TNA & TULF benefited by UPFA’s mistakes

Pro-LTTE lobby exploiting northern LG polls result to pursue separatist agenda


By Shamindra Ferdinando

 Government sources allege the pro-LTTE lobby is now working overtime to interpret the outcome at Saturday’s northern LG polls as a vote for devolving power to predominately Tamil speaking areas.   

 Sources say a section of the diplomatic community and Tamil Diaspora are stepping up pressure on the government citing the TNA’s victory at the second phase of the LG polls 2011. The TULF secured two LG bodies. Among them, they shared 20 LG bodies in the electoral districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Digamadulla.

The UPFA secured three LG bodies Velani, Delft and Kayts in the Jaffna electoral district.

Ministerial sources told The Island that the Eelam lobby would exploit any situation as long as they felt their Eelam project could be advanced even at the expense of post-war national reconciliation. Sources said that had the UPFA secured a couple of more LG bodies in the North, the LTTE would have accused the military of interfering in the election process on behalf of the UPFA.

 Sources said that the TNA, which had to declare the LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamil speaking people at the April 2004 parliamentary polls campaigned freely due to eradication of the LTTE.

Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka on Tuesday dismissed ongoing attempts to portray Saturday’s vote as a defeat for the government.

Addressing the media on post-polls issues, the JHU heavyweight emphasized that Tamil people could exercise their franchise due to Sri Lanka’s victory over LTTE terrorism. Those seeking to push separatist agenda citing Saturday’s result would cause irreparable damage to reconciliation effort. Minister Ranawaka lashed out at those still pursuing a separatist agenda, though the LTTE lost its conventional military capability.

 A senior official said that the UPFA couldn’t have achieved better results due to failure on its part. "We should have appointed some qualified candidates. Unfortunately due to political considerations this wasn’t done," an irate official said, emphasizing the importance of fielding suitable candidates. The bottom line was that the selection process had caused a major setback to UPFA’s northern strategy, he said. The UPFA’s failures, too, contributed to TNA’s gains, the official said. Responding to a query, he alleged that it would be a failing on their part to believe the northern vote could be secured on the basis of post-war development projects, particularly in the Jaffna peninsula.

 Unlike those living in the Vanni, Jaffna peninsula remained under government control for many years and people there expected the UPFA to offer better candidates, the official said.

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