20 October, 2017

TNA Manifesto: A Historic Document To Fulfill The Political Aspirations Of The Eelam Tamils

By Paul Newman

Dr. Paul Newman

The whole of last week Tamils around the world were concerned on two important outcomes that would have a bearing on their future directly or indirectly. The two issues were the outcome of the visit of Dr.Navi Pillai, the UN Human Rights Commissioner and the release of the TNA’s Northern Provincial Election Manifesto. Today there is a lot to cheer about, both the outcomes have been extremely positive and complement each other to a great extent.

A manifesto of a political party is to outline the ‘Vision of the party towards its electorate’. In this context the two most important stakeholders are the “Tamils of the North’ and the TNA. I see a lot of positives in this document. To outline a few I would pick.

  1. The assertion of the Right to Self Determination
  2. Demand for an Independent International Inquiry
  3. Rejection of the 13th amendment as the final solution
  4. Keeping the whole document ‘Tamil Centric’ and not ‘Colombo Centric’, the TNA has got it politically right in quelling all doubts that they work as tools for Colombo, New Delhi, Washington etc
  5. Remembering and recognizing the problems faced by the war widows. By doing this the TNA has touched the emotional and social chord of the Tamils
  6. Welcome the Muslims to join the Tamils in rebuilding the North and building bridges with the Muslims.
  7. Demanding an Independent International Independent Inquiry into War Crimes by Sri Lanka and the LTTE

In recognizing the fact that people with fresh wounds of the war voted overwhelmingly for the TNA in 2010, this manifesto has answered two important concerns of the Tamils world over including Tamilnadu. They are:

  • TNA is not dancing to the times of India (Rejection of the 13th amendment as the final solution)
  • TNA will not bow down to the pressure tactics of Colombo and not surrender the dignity of the Tamils

The manifesto is extremely elaborate in stating the historical struggle of Tamils there by reiterating and refreshing the memories of the people that this is a struggle for Justice. At this juncture the TNA is carrying on its Dharma to seek justice to those who are voiceless and suffered since 1948 not just physically but mentally too. Other important salient feature of this manifesto includes.

At the time of independence from colonial rule in 1948, Ceylon was foisted with a unitary type constitution with simple majoritarian rule. This proves that historically the Tamils have been wronged and had no say in state formation. It becomes important that Great Britain recognize this fact as it was their historic folly and act accordingly at least in the future at International forums.

In this background in April 1951 the ITAK articulated its claim that the Tamil People in Ceylon were a Nation distinct from that of the Sinhalese by every test of nationhood and were therefore entitled to the right to self-determination. This should silence critiques that the issue of ‘Right to self determination’ is a claim of the 1970s.

Various peaceful agitations were organized between this time and the late 1970s to win back the right to self-determination that was lost first through foreign conquests and later due to a system of government not accepted by the Tamil People that reinforced majoritarian hegemony. In not accepting the justful demands of the Tamils and by imposing Sinhala on them the state was the root cause for people taking up arms as a last resort to fight back after they became victims of successive pogroms.

Systematic State-sponsored colonization was carried out since independence in 1948 in order to change the demographic pattern of the North-East, which are the areas of historic habitation of the Tamil Speaking Peoples. In reality the demographic changes started to occur from 1881 onwards, but it received state aid from 1948 has been noted in the manifesto.

In addition to the acts of discrimination, including standardization which affected the tertiary education of the Tamil youth and discrimination in employment in the state sector, organized violence was periodically unleashed against the Tamil People in the country in 1956, 1958, 1961, 1977, 1981 and 1983. No protection was provided by the State to the Tamil victims. On these occasions, affected Tamil People from other parts of the country were transported by the State to the North and East thereby recognizing these two provinces to be their homeland. At the first instance the state lost its sovereignty over these people when it failed to protect them, and then sent a very clear message that these victims were from the historical Tamil heartland and need to return to their original places of origin.

The TNA firmly believes that sovereignty lies with the People and not with the State. It is not the government in Colombo that holds the right to govern the Tamil People, but the People themselves. In a world where human rights are becoming the new religion, the states are formed to serve the people. It is here that their aspirations are central. The sovereignty of the people is the principle that the authority of the government is created and sustained by the consent of its people, who are the source of all political power. Benjamin Franklin expressed the concept when he wrote, “In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns”. Popular sovereignty is nothing but the voice of the people and here it is the Tamils.

In this regard the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is flawed in that power is concentrated at the Centre and its Agent, the Governor. The Tamils had at the first instance not accepted the Indo-Sri Lankan Accord, a part of which was the 13th Amendment. In real terms the nominated Governor who is appointed by the President is supreme when compared to the democratically elected Chief Minister.

Our political philosophy is rooted in a fundamental democratic challenge to the authoritarian state. Our political programme is therefore rooted in the needs and aspirations of the Tamil Speaking People for justice and equality. This regime has not been adequately challenged internally since 2009. It has overcome many challenges including the imprisonment of its war hero, Gen.Sarath Fonseca and the impeachment of its Chief Justice. Now the only fear for this Government comes from the TNA which has garnered enough International support as well as seeks to set up a provincial government on its own defying the autocratic power of the ruling party at Colombo.

For the first time a document from the Tamil mainland of Eelam speaks of the refugees living in Tamilnadu which is pleasing to read as these refugees have suffered more than enough since 1991 in the confined camp conditions.

The TNA wishes to point out that it was the inability of the Sri Lankan state to re-structure itself to meet the aspirations of the Tamil People and thereby resolve the national question, and the unleashing of violence against the Tamil civilian population that resulted in the role of the international community increasingly becoming inevitable. Reaching out to the International Community was the last resort as human rights is Universal, if the state fails in its sacred duty to protect its own citizens, it is the duty of the International Community to protect the weak and vulnerable and in this case it is the Tamils who had to seek the help of the International community.

An Independent International Investigation must be conducted into the allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws made against both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE during the last stages of the war, the truth ascertained and justice to victims and reparation including compensation must be ensured. This will silence all the critiques that the TNA and Tamils in particular are with blinkers and do not want the excess committed by the LTTE to be accountable. Though the Permanent Peoples Tribunal held in Dublin in January 2010 ruled that the Sri Lankan state needs to be inquired as it was a sovereign state which had signed the UN International Instruments and covenants and by that virtue was bound to follow it. Whereas was non-state actors were not technically bound by these International treaties and not necessarily come under the purview of an International Inquiry. On this count, the TNA has proved that it wants the truth to come out. Now the onus is on the state of Sri Lanka to accept this challenge and respond positively.

We are committed to ensuring that all the Muslims who left the Northern Province return to their respective areas and resume their livelihood activities as soon as possible. They would be encouraged to return and the Northern Provincial Council would provide all the help needed to enable them to re-start their lives. This should put an end to the doubts raised by many about the stand of the Tamils with regard to the Muslims. The TNA has once again acknowledged that the Muslims have been wronged by the Tamils and they are ready to walk that extra mile to set right the historical wrong doings. The progressive Muslims should welcome this and without wasting time should start working with the TNA in their own interest and also keep the BBS away.

This document has already been criticized by a chauvinistic Sinhalese who till recently was on the pay rolls of this regime to defend it in Geneva. He finds seeking an International Independent Inquiry as a problem area as the truth would come out. If that happens he would be shamed for his shameful acts of defending a bloody regime. Such people who defended this bloody regime have no moral authority to profess what the TNA needs to do to appease Colombo and India. TNA has shown it has enough strength in its spine to survive in a meaningful democratic process. There is no point in trusting the regimes in Colombo without the intervention of the International Community. This is a lesson all Tamils must learn.

In the past I have criticized the TNA for not expressing and articulating their position properly. It would have been good if the Vaddukottai resolution of 1976 had found a mention. Hope in the next Parliamentary election Mr.Gajen Ponnambalam joins the TNA and sweep the polls.  Well done Mr.Sumanthiran and Company. You have won back confidence of the Tamils world over, now it has to be translated into votes in the North.

To conclude, let me reiterate that this manifesto is not a document for the Colombo based analysts. It is for the Tamils, those who had been shamed, hunted, haunted, hounded, starved, butchered, bombed and starved. It is for those who were herded into the No Fire Zones and massacred, those who saw their children die in their arms without milk to feed or medicine to take. It is for those who spent sleepless nights at Manik Farm camps. It is for those parents, wives, children, brothers and sisters of the disappeared, those who have suffered under the PTA and tortured, and those who carry bitter wounds of becoming refugees for being born as Tamils. It is to acknowledge that the Muslims have suffered; the Tamils have been wronged since 1948. It is to seek Justice and Peace for those who have suffered.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    You can aspire all you like but you have ignored the 30 years of Tamil terror that the Singalese suffered. The military did not destroy the Tigers just to hand you guys Eelam on a plate. Dream on…

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      “The military did not destroy the Tigers just to hand you guys Eelam on a plate” did they destroy LTTE to give Sri Lanka to Rajapakse Family in plate?

      • 1
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        Every action has an equal and measured reaction.
        Gota the goon, Balu Sena and Rajapassa’s inane Sinhala Buddhist nationalists TRIUMPHALISM after defeat of the abominable LTTE are responsible for the force of the TNA’s insistence on self-determination.
        Having been pulvarized and humiliated and lost their lands and homes to the Rajapassa military dictaroship and the racist BBS and Buddhist takeover of archeological sites this is the response from Tamils and I a Sinhala Buddhist support them today.

        This is the Tamil REACTION and Response to Rajapassas and his SInhala Buddhist racist Balu Sena’s military colonization and dictatorship in the north east. What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.. SInhala racist rhetoric at elections is matched by Tamil nationalist today!

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        When the LTTE prevented the Tamil people from exercising their franchise.The plate came first with Sri Lanka on it,the army was nowhere in the vicinity it was then in barracks.

    • 0
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      The Indians and Chinese did not support Sinhalese because of their love…they know what they want and they’ll get it.
      :-)

      • 0
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        Didnt the exact happen in 1980s….who gained? who lost?

    • 1
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      If you understand that 60 years is twice that of 30 years of terror. Tamil community as a whole suffered politically, militarily, and economically you will wonder whether you Sinhalese have humane or mere Singha (Lion) genes.

    • 0
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      Dr. Paul,
      If I remember right, you were one person who opposed Sri Lankan Tamils here trying to find a way out. You wanted Eelam from Chennai and argued the Chennai mad lot was right. And you were writing eccentric arguments when Kusal Perera wrote the TNA is the political representatives of the Tamil people living here and the Diaspora and Chennai have to support the Tamils here, without dictating from foreign lands.
      So now you accept Mr. Perera is right. But you still want to include your agenda. From when did South Indians get the ownership to decide for Sri Lankan Tamils ?
      This is the same mentality of the pro Sinhala politics, telling the Tamil people what they should not demand.
      AS

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    “In this background in April 1951 the ITAK articulated its claim that the Tamil People in Ceylon were a Nation distinct from that of the Sinhalese by every test of nationhood and were therefore entitled to the right to self-determination. This should silence critiques that the issue of ‘Right to self determination’ is a claim of the 1970s”.

    The above should lay to rest all notions that Tamil separatism is a result of language policies, educational policies or 1972/78 constitutional amendments.

    It appeared long before and TNA has formely endorsedyet again in the urrent manifesto.

    Only people with personal agedas and vested interests will refuse to see it ignore it such as the so called intellectuals.

    It reinforces the consistent call by all patriotic forces to maintain all security measures against threats to the country’s sovereignity intact and not to devolve land & police powers to NPC.

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    Amongst all the rhetoric in the manifesto, Sambandan is desperate to get the Govt to allow his Diaspora mates free access to visas or preferably dual passports.

    Pro LTTE Canadian Diaspora must have forced Sambandan and Sumanthiran to pursue this at their mini summit in Toronto as they are on the black list as the biggest buddies and the financiers of Mr Prabakaran.

    Gotabaya won’t be in a hurry to oblige or appease Sambandan in either, especially these same Diasporians have done nothing but hurt the image of the contry and the Nation for full four years since their beloved leader departed at Nanthikadal.

    Joining the North and the East, Giving Sambandan his own own Police with Freehold Titles to all Govt land won’t happen if Rajapksas are around.

    Unless Sambandan organise a Hartal and get Cameron and Harper to join in.

    an

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    “There is no point in trusting the regimes in Colombo…” Will you and TNA make it loud and clear this with what happened in the past. Will you make the people know how Ponnampalam Arunachalam, Ponnampalam Ramanathan, G.G Ponnampalam, Thiruchelvam Sr, Lauxman Kadirkamar and Douglas Devananda cooperated with the government in Colombo by holding official positions, in many cases cabinet portfolios only for the benefit of the majority and deterioration of the rights of Tamils. Once sworn in as ministers the power and perks mattered more than the community that they represented and used to climb on. It’s the political rights that is permanent and the economic development can help people but gets destroyed as in the past.

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    The Tamils or ltte did not terrorised the singalese civilians. It was the singalese terrorist army and govt destroyed the tamils. The singalese army raped TAMIL GIRLS AND WOMEN and killed many civilians. The Ltte or the tamils did not rape or kill any singalese civilians. The singalese are racist. The northern part belong to tamil eelam and not singalese. Mahinda Rajapakse is a war criminal and must be charged in the international court of justice. The UN must bring a referendum, so that the tamil people can decide their own separate motherland. Without a separate homeland for the tamils,the singalese govt will give problem to the tamils. the singalese govts intention is to chase away the tamil people from eelam. In fifty years from now there will not be one tamil living in tamil eelam. THE ONLY SOLUTION IS A SEPARATE HOMELAND FOR THE TAMILS. A UN REFERENDUM IS A MUST.

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      The Tamils or ltte did not terrorised the singalese civilians.

      LOL. Did you forget to take your meds this morning?

  • 0
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    Dr. Newman, where do you live? I’m sure you are safely established in a foreign land. You will not have to face the outcome if this manifesto is realised.It has already caused waves of anger. The Tamils in this country want a peaceful future, not a repeat of the past. We have to live with the majority community, which means we have to compromise. The TNA leaders can leave the country (i’m sure they have their contacts). What will the poor Tamil in the North and East do?

    • 1
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      Dr Paul Newman lives in India & holds a Doctorate of Philosophy on ‘Internal Displacement and Human Rights situation in Northern Sri Lanka from Bangalore University’. He was one of the four public speakers at the Permanent People’s Tribunal on War Crimes against Sri Lanka – http://www.ptsrilanka.org/.

    • 0
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      essie,

      Where are you living. TNA leaders are citizens of Sri Lanka. Why should they leave their country? Yes Tamils in the country need to live peacefully. People living in the North Know what manifesto gives them long term peace in the North. NPC election is coming and people have to make a choice between TNA that ask for federal solution and other party that ask Tamils to surrender their rights to Sinhala majority (compromise). As you say if the party contest on compromise loses the election, there will be a massacre and almost entire Tamil population will be eliminated. In other words, whatever happen in the election they are going to erase North East Tamils through direct action or indirect action.

  • 0
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    Paul Newman….. is it a burrowed name ?? Must be to impress the gullible Westerner…….
    We the Thondamanarans do not need impreesarios such as you.
    MYOB focus on your work. Leave SL matters to Sri Lanka.

    You never suffered, you never fought & you never chased away the muslims. therefore keep your comments to yourself.

    You are only comitted in words. You are a fraud.
    Leave it to us. We will take care of the Muslims if and when they return.
    YOU STAY WHERE YOU ARE. yOU ARE S.CKING ON OUR BLOOD , SWEAT, TEARS AND SUFFERINGS.
    YOU WERE NOT THERE TO SAVE US FROM SUFFERING FROM OUR OWN LTTE? WHERE WERE YOU?

    Selva Kuman……… you have woken from a slumber? Go back to sleep you fo.l………Watch the TNA attempting to establish 13A in the Western province too.
    ARE YOU GUYS IN THE BUSINESS OF MANUFACTURING BODY BAGS???

    • 0
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      I am sorry no one is to compete with you on body bags. You have started your body bags company in 1958 with hundreds and now now the production has grown over million body bags. Well done!

  • 0
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    To Selvam Kumar: You say “LTTE Tamils did not rape or kill any Sinhalese civilians” I like to remind you only of two incidents out of hundreds of such bestial carnage committed by your so called saviors :1. at Aranthalaawa 2. at Kent & Dollar Farms. You are a deliberate liar and notorious racialist.

  • 0
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    This idiot Newman is from Bangalore. Once he barked in Canada that fish is exported from Colombo to Pesalai,Mannar.

    This kind of Church coolie boys serve their masters. He did not know TNA manifesto ask to inquire the former LTTE members for war crimes.

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      LTTE is ready to face international investigation. Are you ready to face international investigation?

      • 0
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        Who are the “authorized” leaders of the LTTE now? Paul Newman or POPE?

    • 1
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      I agree with Sivananthan. While I liked the TNA manifesto, Paul Newman or S.J. Emmanuel do not speak for us. Only our elected representatives do – at the most recent and at the upcoming elections. I am fed up with these self-appointed spokesman and analysts who claim to know what we think and want!

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      I agree with Sivananthan. While I liked the TNA manifesto, Paul Newman or S.J. Emmanuel do not speak for us. Only our elected representatives do – at the most recent and at the upcoming elections. I am fed up with these self-appointed spokesmen and mediocre analysts who claim to know what we as a people in Sri Lanka think and want!

  • 0
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    It is a good analysis.
    However it must be understood that TNA has not changed. This is what they been telling and doing always in an internationally acceptable mode.

    It is important to note that since 2009 US, west, and India are all working to find an internationally acceptable solution. This is always the case and nothing changed as far as consideration for TNA and IC is concerned. It is good that many now see the light.

    IC will find an acceptable solution to find freedom for Tamils, Also IC will work to take Sinhala masses to accept this too and take them in their fold. So it is a hard job for IC. We all must corporate with IC so that the shared sovereignty brings peace and be acceptable to IC.

    As for violence, my observation is that LTTE started a war with the oppressive Sri lankan state. But the Sri Lankan state right from the beginning countered this with state terrorism, shooting and attacking civilians as reprisals, the Sinhala masses who did pogroms during eras of peaceful agitations also carried out extreme pogroms and genocide as reprisals during armed liberation struggle.

    It is the genocide of Tamils in 2009 by the state and the military that is driving the IC in this vigorous form.

  • 0
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    1. Mr Paul Newman, clearly a Hindu Tamil by his very name, may not know much about the Tesavalmi law that his ancestors cherished, and it is used even today in the North and parts of south India. The essence of the Thesaavalam law is that you need the consent of your neighbours to even sell your OWN property. If you want to strike it out on your own (self-determination) then you need to also get the consent of your Neighbours. Thatis, you need the consent of India in the North, You need the consent of the people in the south. Even in the Eastern-south you have the Eastern province where, even under Prabhakaran, Karunana of the East revolted. The Tamil leaders there like Arun Thambimuttu have totally rejected your thesis.

    So you don’t have your neighbours on side. Respect the wisdom the Thesavalami.

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      Idiot! Paul Newman cannot be like Buddhist Percival Mahendra Rajapakshe.
      TESAWALAMAI is not in practice for more than 200 years.

      So, dont show your stupidity in public.

      Did you ever checked the Kandian laws?

  • 0
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    I am very dissappointed with mr. Newman in not thinking about the plight of the majority of the tamils who now live in the South. The motions that the TNA is engaged in are exactly the same as those engaged in by the old guard of the TULF who led the powe dispossed Tamils up the garden path because of their love for Arasu and “self-determination. Remeber what happened in the partition of India and pakistan.?
    Any of these partitions, separations, or self-determinations mean that people like me, a Tamil who lives in the Mount lavina -Dehiwalai area would be caught in the crossfire. We have developed in the south a Tamil sinhala co-existence far better and richer than what you have living in the West and creating divisions in this country.
    I think the TNA will re-kindle the same old fires as before, and there would probably be ethnic riots with a decade. All the material and constitutional gains that we have made as tamils would be lost.

    Don’t even for a moment to think that the West will innervate to help us Tamils. Even when their oil sources are at stake, see how hard it is for the West to go into Syria!!

    Sri lanka has both China and Russia in its bag. The tamil diaspora has this highly untrustworthy friend — the West– that is waiting to make a buck on the back of tamils.

    Tamil-homeland idea is as false and as dealy as Hitler’s “Vaterland” bullshit.
    The Tamil homeland is EVERYWHERE in Lanka, as G. G. Ponnambalam used to say, and similarly, the Sinhala homeland is everywhere in Lanka.

  • 0
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    Reading these essays here and elsewhere in CT I am quite sure that the Tamils will get their Eelam on the Internet!

  • 0
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    Damn the Doctor part.
    Paul Newman, go appear yourself in a toothphase advertisment, that will serve you better………..

    K.Chvves…. IC, West or India can not find a suitable solution to the ethnic issue.
    As Manoharan has stated co-existence that prevail between the Sinhala & Tamils in the South and also between We Thondamanaru Tamils and Sinhala karaveddy buyers, such influence need to gradually creep into the Northerners & Sinhala people for each other will take one another into their fold.

    Curse for the Tamils today are from their Vadukoddai politics, former LTTE proxies (for the fear of ltte who lived it out in the South) who have now turned TNA (whose voices have become loud) Since the demise of Late velupillai prabakaran.
    AS LONG AS TNA & DIASPORA MIND SET INFLUENCES NORTHERN POLITICS THE CURSE ON THE NORTHERN PEOPLE WILL HANG OVER THEM LIKE A SPELL.

    The last laugh on the TNA who are playing with our lives will be if & when the Northerners turn their backs on the TNA at the Northern Provincial Council elections.
    DO NOT UNDER ESTIMATE US. WE ARE TIRED OF WAR AND EARNESTLY WANT TO GET ON WITH OUR LIVES. SO FAR THE GOVERNMENT OVERTUES HAVE BEEN ACCEPTABLE.
    If this happens, we shall invite the TNA politicians to toil our soil and also to help us inproving our Karaveddy business.
    Upto now, TNA has never opened their mouths against the poaching Indian fishermen who are disrupting our livelyhood.
    This is how TNA has served us up to now.

  • 0
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    Mr Newman,

    TNA manifesto is a blessing in disguise for the sinhalese.
    Now India and the rest of the world could be conviced that the ultimate aim of TNA is a seperate state. If the TNA manifesto had called for the full implementation of the 13 th amendment, Sri Lanka would have been under tremendous pressure from India and the rest of the world to implement the 13th amendment.

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    TNA is forced to adopt this because the GoSL attitude. They have clearly no sympathy for Tamils in North

    • 0
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      TNA also has no sympathy for Tamils. That is why their manifesto asks to investigate the former LTTE who were released after rehabilitation.

  • 0
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    “Tamil Homeland is everywhere, and Sinhala Homeland is everywhere too.”Mr Manoharan

    It is good to hear sane voices of pragmatic Tamil people like Manoharans in Dehiwala.

    This is in sharp contrast to Newmans and Rudrakumarans, who not only inflicted grave misery and suffering on the inhabitant Tamils, whilst ecking out comfortable lives overseas, but are now hellbent on causing more of the same misery and suffering going forward.

    Vellalas, who want separate North and East combined to make the Eelaam for Newmans and Rudrakumarans still live in Colombo, under the protection of Sinhala Police bodyguards.

    What protection do Manoharans in Dehiwala and Galkissa have except their fellow inhabitants in the neighborhood.

    Closest PM Rudrakumaran can get to is Chennai if he ever want to visit Sambandan’s Vellala Homeland while Rajapaksa is in charge..

    Even then it will be difficuilt if Mr Swamy of the Jantha Party has a say after the next Indian Election.

    Srilankan Prez’s recent statement in Kandy has uneqivocally ruled out any Eelaaaam for Sambandan or Vellala Wigneswaran.

    But the recent statement of the half UNP leader Ranil is disturbing and makes the inhabitants bit anxious.

    He said he is going to take over the Govt next year, addressing the 67th anniversary of his party.

    Has he done a deal with Sambandan after latter’s meeting with the TGTE Canada Sector?.

    Do they have any plans to get into Govt by an alternative route other than an Election, because even Karu Jayasooriya didn’t want to use TNA ally Ms Pillai’s speech for political mileage.

    Has Harper promised Cruise Missiles if Sambandan organizes Hartals after the NPC election?

    It is not only Manoharans in Dehiwala and Galkissa who habor fears for the future .but also the great majority of the inhabitant population who are rural poor as same as Egyptian Morsi supporters and Syrian Assad supporters.

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    Leave out the East from the so-called Tamil homeland concept. East was never a part of the Tamil Kingdom in Jaffna. No doubt there were Tamils living in the East but they had their own Tamil chieftains who owed their alliegiance to the Kandyan Kingdom but never ever to the King of Jaffna. This concept of Tamil homeland stretching from Chilaw to Walawe Gangai in the East was first floated by former Vavuniya MP Suntheralingam. It was later adopted by Federal Party and the Tamil militant groups including LTTE. This Tamil homeland concept enclosing the present Eastern province was the handiwork of Jaffna based Tamil leadership which was only fighting to save the privileged monopoly of plum state jobs in the hands of upper class Vellala Jaffna Tamils.

    Federal Party and Tamil Congress were not fighting to make Tamil an official language. They were only fighting to preserve English as the state language so that Vellala Jaffna Tamils could continue to enjoy the monopoly of state jobs. At the time of independence and before, Sinhalese in the South saw the Sinnathambies and Sellathambies from Jaffna manning the government offices, hospitals and banks and other state institutions in a disaproportionate ratio to that of Silvas and Pereras. Sinhala only policy was aimed at re-capturing these plum jobs in government service for the Sinhalese. Despite that, the government of the day allowed the use of Tamil language as the language of administration in Tamil areas of Northern and Eastern provinces.

    The Eastern Tamils were not affected by the Sinhala only language policy as very few Eastern Tamils were in the government service. Most of the educated Eastern Tamils in government service were working as Tamil teachers or peons and they were not asked to become proficient in Sinhala. Eastern Tamil students were not affected by the University standardisation. On the contrary, Tamil students in the East were able to enter universities in greater numbers only after the introduction of this standardisation scheme.

    Unfortunately the Eastern Tamils fell for the false propaganda and disinformation on the part of Federal Party. Later FP stalwarts like Rajadurai and Thangathurai realised the treachery of the Jaffna Tamil leadership. Eastern LTTE cadres like Karuna and Pillaiyan too realized how treacherous was the LTTE’s Jaffna dominated leadership and left LTTE which eventually paved the way for the destruction of LTTE. Eastern Tamils still remember the massacre in cold blood in Verugal of over 200 Eastern LTTE cadres on the orders of the LTTE Jaffna leadership. Was this not a war crime on the part of LTTE?

    This writer too went along with the idea of merger of Northern and Eastern provinces but only for the sake of protecting the common rights of the Tamils and to ensure that Eastern Tamils are not pushed out by the Muslims. However, it is now clearly evident that the Jaffna leadership of TNA is prepared to barter away the rights and interests of the Eastern Tamils for the sake of winning over Muslim support for their cause. Statements made by TNA leaders during the Eastern Provincial Election and shortly thereafter that they were prepared to allow a Muslim to become the Chief Minister of Eastern Province reminded the Eastern Tamils that they are just pawns in the hands of the Jaffna TNA leadership. TNA contesting the last Eastern Provincial Council deprived Pillaiyan, an Eastern Tamil, becoming the CM again.

    TNA manefesto for the Northern Provincial Council election, is clearly to fool the Northern Tamils and to appease the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora. TNA is very likely to capture the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council election not because of what they say in their manifesto but because of the stupidity of this government in not quickly dealing with the oustanding Tamil issues.

  • 0
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    Some Sinhalese hiding under the name Thondamanaru commented “The last laugh on the TNA who are playing with our lives will be if & when the Northerners turn their backs on the TNA at the Northern Provincial Council elections….”
    The results are out in the open now. The scored a convincing victory by polling 78% of the votes! Winning all the 14 seats in the Northern Province. So who is laughing last?

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