Northerners won't be swayed by TNA
The Government's decision to go
ahead with the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election has perturbed
Opposition political parties.
All this time, the Opposition has been pointing an accusing finger at
the Government for not holding the NPC election. But the Government's
stance was that NPC election should be conducted when resettlement is
Demining, rehabilitation, development and reconciliation programs
have been going on at a rapid pace and the Government firmly believes
that elections should be held after completing resettlement to give the
Northerners a fair opportunity. A little over a year ago, President
Mahinda Rajapaksa assured that the NPC elections will be held in
However, the Government will need to make a careful review on the
powers under the Provincial Council Act, especially land and police,
prior to the NPC elections. If such powers go into the wrong hands and
people with separatist ideas, it would do more harm to the Tamils
Although the Opposition had accused the Government of not holding the
NPC elections early, the atmosphere was not conducive to do so after
terrorism was eradicated. President Rajapaksa reposes implicit faith in
democracy and the people's power. He has demonstrated this time, and
again in no uncertain terms and held elections ahead of schedule. The
last presidential election and general election were also held ahead of
Now that the Government is going ahead with this pledge, the
Opposition seems to be in a dilemma and is resorting to various
gimmicks. Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has suddenly woken up
and evinced a peculiar interest in people in the North.
He made an unexpected visit to the North recently and shed crocodile
tears over the plight of those in Jaffna. At the same time, he cared
less for the Northern Province's only UNP Parliamentarian Shashikala
Maheswaran at the behest of his confidants. The widow of former UNP
Parliamentarian T. Maheswaran, knows the pulse of the Jaffna people
better than any UNP senior. Keeping her in the dark on his visit would
in no way help Wickremesinghe and his confidants to woo the Jaffna vote.
When people in the North and the East had been at the receiving end
and subjected to untold misery due to brutal LTTE terrorism,
Wickremesinghe and his cohorts were globe trotting in the West, making
statements in favour of the Tigers. If Wickremesinghe and his UNP
buddies were so concerned about the people in the North and the East,
they could have certainly supported the Government during the
humanitarian operation and the battle against terrorism. Instead, the
UNP teamed up with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in supporting the
LTTE, thereby hoodwinking certain Western countries.
People in the North have now realised the TNA's double standards,
which at one time acted as a puppet of the LTTE. When Tiger terrorism
held sway, its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran coerced all Tamil political
parties in the North to come under one umbrella. Since then, the TNA had
been remote-controlled by Prabhakaran from his Wanni hideouts. The LTTE,
which once claimed to be the sole representative of the Tamils,
assassinated all moderate Tamil leaders who reposed faith in democracy.
Though the TNA leaders were fully aware that the LTTE had been
harassing even its own community, there was a deafening silence on the
part of Sampanthan and his men purely to save their lives. It was only
Minister Douglas Devananda and TULF leader V. Anandasangaree who
fearlessly spoke against the LTTE. Now that the Security Forces had
eliminated the Tiger leadership and ushered in peace, Sampanthan and his
men are desperately trying to gain the LTTE's position.
There is mounting pressure within the TNA ranks and a serious crisis
has erupted within the party, which was better known earlier as the LTTE
proxy. The Selvam Adaikalanathan-led Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation
(TELO) has challenged the registration of the TNA as an 'exclusive
political party' with or without the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK)
led by Sampanthan.
The five-party TNA coalition comprising the Ilankai Tamil Arasu
Kachchi (ITAK),Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), Eelam
People's Revolutionary Organisation (EPRLF), People's Liberation
Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Tamil United Liberation Front
(TULF), is not a registered political party.
The birth of the TNA dates back to 2004, when the LTTE forcefully
brought four Tamil political parties together, sans the TULF, to contest
the parliamentary general elections with the blessings of the terror
outfit. After the LTTE was crushed militarily, Sampanthan fortified his
grip, replacing the Tigers in controlling the TNA's affairs.
The other four TNA coalition partners have now realised to their
dismay that they are being controlled, dictated and monopolised by
Sampanthan and the ITAK to suit the whims and fancies of the LTTE
cohorts abroad. TELO, PLOTE, EPRLF and TULF have now realised the bitter
truth that they are fast losing their individuality as separate
political parties, thanks to Sampanthan's political dictatorship.
It was in this backdrop that the four political parties went hammer
and tongs to register the TNA as a political party after the last
Eastern Provincial Council elections. The four parties are now demanding
equal power to be on par with the ITAK, which has shown a quaint
reluctance and continues to ignore the demands of the four constituent
Moderates in the North know only too well that these opportunist
Tamil parties did precious little for their people when the LTTE went on
the rampage, eliminating all those who opposed the outfit's terror. At
the time, none of these Tamil political leaders had the courage to stand
up against LTTE terrorism, except for Minister Devananda. The LTTE made
several attempts on Devananda's life as he posed a big obstacle to
them.People in the North are certainly no fools to fall for Sampanthan's
racial outbursts. Although Sampanthan now shows extraordinary concern
over the plight of those in the North, it was his support to the LTTE
which plunged the people from wreck to ruin.
People in the North are acutely aware of the true colour of these TNA
opportunist politicians, especially Sampanthan and his goons.
Now that normalcy has been restored with a peaceful atmosphere
prevailing, many politicians in the area are showing an uncanny concern
about the Tamils. It goes without saying that it was President Rajapaksa
who came to the rescue of the suffering masses in the North and the East
when it mattered most.
It was the great humanitarian operation under the astute political
leadership of the President which rescued over half a million people
from the jaws of death. Had it not been for his perspicacious political
sagacity, the Northerners would still be suffering under LTTE terror.
Can people in the North forget these stubborn facts? They still
recall with trepidation those dark days when they spent many a sleepless
night in the jungles to protect their teenage children from the clutches
of the Tigers. They are now living in peace and tranquillity.
More significantly, they have now been given a new lease of life to
face the future with confidence. Not only has the standard of their
lifestyle been improved, but they have also embarked on various projects
to sharpen their latent skills. Their purchasing power too has improved
tremendously as the two provinces are fast developing with better
In this scenario, people in the North would no longer fall prey to
the glib talk of Sampanthan and his opportunist politicians. The
Northerners would by no means wish to go back to that dark era by
blindly supporting Tamil politicians who promote separatism and racism.
They are deeply cognizant of the fact that Prabhakaran's so-called
freedom struggle only inflicted untold suffering on the Tamils. They
will no longer listen to the TNA's fairy tales or believe in a separate
fantasy state. The Tamils are not confined to the North, as projected by
the LTTE cohorts to mislead Western politicians. The Tamils and Muslims
have lived in perfect peace and harmony from time immemorial with the
majority Sinhalese. Opportunist politicians had all along poisoned the
people's minds with racist ideas for petty political gain.
In this context, people in the North should weigh the pros and cons
before they decide on their political destiny. They should not let any
room whatsoever for shady politicians who spread the germs of racism to
win elections. Irrespective of the party they belong to, such
politicians should be rejected in toto.
Peaceful coexistence should be the order of the day. Politicians who
eschew racism and foster national coexistence for the well-being of the
people in the North should be elected to the NPC. The Muslims and
Sinhalese have lived in peace and harmony with their Tamil brethren in
the North before the LTTE brainwashed Tamil youth with the ideology of
separatism and racism. The TNA should not be permitted to mislead people
in the guise of democracy.