The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that has decided to contest the Eastern Provincial Council elections should indicate in its manifesto of its rejection of the provincial council model of the unitary system, the division of the North and East and the 13th Amendment, to tell the world of the Tamil stand on the issues and to disprove an argument that Tamils have accepted the PC model as a solution, urged prominent members of the Tamil Civil Society Movement in a written statement released on Saturday, signed by more than a 100 academics, religious leaders, student leaders, professionals, trade unionists and grassroot activists. The 13th Amendment couldn’t be accepted even as a starting point in resolving a question that needs approaches based on recognition of the nation and right to self-determination of Tamils in the island, the statement further said.
When an election is imposed on us with ideas of nullifying our political goals, participating such an election should be with farsightedness and with alternative thinking that make the participation an effective tactic of our polity, the statement cautioned the TNA.
So far, Tamils have consistently rejected the PC model of the unitary system. Political parties of Tamil national stand have boycotted the PC elections in 1989 and in 2008. A party of Tamil national stand could not succeed in implementing the PC model that is under the grip of Colombo, when even parties collaborated with the Colombo government failed in the past, the civil society statement pointed out.
There could be a view that people should use the election to show their anger against the atrocities. But people will never accept compromising fundamental ideals of polity for the sake of preventing collaborators coming to power. However, as the hard reality is that the TNA has now decided to contest, let them now highlight certain issues in their manifesto, said the civil society statement.
The statement suggested to include in the manifesto the rejection of the PC model of unitary system under the 13th Amendment, insistence of a political unit of combined North and East, denouncement of political approaches that don’t recognize the nation and the right to self-determination of Tamils, and an announcement to the international community on the deterioration of the situation since the Geneva resolution, futility of solutions based on the LLRC recommendations and on how the SL government makes use of the space of time to annihilate Tamil existence in the island.
On the combined political unit of North and East, the civil society said the TNA should work towards getting the trust of Muslims.
Led by Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannaar and Professor S.K. Sitrampalam, the signatories included 6 professors, several university lecturers, student union leaders, retired principals, doctors, lawyers, priests, leaders of fishermen associations, other professionals and trade unionists. 16 of the signatories were activists and leaders of grassroot organisations from the East.