The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, S Sritharan said no one amongst the Sinhalese had the courage to give Tamils a solution, criticising Prime minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe’s statements that he seeks a solution with the Tamil people, as false.
“In Ranil Wickremasinghe’s view if we speak about our ethnic community then we are a terrorist. He says he cannot speak to him. It was this Ranil Wickremasinghe who destroyed our struggle,” Mr Sritharan said on Sunday, addressing those gathered at an event for International Women’s Day in Jaffna.
“Ranil Wickremasinghe played a key role in making the individual Karuna turn against our struggle and destroying our land. Even today, it is he [Ranil Wickremasinghe], who proclaims that he played the greatest role in killing Tamil people and shattering their struggle,” he added, remarking: “And he is coming – coming to speak to the Tamil people.”
“He is coming, bringing his United National Party (UNP), in order to once again rule over the Jaffna soil.”
“It is this United National Party that set light to the Jaffna library. It is just this United National Party that orchestrated the height of ethnic violence against us in 1983, killing thousands.”
“It is he, who when we had peace talks in 2001 and leader Prabhakaran proposed an Interim Self-Governing Authority, put the ISGA proposals in the bin. In the same way, it is this Ranil Wickremasinghe that, when Chandrika Kumaratunge attempted to bring a devolution to the provinces, tore it apart and set light to it in parliament.”
“What right does he – who did all of this, a Sinhala chauvinist, a Sinhala Buddhist chauvinist – have to talk to chief minister of ours?” Mr Sritharan said, referring to Mr Wickremasinghe’s criticism of the Northern Province’s chief minister, C V Wigneswaran, over the NPC’s resolution calling for an international investigation into the genocide of the Tamil people by successive governments.
“After the father of the nation Chelvanayagam, after leader Prabhakaran, we brought someone to this soil. Based on his faith, and as a deeply religious and insightful thinker, he is clearly stating his views. He is only stating the pulse of the Tamil People. That is his duty as a chief minister. He is clearly putting forward the feelings of our people and the problems faced by our people.”
“Therefore, if you cannot correctly appreciate [or] if you cannot understand the problems we have then how are you going to solve problems for the Tamil people? Racism alone cannot be your resource.”
“Through out Ranil Wickremasinghe’s time, racism has been his resource. Using this racism he is thinking of the future seat of power. Even today I read in the Thinakkural newspaper that he is going to join Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest at the upcoming parliamentary elections. It will happen. We should not even be surprised if this Ranil Wickremasinghe, who superficially speaks well of us, forms a government with Mahinda Rajapaksa, who destroyed us the most.”
“Therefore, as Tamils we should be clear – no one amongst the Sinhala has the right courage to give us a solution. He says that he will not speak on merging the North and East, but will conduct a referendum if both the Northern and Eastern Provinces come to such a decision.”
“Holding a referendum on a joint North-East is a matter that was agreed to in 1987. However, Ranil Wickremasinghe is now telling new tales, thirty years later. If Ranil Wickremasinghe is capable of doing so, then conduct a public referendum asking the Tamil people living in the North-East – do we want to live together with the Sinhala nation.”
“Allow Tamils to decide whether they will live together with you Sinhala people or if they do not want to live with you.”
In an apparent reference to recent criticism that the NPC was taking a hard-line position by those close to the TNA leadership, Mr Sritharan said:
“Our people must understand that everything in the Northern Provincial Council is the Tamil National Alliance’s, there is no difference between those TNA councillors and TNA MPs.”
“We remain on a journey towards freedom despite many constraints. Our national aspirations must be recognised during this national freedom struggle. In our path to freedom our aspirations need to be maintained.”
“Having lost our sovereignty, we are asking for a solution that accepts our homeland and our nationhood within Sri Lanka in our traditional historical homeland, recognising our self-determination. We are asking for this within an undivided country. We have a right and moral claim to ask for a federal system.”
“Therefore Sinhalese politicians must understand this just feelings and aspirations.”
“If they try to change this history [of the Tamil people’s aspirations], then in the way the world is now, Sri Lanka can be pushed to a precarious position.”
“Therefore, until the Sinhala government understands these truths and realizes that there needs to be a change, the situation will continue where both Sinhalese and Tamils on this island that belongs to all of us will live with different mindsets.”
“Things are taking place that are undermining us and marginalising us. We should not allow these things to take place. We do not have to differentiate anyone. We are people of this soil. We continue to struggle for freedom. When nothing has given rise to change for us, we think of freedom.”