A girl on a bicycle is seen against a backdrop of election posters, in Valvettithurai, July 22, 2011. By Dinidu de Alwis
The Tamil National Alliance is sorta Tamil nationalist, as the name would suggest. Even they, however, seem willing to accept a united Sri Lanka, and to work towards resolution of Tamil issues within a Sri Lankan context. After the election Niran Ankatell said that the TNA campaigned on the war crimes issue, on bringing foreign intervention against the central government. I read the statement Mr. R. Sampanthan made before and heard reports about after, and I don’t think that’s what he said. As far as I can tell, he’s speaking in unifying language like me and, I think, the Sri Lankan mainstream.
(1) Resettlement and Rehabilitation of all displaced Tamil families in the North and East
(2) Actions by the Government, or with Government patronage pertaining to lands for military purposes
(3) A political solution within the framework of united and undivided country that will enable the Tamil people to live in security and dignity, fulfilling their legitimate political, economic, social and cultural aspirations.
I read that July 18th statement and he mentions verdicts about human rights law in passing, in relation to the elections. He’s saying that the election is a verdict on the issue, which I’m totally fine with:
The Government it would appear hopes that it can win these elections by hook or by crook. Such a verdict is required to face up to allegations which are now in the public domain, pertaining to violations of International Human Rights Laws and International Humanitarians Laws. The Government seems to think that irrespective of the means by which the verdict is obtained a somewhat favourable verdict is a compulsive need. The Government is once again making the mistake of imagining that everyone else is deaf and blind and that it can conceal all its misdeeds…
We call upon the Tamil people to remain calm even in the face of the gravest provocation. When you cast your vote you are exercising your Sovereignty. That is the essence of democracy.
If Sampanthan wants to pursue the war crimes issue in Sri Lanka I think that’s totally fine. It’s not coming from a vengeful wing of the diaspora, pushed by dodgy British media and lobbied foreign politicians. Sampanthan’s on the ground, he’s got votes from directly affected people, fine. He’s not talking about sanctions or foreign prosecution or anything, he’s talking about democracy. What I do find striking is that he mentions this issue in passing, and it was not the principal focus of his campaign.
His campaign was run on issues that I or any reasonable Sri Lankan can understand. They’re running in a local election talking about local issues. In the south we have similar issues but not to anything near the same degree. That said, at the core he’s talking about people losing their homes, which everyone from Pamankada to Slave Island understands. Hell, even elephants would understand. Knock yourselves out boys.
Anyways, I got here in a rather roundabout way. I was actually reading a translation of a Sinhala transcription of what Sumanthiran said to diaspora Tamils in the UK (presumably in Tamil),
in translation. So, what follows may have played a bit of telephone.
He had been asked by the diaspora, when questioned about creating a separate state. Our report said this meeting had both LTTErs and moderate tamils. Word is that he said, ‘the time has come for the Tamils abroad to change the misconceptions they have of Sri Lanka and her people’. He said the TNA is discussing solutions within the party for the Tamil people. Talks are going well and a trust has been built in that regard. Finding solutions to Tamil issues.
‘While foreign governments are not acting on what the diaspora is asking for, the TNA is also not willing to do what the diaspora is saying they should do. Not going to act the way you say we should act.’
The majority of Sri Lanka is Sinhalese, says that Tamils should join in with a solution that accepts the Sinhalese as a majority. Tamil people should join in with a solution accepted by the majority Sinhalese. (via W3 Lanka, via via)
OK, so let’s check. I haven’t read TamilNet in ages, because they’ve devolved into random nonsense backed by anonymous representatives of large communities.
Voicing on behalf of the present establishment in New Delhi, sections in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) unnecessarily declaring against independence of Eezham Tamils and discouraging war crimes investigations are worst of the crimes committed not merely against Eezham Tamils but against human civilization, said Tamil national as well as Left political circles in the island and in the diaspora to TamilNet on Monday. The comments have come responding to TNA views expressed after its victory and during its campaign in the civic elections. TNA leader Sampanthan interpreted the victory as Tamil wish for solutions within ‘united Sri Lanka’ (TamilNet direct, or elsewhere)
So, yeah, going purely by that 18th July statement (and a bit of gossip), the TNA ran and won the recent election on a platform I’m cool with – resolving Tamil issues within a united Sri Lanka. Since the UNP is defunct, maybe I should join the TNA.