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Sunday, 5 May 2013





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Government Gazette

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 completed.

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 September 2013.

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 liberated.

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 schedule.

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 partners.

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 infrastructure facilities.

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.


LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
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