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Friday, 28 September 2012

Major Split in Tamil National Alliance (TNA) observed in the Island

The alliance was formed in October 2001, just before the 2001 parliamentary election, and consisted of:

The TULF and ACTC have since left the TNA. Some members of the TULF who wanted to remain in the TNA have resurrected the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) which is now a constituent party of the TNA. All constituent parties of TNA except ITAK are former Tamil militant groups.

Now Mr. Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF) Jaffna MP has heavily criticised Mr R. Sampanthan MP who is the national leader of TNA for not working for the benefit of the party, but to promote his own party (ITAK).  Mr Sampanthan has told the press conference held on 22 September 2012 in Vavuniya that Tamil people have not given their mandate to abolish the TNA. So Mr Suresh MP is asking Mr Sampanthan to tell who is trying to abolish the TNA and to make it clear to everybody. According to Mr Suresh, it is ITAK and its leaders are the ones doing this. Mr Suresh said Mr Sampanthan has not taken any initiative to register TNA so far, it is a well known fact in the world. Further he questioned, other than the name TNA, does it have legal status, does it have a secretary, cashier or any constituent party members board to take high level decisions, any mechanism exists to exchange opinions, any finance for the party? Nothing, he said. TNA is operating since 2001 without any organisation of these aspects which frustrates him.

According to him, there is an urgent need for TNA to organise and develop filling the existing gaps created by the demise of LTTE in 2009, but the ITAK was not interested in registering TNA as a party and they have made it clear, despite requests from local and expatriate Tamils. During the existence of LTTE with military power, Tamils had bargaining power so TNA said the Sri Lankan Government should negotiate with the LTTE. But after 2009, the only power Tamils got is the unity amongst themselves, which is going down dramatically due to the actions of ITAK.

When somebody asked about this situation at the Vavuniya press conference, Mr Sampanthan answered saying some people are trying to abolish TNA which has created a very bad impression about the others in the party in the international stage, Mr Suresh continued. There is no proper constitution, no sign, no flag etc for TNA.

It seems that the confrontation has occurred between the two due to allocation of party candidates in the recently held election in the East where ITAK leaders have allocated more members (e.g, 10 out of 13 in Trinco and 9 out of 14 in Batti) to their party.

Mr Suresh also criticised Mr Mavai Senathiraja for putting his weight behind Mr Sampanthan to reject the idea of having a board with nominees from all parties to select candidates to contest in the elections.  Mr Suresh also highlighted Mr Sampanthan’s failure to go to Geneva to protest against the Government after telling the press about this intension and also holding the Sri Lanka’s Lion flag at a joint UNP-TNA rally held in Jaffna recently and trying to tell stories to cover his blunders. Suresh also said the meetings that Mr Sampanthan has with President Rajapaksa, who is under enormous international pressure, are of personal nature rather than a party-to-party meeting.

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