Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party – Tamil National Alliance (TNA) – has sought intervention from civil society and clergy to stay together after internal discord emerged. TNA, a five-party coalition of Tamil parties, is yet to be recognised as a political party by the country’s Election Commission.
It is about the registration of TNA that constituent parties have been bickering at, party sources said.
A former TNA parliamentarian M K Shivajilingam said a parley would be held on May 12 under the leadership of the Bishop of Mannar Rev Rayappu Joseph in Mannar in the north. “There are differences but all these can be sorted out. We would register TNA even as a four party alliance if any party wanted to opt out,” Shivajilingam said.
In the absence of a registration, they have been contesting under the symbol of Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK).
Shivajilingam said TNA’s registration would be the key to the alliance facing the first ever northern provincial council election scheduled to be held in September.
TNA was seen as a proxy of the LTTE and faced accusations that their policy directions were heavily influenced by the Tamil Tigers’ terror campaign. The moderate Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader Veerasingham Anandasangaree is opposed to having any truck with TNA. Anandasangaree remains a bitter critic of LTTE when the rest of the TNA members are not critical of the rebel outfit.(Business-Standard)