UNP-TNA May Day rally in Jaffna fails to draw in local support
If the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the United National Party (UNP) of the Sinhala state, and whatever the international forces behind them, have thought of probing the Tamil minds about a future partnership between the parties through a May Day show, then the Eezham Tamils in Jaffna have totally rejected the idea by not showing local participation to their joint May Day rally. The local people didn’t come out even to watch the fun of roughly 10, 000 Sinhalese brought down from the South by the UNP marching through the streets of Jaffna. While more than 80 buses were engaged in plying between the South and Jaffna in bringing down UNP politicians and their supporters, the Tamils seen in the rally on the side of the TNA were numbering less than a hundred, confined to the TNA members of the civic bodies, news sources in Jaffna said.
UNP leader and SL Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wikremasinghe, along with TNA leaders R. Sampanthan, MA Sumanthiran, Maavai Senathirajah and Suresh Premachandran, inaugurated the procession by 2.30 pm.
Starting from the Kailaasa Pi’l’laiyaar temple in Nalloor, Jaffna, the procession was scheduled to pass through the Temple Road, where many of the international agencies function, to reach Kurunagar, the coastal part of Jaffna city.
The UNP for quite some time now is engaged in a campaign with Tamil political circles that they would implement the 13Th Amendment if they were helped to come to power.
In order to lure the sections of defeatists and gullible stooges to the imperial powers among Eezham Tamils, and to convince its credentials with the agenda of the powers, the UNP also brags that it alone could implement the 13Th Amendment. But, anything beyond that, ‘is not the art of the possible’, Ranil recently told political circles in Jaffna.
Certain sections encouraged by imperialist forces are now bent on ‘rediscovering the unity of the island through Colombo-centric cosmopolitanism’, just as they did it at the time of the transfer of power from the British to the Sinhala state in Colombo in 1948, political observers said.
Ranil has given importance to conduct this year’s main May Day programme of the UNP in Jaffna.
But to every one concerned, the Eezham Tamil public has silently shown its rejection of anything that lacks substance, political observers in Jaffna said.
Sampanthan and Suresh walk under a placard in flawed Tamil brought by the UNP supporting southerners
Meanwhile, the May Day rally in Jaffna organized by SL Minster Douglas Devananda, deploying all facilities as well as intimidation of the occupying SL government, managed to bring only around 4,000 participants, and most of them were forced ones, news sources in Jaffna said.
Besides misusing SL government resources, the EPDP also confiscated many private vehicles to forcefully bring in people for the procession.
The EPDP procession went through the Veampadi Road to reach the Jaffna Municipal grounds.
The May Day meeting held in Ki’linochchi organised by TNA parliamentarian Sritharan saw the presence of around 300. Mano Ganeshan coming from Colombo and Maavai Senathirajah addressed the meeting.
This is the first time the May Day is observed in Vanni after the war. The presence of few hundred, despite all the prevailing SL military oppression in Ki’linochchi, brings in hope, Mano Ganeshan said in his speech.
In a token but significant challenge to the other shows, the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) conducted its May Day procession meeting at Karaveddi in Vadamaraadchi, with around 200 participants who braved the oppression, intimidation and scrutiny of the occupying SL military.
The meeting held at Arasadi in Karaveddi was addressed Gajendran, Padmini Sithamparanathan, Manivannan and other TNPF leaders. The speakers envisaged the rise of a people’s struggle soon.
The SL Military Intelligence tried in every possible way to dissuade the TNPF programme. There were stringent SL military inquiries about the programme schedule, stage arrangement etc., before allowing the meeting. The entire meeting was videotaped by the SL military intelligence.
The TNPF May Day meeting at Karaveddi, addressed by Selvaraja Kajendren