Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the most dominant Tamil party in Sri Lanka, is said to be campaigning for the Tamil’s cause. TNA has put forward its election manifesto, which has been heavily criticized even by Tamil scholars in the north. “A federal system in merged north and east” is TNA’s demand. As a Tamil, I feel ashamed about this act.TNA has had the habit of tricking innocent Tamils. These are election gimmicks designed to grab votes. A federal system is not possible within the unitary status of the country. LTTE also put forward a similar solution to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government at the latter part of the war during 2005-2006. But then President Mahinda Rajapaksa categorically rejected the solution hence war erupted due to this deadlock.
Government forces defeated not only the LTTE, but the rebel’s theory of self-determination. All this is history now. I do not understand one thing. Why is the TNA evoking this old concept which was defeated along with the LTTE in 2009? Many Tamil scholars and intellectuals vehemently condemn this coward act, which will put innocent Tamils in trouble.
TNA has had this type of attitude before as well. TNA is well supported by a part of the Tamil Diaspora. TNA has put forward these proposals knowing the fact that this solution is not practically possible. Further a FEDERAL SYSTEM is totally against the constitution. Other major parties can go to courts citing these reasons. This proposal also suggests a merger of the north and east which is against the ruling of Supreme Court. R. Sambandhan and his group are very intelligent to put forward a proposal at a time the country is not stable and ruled by weak leaders. Would this have happened if Mahinda Rajapaksa was in power?
The south has begun to simmer due to TNA’s manifesto. The Sinhala people will never allow this to materialize. Even the Tamils of this country reject this solution. They just wanted a just and fair solution to live peacefully with majority Sinhalese. The FEDERAL SYSTEM will never promote reconciliation or unity.
Instead it will promote separation. TNA should not have put this proposal knowing the fact that the FEDERAL concept vanished with the end of war in 2009. This will definitely create a feeling of hatred between Sinhalese and Tamils. That might lead to unnecessary conflict and clashes between these two communities.
Is this the situation TNA wants to create? LTTE kept 300,000 innocent Tamils as human shields during the war. But TNA is doing the same in a different way. This clearly shows that TNA doesn’t want to solve the Tamil’s issue honestly. They want to keep this burning problem as it is for their existence. This is a selfish act which will definitely receive the wrath of ordinary Tamils at the forthcoming election. Innocent Tamils cannot be cheated every time. TNA knows that this situation is an ideal situation to go for a just and fair solution, but this alliance is purposefully ignoring this golden opportunity.
UNP is also in dire straits as a result of this tricky situation. UNP is desperately looking for TNA and JVPs support to form a government after the general elections. That indirectly shows that UNP has accepted defeat at the upcoming election. But many anticipate a large cabinet after the election. But the same situation provokes the innocent Sinhalese and even those possessing floating votes to vote in favor of the UPFA due to the ONE NATION stand of the former president.
Given this situation an average Sinhala citizen might feel that he or she is unsecure due to this developing situation which in turn will make voter turnout high at the forthcoming election. No one will be surprised if even a potion of the UNP vote base will turn the other way for the sake of country. This is because the Sinhalese had a bitter experience in 2002 when the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe entered into a controversial ceasefire pact with LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabakaran. Therefore, the Sinhalese still have a genuine doubt that Wickremesinghe might give into the pressures of TNA for the sole purpose of clinging onto power. But recently Wickremesinghe said at an election rally that he needed the support of TNA and JVP to form a government.
Is Wickremesinghe ready to give FEDERAL GOVERNMENT STATUS to TNA to gain its support? This is the main question to be answered at this moment. On the other side TNA will also face a tough time where they will not be assured of 18 seats in the north and east. Already Gajendrakumar is contesting separately.
Ananthi Sasaitharan breaking ranks from TNA and V. Anandasangaree forming a new alliance will give a big headache to TNA this time. Making the situation worse, former Editor of Uthayan N.Vithyatharan is heading a group, comprising former LTTE cadres, which will contest independently. This group will have a better chance of securing at least two seats. Whether we like it or not the Tamils of north and east still have a soft corner for the LTTE. There are many LTTE sympathizers in the north and east.
Vithyatharan and this group will be out to capitalize on this sympathy to obtain parliamentary seats. It should be noted that Sampandan rejected the request of Vithiyatharan’s group to contest along with TNA stating that LTTE will not be accepted by Tamils. Having said that, Sampandan was cunning enough to put the LTTE’s demand as their election manifesto. This clearly shows the double standards of TNA.
Whatever said and done, the common people will finally decide who the winner is at the elections.
Only God will know what is inside the common man’s mind.
Let’s hope for the best. The common man is intelligent enough to take the correct decision.
(The writer is a veteran author whose birthplace is Kokkuvil, Jaffna )