Former Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian and General Secretary of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, slammed the TNA for deciding to skip travelling to Geneva for the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, Ponnambalam said both the Tamils and his party have doubts on the current agenda of the TNA and whether it is meeting the aspirations of the Tamil community, the international community or the government.
He said that a TNA statement sent to the UNHRC calling for the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) was “ridiculous” as the government has already implemented most of those recommendations while avoiding to address more serious issues faced by the Tamils. “Is the TNA backing the Tamils or the international community? The Tamil people are disappointed over the stand taken by the TNA over Tamil’s issues in the recent past,” Ponnambalam said.
The All Ceylon Tamil Congress was once part of the TNA but split after the war ended as it was felt that the TNA policy had shifted to other issues and was not focused on Tamil concerns.
Ponnambalam also criticised the US sponsored Resolution on Sri Lanka which was presented to the UNHRC last week saying it was mild and far below expectations.
He said that the government was misleading the international community using the LLRC and its so called “positive” recommendations. Ponnambalam said that any call to implement the recommendations of the LLRC and in the process fails to look at more serious issues will be a case where one falls into the hands of the government ploy. Asked about a statement issued by the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) which had also called for the LLRC recommendations to be implemented, Ponnambalam said that the statement was “extremely disappointing” as even the GTF had eventually accepted the work of the LLRC which was appointed by the government. Ponnambalam warned that if Tamils political parties and groups fail to express the desires and interests of the Tamils then the Tamils themselves will sideline them.