TNA in dire straits | Sunday Observer
Sumanthiran castigates Sampanthan

TNA in dire straits

24 October, 2021

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) spokesman Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran, pointing out the disunity in the TNA, said that it was doubtful whether the alliance would again win a landslide victory in the Northern Provincial Council election.

Sumanthiran in an exclusive interview to a local television station in Jaffna said that the TNA leader had failed to maintain the integrity of the alliance and added that TNA leader R. Sampanthan didn’t even know who was within the TNA and not.

He said it could not be said that after TNA leader Sampanthan, that the TNA would not maintain its integrity. “Sampanthan doesn’t know who is within the TNA and who is out of the TNA. Therefore, we cannot say that Sampanthan has kept everything in order and after him the TNA would disintegrate,” Sumanthiran said.

With the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) leaving the TNA after its leader Suresh K. Premachandran left the alliance, Sumanthiran said that he doubted the unity and integrity of the four-party alliance in the period after Sampanthan and said it was impossible for the TNA to gain a landslide victory in the North in the next Provincial Council election. Another TNA strongman Mavai S. Senthiraja and Sumanthiran said recently that they were the most suitable to lead the TNA in the post Sampanthan period.

The TNA was formed in 2001 and the alliance consisted of four political parties including the former terrorist outfits which had entered the political mainstream after the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord.

The political parties aligned in the TNA were Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO).

The EPRLF and the TULF have quit the TNA. The TULF and the EPRLF fell out with the TNA hierarchy, saying that Sampanthan and Sumanthiran were mishandling the alliance and had even quit the alliance a few years ago.

Currently PLOTE and TELO along with ITAK remain in the TNA, often conflicting with the hierarchy.

2015 was the peak period of the TNA and in the General Election that year the alliance gained a landslide victory in the North and the East and entered Parliament as the main Opposition party.