Anti-national election campaign under heavy fire:
TNA hoodwinks Tamils again - Dew Gunasekera
The TNA’s anti-national election campaign in the run up to the April
8 General Election has come under fire from Constitutional Affairs and
National Integration Minister Dew Gunasekera who has an unblemished
reputation as a leftist leader and has always stood for the just
political rights and aspirations of the Tamil community.
TNA leader R.Sampanthan in his recent election campaigns had said
that the UPFA Government was working on a secret agenda to scatter Tamil
concentrations in the North and the East and to encourage settlement of
other communities in their ‘traditional homeland’.
The TNA’s recent announcement that its proposal which is a solution
to the Tamil problem is based on the December 2002 Oslo Declaration also
came under criticism from Minister Gunasekara and TNA dissidents
Thangeswary Kathiraman, Sivanathan Kishore and Sathasivam Kanagaratnam
who are contesting the upcoming General Election on the UPFA ticket. The
now outdated Oslo Declaration advocated a federal state with emphasis on
the recognition of the motherland concept of the North-East Tamils and
their right for internal self-governing.
The UPFA Government is working towards resettling all Tamil IDPs in
their own villages and to assure peace and prosperity under the
far-reaching ‘Uthuru Vasanthaya’ and ‘Eastern Resurgence’ programs of
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister Gunasekera said. Democracy has
been restored in the two provinces - the Provincial Council is
functioning in the Eastern province with local representatives elected
at democratic elections while other Local Government bodies are also
fully functional in the two provinces with representatives elected at
grass roots levels.
With the parliamentary elections now round the corner and PC
elections also to be held in the Northern province in the near future
ensuring transparency in all matters, it is apparent that the TNA is
misleading the Tamils in an unscrupulous effort to muster votes, he
After the General Election, President Rajapaksa will re-convene the
APRC meeting an invitations will be extended to all political parties,
including the TNA, to participate and present their proposals. The TNA
should abandon its pro-LTTE line, participate in the APRC meeting and
put forward proposals acceptable to all communities, the Minister said.
The three former TNA parliamentarians said that the TNA leadership
with a strength of 22 parliamentarians kept mum all these six years over
its stance on a political solution and undemocratically banned the
participation of members in the APRC, the TNA dissidents said. If the
TNA leadership had a genuine interest in the welfare of the Tamils and a
just solution to their problems, they should have participated in the
APRC to express their views.
The TNA leadership also banned its parliamentarians from
participating in the deliberations of the Post-Tsunami Operations
Management Structure (P-TOMS) deliberations and all other crucial
meetings concerning the Tamils, taking a strong pro-LTTE stand. Now that
the party is in splinters, they are talking of the
Oslo-Declaration-based proposal which is clearly an election gimmick to
attract votes, they said.