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The politics of TNA



By Nalin de Silva


It is said that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is getting ready to remove the name of V. Anandasangari from its membership list. It is true that Anandasangari did not poll enough preferential votes at the Northern Province Provincial Council elections to be elected as a member of the provincial council. The TNA received more than seventy percent of the vote of the people in the province, and it was clear that they voted under instructions from the dispersed Tamils who now reside in the western countries. We have come to a stage where the politics in the Northern Province is increasingly being manipulated by the western countries through the displaced Tamils in those countries. It is a case of western countries maintaining the dispersed Tamils and the latter maintaining their relatives in the province through money sent to them.


It is said that a last minute campaign through SMS, telephone calls etc., was conducted by the dispersed Tamils to make the voters in the Northern Province go to the polling booths and from all accounts it can be inferred that the latter were asked to vote for the TNA with preferential vote for those candidates who are sympathetic to the LTTE. The people elected Anandi, the wife of an LTTE terrorist leader with the second largest preferential vote after Wigneshwaran and rejected Anandasangari, who is not sympathetic to the LTTE.


It appears that there are at least two groups within the TNA. The first faction is the party of the Eelamist dispersed Tamils in the western countries and the second faction is that led by Sampanthan. This latter group has the blessings of India, but it has to compete with the faction of the Eelamist dispersed Tamils. It also appears that the Colombo based Tamils who are not with the UNP, support mainly the Sampanthan faction, while the Tamils in the other areas of the country are generally with the SLFP-led UPFA. However, as far as the Northern Province is concerned the vote is being manipulated by the dispersed Tamils that do not belong to the group of elite Tamils in the country. The elite Tamils support either the UNP or the Sampanthan faction and those who are sympathetic to the latter faction in general are more Hindu oriented than Christian oriented.


The dispersed Tamils in the western countries are not from the elite families and are products of free education. There is this difference between the Tamil leadership of the Tamil Congress for example and the present leadership. The leaders such as G G Ponnambalam and those who preceded him came from the elite families but after the introduction of free education and after Chelvanayakam the leadership changed from the elite to the educated non elite. It is the non elite free educated that give leadership to the dispersed Tamils who in turn lead the Tamils in the Northern Province. Sampanthan with the support of the Indians would like to go back to the days of the elite with Wigneshwaran but it is clear that he has a problem at hand.


The western countries also would like the elite but the non elite free educated in the west would not allow it to happen. The west, especially England does not mind that, as their main objective is to teach the Sinhala people a lesson for all that the latter did and do against the English colonial power. Prabhakaran has for all purposes made an irreversible change in the Jaffna society and it is the dispersed Tamils with the support of England, which calls the shots.


The dispersed free educated Tamils who were educated mostly at the expense of the Sinhala people since the latter as the majority would have contributed more to the public purse that spent money for free education among other such social welfare measures have displaced the elite Tamils and it appears that Sampanthan is fighting a losing battle. However, he is determined to fight back and the present shouting of slogans by various sectors has to be considered in this background.


Since the provincial council elections for the Northern Province, the Tamil politics have gone back to the days of the Vadukkodai Resolution and the Indo Lanka agreement that is not valid either legally or politically. There is familiar talk against the National Flag, National Anthem in addition to attempts to celebrate the so called mahavir day at various places in the northern province. Even the Catholic Church that has Bishops such as Rayappu Joseph, who did not make statements because of fear of Prabhakaran now talks again of traditional habitats of the Tamils. One may try to split hairs by telling that traditional habitats are not the same as homeland, but the net political result is the same whatever the term used. The infamous Indo-Lanka agreement that was forced on us by the Gandhi dynasty and the Indian Brahmins also referred to the Northern Province and the Eastern Province as the habitats of the Tamils ignoring the fact that these provinces were demarcated by the English as late as 1889. The Catholic Church echoing Wigneshwaran and the others want the removal of the governor of the Northern Province on the grounds that the latter was an ex army officer.


The Tamil leadership and others who echo these slogans have gained a new life after the visit of David Cameron who threw the usual English sophisticated but bogus manners out of the window, and behaved exposing his true character as an English Prime Minister. It is the anti Sinhala attitude, especially the anti Sinhala Buddhist attitude that was exhibited nakedly by David Cameron and the Sinhala people should be thankful to him for being not sophisticated. The English are not democrats at all and they cover their autocracy by bogus sophisticated mannerisms.


Sampanthan and Wigneshwaran as long as the Tamil politics in the Northern Province are determined by the dispersed Tamils and the western countries led by England, have to compete with TNA leaders such as Premachandran, Sritharan and Anandi to name only a few. It is a pity to see Wigneshwaran competing with Anandi but it is politics whether one likes it or not. India is not in a position to help them as the Indian Prime Minister by not attending the CHOGM has abdicated the role of India in Sri Lankan Tamil politics. Jayalalitha is only an inflated figure who has no authority outside Tamil Nadu. Her talk of becoming the Prime Minister of India is nothing but wishful thinking of an aging actress.


There have been ex-army officers who were acceptable to the Tamil leaders as the governors of the Northern and Eastern Provinces from the days of Vartharajaperumal and it is nothing but opportunistic politics of the TNA leaders who supported the candidature of the commander of the army, Sarath Fonseka to the post of President of the country objecting to the present governor of the Northern Province merely because the latter had functioned as an officer in the army. Even Vartharajaperumal hoisted the national flag when he was the Chief Minister of the combined Northern and eastern Provinces and we all know that India was behind him. The present objections to the national flag stems from Eelam politics of the dispersed Tamils who are being used by England and Sampanthan and Wigneshwaran who would not receive much support from India have to readjust their politics to the whims and fancies of the dispersed Tamils. Wigneshwaran will have to attempt to visit high security zones in order to make news in his competition with Anandi. However, the irony is that whether they adjust or not they would soon find themselves in the same boat as Anandasangari, and their best bet would be to cooperate with the government and work for the welfare of the Tamils in the Northern Province and cut the umbilical cord that attach the latter to the dispersed Tamils in the west.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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