Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party vows civil disobedience
COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party on Saturday vowed to launch a Gandhi-style civil disobedience campaign to press a long-standing demand for regional autonomy for their ethnic minority. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in its manifesto for April parliamentary elections renewed its demand for extensive regional autonomy — after Tamil Tiger rebels who fought in their name were crushed last year.
“If the Sri Lankan state continues its present style of governance without due regard to the rights of the Tamil-speaking peoples, the TNA will launch a peaceful, non-violent campaign of civil disobedience on the Gandhian model,” the party said.
The TNA was a puppet of the Tamil Tiger rebels who were crushed by security forces in May last year after 37 years of fighting. The United Nations has said up to 100,000 people were killed in the conflict.
On Saturday the alliance said it would lobby neighbouring India and the international community to ensure the island’s Tamil community — 12.5 percent of the population — gets a greater say in the administration.
The Tigers agreed to a federal state in December 2002 but Norwegian-brokered talks collapsed in 2006 leading to more fighting that eventually resulted in the Tigers’ annihilation last year.
The TNA leadership has repeatedly distanced itself from hardliners who demanded outright independence for Tamils in the mainly Sinhalese country of 20 million people.
“Power sharing arrangements must be established… based on a federal structure in a manner also acceptable to the Tamil-speaking Muslim people,” the TNA said in its latest manifesto.
The TNA, a coalition of moderate Tamil parties, has 22 seats in the outgoing parliament, but the various elements have split following the crushing of the Tigers, weakening their bargaining position.
Dear,Tamil sisters @brothers we are not living 300 years and why cannot love ,who gave shelter to you .The other thing you have 64 times bigger country than this poorIsland First your tamil people did wrong they need to come to the power then innercontTamil people keep as a sheald . Sinhala people not did eny wrong thing they help to Tamils but they forget everything and fighting with Singhalees it is unfair now tamils going to kill treat people and fighting for a half of there country what a shame.people gave food tamils going to eat there hands. God high time to come down and explane ther bad understanding Iam 12 years old why those cunning Tamil party not understand. Go to your country and sleep well.
sri lanka has to be carefull,do not let tamil tigers to play doubel games.
The TNA appears to be going here, there and everywhere but not getting anywhere. For 30 years, they support the Sun God and now they have nowhere to go. When they saw Fonseca, they thought he was Jesus Christ born again.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Mandela of South East Asia, has picked Pilliyan, Karuna and Douglas Devananda as the leaders of the tamil community. These men are top calibre leaders, committed and sincere to the community. Sonn KP will be rehabilitated to join the political mainstream. There you go, tamil community, follow the path set by the trail blazing Rajapaksa leadership.
It is time the outdated leadership of the community is ditched. The opposition has no answer to issues facing the community. How can they provide answers when they don’t have answers for their own issues.
So, Tamils of Sri Lanka, follow the President and support his handpicked men. I am sure this will lead to aspirations of the tamil community.
Alternatively, the community can go to the second Nanthikadal Lagoon if they remain blind.