TELO reject views expressed by TNA

Secretary General Tamkil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) releasing a statement said that We totally reject the views expressed by TNA M.P. Sumanthiran and that the TNA is not the private property of any single party in the Alliance. If any party or individual in the TNA is unable or unwilling to act under the TNA banner in accordance with the mandate given by the Tamil people, the TELO emphatically states that the exit doors of the TNA are always open to them.

TELO statement follows:

We totally reject the views expressed by TNA M.P. Sumanthiran ,  saying that the merger of North-East provinces is not immediately possible and, also,  justifying the grant of extended time to the Sri Lankan government vis-à-vis the war crimes probe.

As regards finding a  political solution to the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka, the basic demand of the Tamil people has always been that the merged Tamil linguistic regions of North-East must remain as a single unit enjoying full-fledged autonomy. This basic premise brooks no compromises  or opportunistic adjustments. TNA has obtained overwhelming  mandate from the Tamil people at the last general elections and, also previously,  at the provincial council elections in the East and the North, to pursue this  goal.

The incumbent Sri Lankan government , made up of the two major Sinhala ethno-centric parties, is not willing to get rid of the unitary structure of government and to grant autonomy to the Tamil people in their traditional habitat within a united country.

Further, President Sirisena and his government have rejected outright the setting up of a hybrid judicial mechanism, including foreign and local  jurists to probe the war crimes, in compliance with the UNHRC  Resolution 30/1 on Sri Lanka.

In the meantime, TNA leader Sampanthan and its spokesman Sumanthiran have expressly supported the government’s plea for a two-year extension of time ostensibly to meet Sri Lanka’s obligations in terms of the UNHRC resolution including war crimes probe. TNA is an alliance of four political groups. We of the TELO and two other groups in the TNA have opposed the stance taken by Sampanthan-Sumanthiran, in this regard.

Also, Sumanthiran  has made comments questioning the intelligence of 11 other TNA  Members of Parliament  who have signed and sent a memorandum to the UNHRC  urging the human rights body not to grant extended time to Sri Lanka.

The proper course of action in this matter would have been to convene a meeting of the TNA Coordinating Committee and take decisions. Instead, taking critical  decisions unilaterally in the name of TNA  may call into question the very future of the TNA entity.

Sumanthiran’s moves such as tacitly advancing specious arguments supportive of the Sri  Lankan government’s stance on the war crimes issue and engaging in sophistry with a view to inculcating negative notions about North-East merger in the minds of Tamil people, etc. raise the question “Quo vadis?” (Where are you going?) in the name of TNA.

Even while carrying the wounds of war cruelly inflicted on them,  the Tamil people have continued relentlessly to seek justice and the TNA had hitherto championed their cause. It is now apparent that the TNA has fallen a prey to dubious deals and opportunistic behind-the-scene bargains.

Despite difference of opinion on several issues, for the sake of unity and solidarity, our party has mostly remained silent. We had expressed our differing views only on a few exceptional occasions. In that vein, three weeks back we had clearly stated our party’s position in regard to the war crimes probe issue.

If the ITAK  (Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi) intends proceeding in the name of the Tamil National Alliance unilaterally and arbitrarily, brushing aside the stated views of the other three parties in the TNA,  in the interest of the Alliance, the TELO may have to take it as a challenge.

TNA is not the private property of any single party in the Alliance. If any party or individual in the TNA is unable or unwilling to act under the TNA banner in accordance with the mandate given by the Tamil people, the TELO emphatically states that the exit doors of the TNA are always open to them.

Our party also tells the ITAK President , Mavai Senathirajah M.P., he should not in future allow activities inimical to Tamil national interests, engaged in from within  the ITAK , using the name of the TNA.

( N.Srikantha)

Secretary General

Tamkil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO)

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