Objection against TNA using HOUSE symbol rejected
[TamilNet, Saturday, 28 February 2004, 13:38 GMT]
The Commissioner of Elections Mr Dayananda Dissanayake Friday rejected the objection made against the Tamil National Alliance contesting in the name of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) and its election symbol "HOUSE," as the challenge was made after the closure of the nomination for the April 2nd general election, sources said.
Mr.K.Sinnathurai claiming that he is the President of the ITAK had sent a written objection from London to the Elections Commissioner stating that the TNA is using the party symbol "HOUSE" to contest the forthcoming general election without his prior permission. "Hence I request you to prohibit the TNA from using ITAK symbol 'HOUSE' and also declare null and void the nominations submitted by the TNA," said Mr.Sinnathurai in his letter to Elections Commissioner, sources said.
The TNA was forced to choose HOUSE symbol of the ITAK because of a legal wrangle between the President of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Mr. V.Anandasangaree and the rest of the party.
The Colombo District Court made an order in favour of Mr.Anandasangaree that the Secretary General and the Senior Vice President of the TULF Messrs R.Sampanthan and Joseph Pararajasingham should not conduct party activities without prior permission of TULF President.
Hence the TNA decided to contest the forthcoming general election in the ITAK ticket and its symbol HOUSE instead of RISING SUN of the TULF, sources said.
It is to be recalled that in the 1952 general election the ITAK contested for the first time in the northeast province but only its Trincomalee candidate late Mr.N.R.Rajavarothiam selected HOUSE as his symbol and not all the other ITAK candidates in six other electorates in the northeast province.
In 1952 there were no established procedures for registering political parties and allocating symbols for each party. This procedure came to be adopted by the Department of Elections after 1959. When the ITAK was registered with the Elections Department, the party selected its symbol as "HOUSE." Since then the ITAK contested the general elections and local elections till 1970 in the "HOUSE" symbol.
The TULF was formed in 1972 and it started contesting elections in the election symbol "RISING SUN," political sources said. Reporters covering Sri Lanka politics have pointed out that although the label "RISING SUN" is widely used, officially the symbol is registered as "SUN."
Until 1960, the general election was held in phases. In the first phase of 1952 general election Mr.Rajavarothiam was the first parliamentarian elected from ITAK in the northeast province. Mr.K.Vanniayasingham was elected from Kopay electorate, which polled during the second phase. But he did not contest the elections using the "HOUSE" symbol.