The people who overwhelmingly voted for the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had cast their votes with a different perception and anticipation than what the TNA has officially articulated in writing in its election manifesto, said Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF) leader Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam in Jaffna on Monday. “The people have a major responsibility now and they can’t simply take the risk of allowing the TNA leadership to take a completely different path contrary to their intention and wait for the next elections,” he said adding that the people should involve them directly at political level course correcting, if the Tamil polity to be in sync with their political aspirations.
The TNPF, in line with the mainstream Tamil national politics throughout the past several years, has categorically rejected the Provincial Council system under the unitary constitution of Sri Lanka and its 13th Amendment.
“Although the TNPF rejected the PC elections, we didn’t ask the people to boycott it. We clearly stated that it is up to the people, to decide on their own, whether they want to take part or not. Now, they have taken part in the PC election in an unprecedented way and we respect their decision,” Mr Gajendrakumar told journalists at the press conference in Jaffna.
The manifesto states that the TNA wants to find a solution within the Sri Lankan constitution, which is a unitary constitution.
The same manifesto also goes on stating that the TNA was seeking a power-sharing solution based on federalism, which is completely a different thing.
Thirdly, the TNA went to the people on the ground promising its commitment to the Right to Self-Determination and nationhood, which is again at odds with the above two contradictory positions, he said.
Explaining further, he touched on how the Tamil mandate was expressed in key electoral manifestos and positions at all the key conjunctures of constitution forming in the island since the Soulbury Commission. The Tamil people have been consistent in completely rejecting the unitary constitution since its inception. But, this time, the TNA has made a positional blunder by giving an opposite twist without the consent of their people while making it look like the votes cast to the TNA were meant for the manifesto they have put out.
The manifesto is intended to the powers steering the TNA, but the promise on Self-Determination and Nationhood was used to secure votes.
Unitary Constitution, Power Sharing and Right to Self Determination are all contradicting positions with each other.
But, on the stage the TNA was only stressing on the Right to Self Determination.
The TNA even went to the extent of claiming that LTTE leader Pirpaharan as a Great Hero and singing the songs of the movement during the election campaign.
The TNA was also talking of war crimes of ‘both sides’ in its election manifesto. At the outset this stand may look like a reasonable position. But, the people should scrutinize the intention to equate their aggressor with their defender in a long-term struggle.
Mr Gajendrakumar was also stating that there are three spatial components of the Tamil struggle: the homeland, the diaspora and the Tamil Nadu.