TNA outlines political formula

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 August 2009, 13:13 GMT]
Based on Self-Determination, distinct and comprehensive autonomy to the historical homeland of Eelam Tamils is the political solution envisaged by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to the ethnic conflict in the island of Sri Lanka, said veteran Tamil politician and TNA Parilamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan, while addressing the press in Jaffna Tuesday. Mr. Sampanthan, who said that a draft proposal of the TNA will be released soon, was optimistic of India's support. This is the first time the TNA is coming out with its own political formula to resolve the ethnic conflict.

R. Sampanthan
TNA Parliamentary Group leader R. Sampanthan
A political formula to resolve the ethnic question of Eelam Tamils is currently being drafted by the TNA and it will be presented soon to Colombo, New Delhi and to the International Community, Mr. Sampanthan said while answering a question at the ITAK office located on Martin Road.

"All powers needed including land, agriculture, industries and security should be in our hands," Mr. Sampanthan said. "Financial arrangements including powers to raise funds inside and outside of the island are also crucial." Tamil diaspora is keen in investing in the North and East and the TNA is engaged in talks with everyone concerned and in planning with foreign governments, he added.

In a recent meeting with the Indian Foreign Minister, the TNA had expressed its willingness to work along with the Indian government and the Indian FM has reciprocated by assuring his government's cooperation, Mr. Sampanthan said.

All formulas such as the 13th Amendment, 13+, 13++ etc., being spoken about by the Sri Lankan ministers have been dumped to the dustbin by the SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he added. It was only because of international pressure Mr. Rajapaksa was talking about considering 13th Amendment as a beginning, but he is not interested in it anymore as pressure mounts on him from JVP and other Sinhala parties, Sampanthan said.

Taking a stand that there is no majority or minority in the island, the SL President ignores the plight of Tamils and Muslims, Sampanthan blamed and added that the displaced Tamils and Muslims have to be resettled in their own places.

Some high ranking sections of the SL government threaten to re-impose restriction on fishing in Jaffna if people are not voting in favour of the government in the forthcoming Jaffna Municipality elections.

Tamils, either in the North or in the East, do not own or operate trawlers engaged in Deep Sea fishing at the moment. According to Central Bank statistics of March 2009, out of 2814 trawlers in the island, only two are in Jaffna, but they are not operating. The only one trawler that was in Tamil hands in Trincomalee has been coerced to be sold. In the meantime, more than 1,000 trawlers belonging to Sinhalese are fishing in the waters of the East. This is the situation when the Colombo government comes out with threats such as re-imposing fishing restrictions [There was a time when 60% of the islands fisheries was carried out by the Tamils]. This threat comes from sections that have now rallied behind the ruling party's betel symbol. How could these politicians, who are unable to even retain their party's own Vee'nai symbol are going to help Tamils winning their rights, asked Sampanthan.

TNA Press Conference in Jaffna
[L-R] Suresh Premachandran, Solomon Siril, S. Thurairatnasingham, R. Sampanthan, Mavai Senathirajah, Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam, Pathmini Sithamparanathan and the chief candidate in Jaffna, Mudiyappu Remedias

Mavai Senathirajah
Mavai Senathirajah addressing the press in Jaffna
Meanwhile, Mavai Senathirajah, who addressed the same press conference blamed some sections for making propaganda that there is dissention in the TNA. The SL government, in the past, destroyed political parties and bought over some of them. "The TNA is the one and only political alliance that is immune to such tactics of the government. Our people will not allow any dissention in the TNA. Our diaspora also insists on the unity of the TNA," Mr. Senathirajah said.

Even Mahinda Rajapaksa has recently said that a political solution has to be negotiated with the TNA, he added.

Sampanthan, Mavai Senathiraja, Suresh Premachandran, Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam, Pathmini Sithamparanathan, Solemon Siril and Thuraratnasingham were present at the press conference.

In the meantime, TNA parliamentarians Kanagasapai, William Thomas and Ariyanethran are arriving Jaffna on Tuesday to engage in election campaign. Mr. Sivasakthy Anandan and Kishore are actively engaged in election campaign for ITAK in Vavuniyaa, Mavai Senathirajah told reporters.


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