Soma

    • 1
      2

      Soma,

      Please do not patronise people! You have no moral high ground whatsoever to patronise people. The model of power devolution is what is being deliberated; this much even you should comprehend without much difficulty.

      My feeling is that Sampanthan is behaving realistically towards a viable solution, which will be somewhat diluted from the standpoint of Federalism.

      • 1
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        B.I.
        Write down a list of benefits of federalism and draw up a lay out of proposed geographical federal units. Tell me what percentage of Tamils (Tamil speaking people) are benefitted. ——Soma

        • 0
          1

          Soma,

          This sort of out-dated argument will not cut. It is about time you come to terms with the fact that devolution is the way forward.

  • 3
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    The Tamils are used to being taken for a ride. (They even enjoy it when false hope is given about foreign saviours.)
    They have, however, not very much exercised their choice as to who takes them for a ride– except between 1983 and 2002. But then much of it was at gunpoint.
    The question is not whether the TNA is good or bad but whether those who pose as the alternative are any better.
    *
    A way has to be found outside this opportunist conservative narrow nationalism

    • 1
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      Tamils are a minority with a majority complex. The Tamils are yet to realise the reality ( even after 30 years of bloodshed) that they need to be practical. Tamils inability to understand the ground reality and tendency to stroke egos have brought them to where they are.

  • 0
    1

    would the author prefer the rajapakshe govt to the yahapalanaya one?The first objective of the TNA should be to see that the rajapakshe’s to not come back.

    Having said that ,sampanthan should declare that in future tamils should make their own decisions as to whom to vote for or whether to stay at home and not vote at all. This will encourage the sirisena leadership to directly woo the tamils bypassing sampnthan.That is better for the tamils.Now sirisena feels so comfortable with TNA support that he does not go directly to the hearts and minds of tamils.

  • 2
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    This dude obviously hasn’t seen the Hiru TV clip , where the next Leader of the ITAK/ TNA , Vellala Kid , Abraham telling the great majority of the inhabitant population that the Yahapalana Government of Dr Ranil and Maithri Sira is hoodwinking the Sinhala Buddhists………… It is all to give Vellalas the Eelaam. to run from Colombo……Otherwise why would such esteemed Good Governnace Leaders like Dr Ranil and B odhi Sira tell fibs to their own………….. What a great achievement for an out fit which was fathered by Tamil Terrorist Mr Pirahaparan. who will occupy the top position of the Terrorists Hall of Fame if there is one…………… Every one new Pira was the only Terrorist to have an Army, Navy , and and Airforce……. I also knew he had thousands of Child Soldiers…. But I never thought he had a force of over 150,000……..of whom 149,571 have been killed and or made to disappear according to the figure here…………If we add the 12,000 fully battle trained LTTE soldiers who were caught, rehabilitated and released , it would make the total of Mr Pira’s Force to just under 162,000 according Tamil Bishop Raiappau, whom this writer has got his stats from……..

    • 1
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      It is all to give Vellalas the Eelaam. to run from Colombo”” …………………….Offbeat to current news.UN vote backing Chagos Islands a blow for UK Mauritius supported by 94 nations in move to consult The Hague over colonial hold of Indian Ocean territory by British………… Pakistan and India voted for. Maldives against but China and SL refrained- dotta yanda bǣ. Its nothing but the full for Modi now with grace of UK/US/China as it was in the beginning.northerners go to SA zuma land and muslims go to bangladesh as swap (modi did it with hindu-muslim swap)

  • 2
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    The recent tussle at the Northern Provincial council and the TNA members all jointly settling the matter with no action against two ministers alleged to have been involved in corruption and the inquiry still pending. The Chief Minister has to succumb to the wishes of Sambanthan trio to safeguard the culprits. The other two ministers who have resigned were involved in fraud and corruption, They have squandered the peoples’ money. All these fellows are real wolves in sheep’s clothing.
    They have no place in the Tamil society. Sambanthan trio will not be there in the next parliament. There is no one to lead the Tamils except Wigneswaran. What can he do alone whom the Sinhala government despise.

  • 1
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    A way has to be found outside this opportunist[not oppo!] conservative narrow nationalism says SJ.
    The way out is you SJ. Everyone who knew you will vouch for the fact that you were not opportunist! You were by no means a Conservative! You were by no means narrow even in your marrow and as for your Nationalism was it not for opportunist reasons?

    • 0
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      Plato———-SJ is a Chinese nationalist in his marrow and still in love with the weeping widow whom he believe couldn’t make mistakes. ………..He loves her to bits for her ability to forge close relation with Mao, and who aided and abetted the Pakistani war criminals, starved her own people with long food queues, introducing one sided standardisation in Uni entrance, presiding over a stagnant economy, transforming cooperatives into multipurpose party offices, responsible for killing 18,000 mostly innocent youth, effectively converting a secular constitution into a Sinhala/Buddhist fascist charter, the only cheap transport available to the people was bicycles but the riders were unable to by tyres, ………………………………….. introducing large scale nepotism, fraud, cronyism, corruption, ———–impunity, etc ………………………..

      I think SJ is an ideal leadership candidate for SLFP or perhaps the leader of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in the China’s autonomous region of Sri Lanka.

  • 1
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    Almost all Tamil groups (except the one led by Devananda and the group led by Karuna) have ‘justice’ as the common aim. The differences if any is due to clash of personalities – the recent much hyped CM NPC and TNA is one such. It is true that TNA is trying out a somewhat untried strategy but their aim is above board.

    Kumarathasan Rasingam may address the more serious question “Are the Tamils being taken for a ride again?”

  • 2
    2

    This writer is a megalomaniac and a rabble-rouser. Behaves more like the clone of Wimalawansa, Udaya Gammanpila, Dinesh Gunawardena etc. He lives comfortably in Toronto, but wants the people in our homeland to fight and die for him. If he is interested in the cause, then he should go back and challenge the ITAK, not indulge in shadow boxing from the safety of his mansion. It is true that the Yahapalanaya has failed to deliver most of the promises it made, but at the same time it is untrue that the Yahapalanaya government has done nothing. As for lands only about 20% has been released to the rightful owners. As for political prisoners, out of 217 at the beginning of 2015, the figure now is around 95. The rest has been released or sent to rehabilitation camps. As for enforced disappearances he is exaggerating the number missing. The figure 146,679 was one submitted to the LLRC by late bishop Rayappu Joseph. It was computed on the basis of records kept by the Kachcheries. In the early part of 2008 the population in Vanni was 429,059. According to OHCHR update as of 10th July 2009, the total number of people who came out LTTE held areas around Puthukkudiyiruppu to government-controlled areas was estimated to be 282,380. Hence the difference of 146,679. However, during this period, some died of natural causes; many fled the area and moved to Jaffna and other areas like Colombo. Additionally, shiploads of injured civilians were transported to Trincomalee by ICRC ships from the war zone. Some even fled to Western countries. The extremists among the Tamils are exaggerating and inflating the number who perished in the last phase of the war for propaganda.

    • 2
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      Mr. Nakkran always fails to answer to the point or issues mentioned. He is as always tries to cover up or protect the TNA by his usual utterances like a cracked record player or parrot by saying “you are from Gagendrakumar’s party or supporter of Rajapaksha”. It is a fact the ITAK failed in their mission to thrown out CM and now licking the wounds after seeing the mass uprising against the three [SAM/SUM/MAVAI] Now they are like beaten dog and putting their tail between their legs and weeping.

  • 0
    1

    Rasasingam is a supporter of Rajapaksa. Strange but absolutely true. The theory is that if Rajapaksa comes to power he will escalate oppression of Tamil people that will help galvanizing the people to fight the government. Here is in extract of an email out of thousands he sends daily to his cohorts. It gives an insight into his madness and Sinhala phobia.
    “The moment the election was over, Sampanthan, Sumanthiran and Senathirajah were more interested in feathering their nests in Colombo and supported the Sinhalese agenda of living in a ‘united and undivided’ SL. No one has any objection to living in an undivided SL, but the people are not allowed to return their lands, Tamil Political Prisoners are not released, demilitarisation is yet to take place, the military is running civilian affairs with Tamil slave labour and colonisation is going on full swing. The Tamils lost faith in their elected leaders, as to date two after the election, none of the promises had been kept. They took the fight to the streets and demonstrated themselves without the help of these leaders.”
    A person who bolted his country and living in comfort in Toronto, is denigrating ITAK leaders for living in Colombo. In fact Senathirajah lives in Jaffna and Sampanthan lives in a high-rise one-room apartment given to him by the government. His permanent home is in Trincomalee. It seems there is no limit to some people’s meanness, insolence. bombast and no bounds to their spite

  • 1
    0

    I like to know what are the rights or things any Tamil in Sri Lanka hasn’t got which Singhalese has and how federalism or any other change will bring a solution to this situation.

    I think only solution is for everyone to think Sri Lanka is our homeland and it is our duty to protect it and hand over to future generation.

    • 0
      0

      Nana, most don’t eat wattalapam the satan’s `apple` You should put that question to Moroccan Bad U Din minister of education in 1970 or bachelor boy Dudley when he awarded ad hoc citizenship to foreign faith islam. –
      Don’t be disturbed at being misunderstood;
      be disturbed at not understanding.

  • 0
    0

    Tamils been taken for a ride by A, B, C, D, E…… X, Y, and Z. Since we have come to the end of the alphabet, lets start again.

    Never ending Tamil noise. The whole country is falling apart, the Tamils are not at all bothered about anything except plotting to destroy the Sinhalese. Why can’t the Tamils be like the rest of the humans and act like normal people ?

    Please for God sake understand, no kind of federalism is going to solve the Tamil problem. Its a mental issue. Take a look at Tamil Nadu, the Tamil homeland. Same kind of problems. Best solution is get the UN to come and divide the Sinhalese island into two and to dump all the Tamil speakers into whatever land area they want, and build a huge wall and let them live their pathetic Tamil lives, speaking Tamil and whatever other Tamil things they say they can’t do in a united Sri Lanka and let them have their Tamil peace and the Sinhalese can attend to the Sinhalese problems. There is never ever going to be a united peaceful Sri Lanka, as long as the pathetic Tamil immigrant minority think they are a majourity. Let them realize their problems, when their brethren from Tamil Nadu start sweeping over them and the Hindian government comes and ask them to learn Hindi and then they will realize how good they could have had in Sri Lanka, if they just didn’t demand things that cannot be practically attained. That’s how the Tamil mental sickness is going to get cured.

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