The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), till recently seen as friendly towards Colombo, is now turning increasingly critical of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government.
After R. Sampanthan and Mavai S. Senathirajah, another prominent TNA leader, M.A. Sumanthiran, has raised criticism against the government. Mr. Sumanthiran, who was in the U.S. early this week, told the Congressional caucus on ethnic and religious freedom in Sri Lanka that the initial euphoria among Tamils was “now turning into disappointment”.
He slammed the government for being slow in the release of private land by the security forces, demilitarisation and repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
The TNA had supported Maithripala Sirisena in the January 2015 presidential election.
Denying the suggestion that the TNA is seeking to live down its image of being friendly towards the government, K. Thurairetnasingam, vice-president of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi, the dominant constituent of the alliance, says that as there is no substantial progress in settling issues concerning the people of the North and the East, the TNA has chosen to criticise the government.
Lack of consultation
“While formulating development plans for our region, the government does not consult us,” he says.
K. Vigneswaran, a critic of the TNA, says the alliance is criticising the government to impress its political constituency in view of the “Geneva season” [alluding to the UN Human Rights Council’s ongoing session]. V. Niranjan, an observer of the North, says the TNA should realise that it would not acquire greater bargaining power with the Centre unless the North becomes economically well developed. The alliance should be as focussed on the economic dimension of the ethnic conflict as on the political component. (The Hindu)