Leader of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), Prof. Tissa Vitharana urged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to understand the reality and the current political scenario while placing their demands and proposals to the Government.
This comment was made in response to the much talked about resolution that was passed at the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) where it proposed the North and East be merged and be made a single state.
The resolution, which contains several other proposals and demands created a buzz in the South with politicians expressing concerns that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was once again inciting separatist ideologies in the South.
The move as expected created a ripple among the Southern politicians. Many of them stated that it was the wrong time for the TNA and the NPC to come up with a resolution such as this considering the reality.
Vitharana pointed out that at the current scenario, it was highly unlikely that the Government would subscribe to such a view considering the fact that there are fears of separatist ideologies prevalent in the country despite the end of the war.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) too had voiced its concerns over the proposed re-merger of the province. The argument here is that in the event it does happen, the Muslims would become a minority in the entire unit.
It is therefore important for TNA not to trigger any discomfort between the Tamils and the Muslims, especially those living in the Eastern Province due to this resolution.
It also has to be noted that both the TNA and SLMC had been having several rounds of discussions pertaining to the proposed constitutional reforms, and on reaching a consensus pertaining to the demands that would be put forward by both parties.
The TNA however has stated that the resolution in no way has called for a separate state. The TNA claimed that it had not called for a separate state but had suggested a power sharing where the country is separated into two linguistic regions.
Chairman of the NPC, C.V.K. Sivagnanam reiterated that the resolution in no way demanded special powers to the region.
“We have not demanded for a separate state,” he had said. “We are for power sharing and the demand for federalism should not be misinterpreted as something in favour of separatism,” he reiterated.
The police recovered several suicide jackets and ammunitions from a house in Chavakachcheri and commenced investigations to nab the suspects behind the incident.
The incident created concerns in the South over the possibility of the LTTE regrouping and the presence of separatist ideologies in the North.
The Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) had arrested three former LTTE cadres and another person for helping the suspects involved in the incident to escape.
In this backdrop, it is important that the Northern Political leaders, especially those in the TNA do not create further confusion and concerns among the people in the South, which would once again create the environment of suspicion.
This entire scenario seems to have happened at the wrong time for the TNA. The contents of the resolution are not something new. The TNA has been expressing the same view in the past. However, the timing seems to have been wrong.
Earlier, Opposition Leader, R. Sampanthan was accused of trying to forcibly enter an army camp in Kilinochchi without prior approval of the military.
The alleged incident was widely reported and had resulted in heavy criticism from the South. However, Sampanthan had later dismissed the reports as baseless and false. Speaking to several media outlets, the Opposition Leader said no such incident had happened.
But, by the time Sampanthan had responded it was a tad bit late since it had spread like wildfire.
The way forward for a durable solution is something which has been discussed and argued for decades. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka has made very little progress in agreeing on the path to take. But right now, what is needed is an understanding between all stake holders. The understanding can only be reached through discussions.