TNA's Tour de West and the plight of the Tamils
Daily Mirror Editorial
Nov 7, 2011

After Sri Lanka’s adventures and many misadventures at the Commonwealth Summit at Perth, it is the Tamil National Alliance’s tour in Europe and America that has become a topic of constant discussion and debate.

Reporting on the TNA’S progression, one weekend paper went on to reveal what transpired between the party delegation and Robert O’ Blake; according to which the MP’S were strongly advised to seek a feasible solution to the issues of the Tamils with the support of India. The newspaper further revealed America’s counsel to bury the war crime charges against the Sri Lankan armed forces-a factor the TNA both encouraged and was hell bent to bring forward at every instance. While elaborating on the lack of sustainable development and the socalled military rule in the North, their focus had always been on the said allegations which were often levelled at the government by the international community.

If the TNA is going to take Blake’s words seriously, it will be interesting to see the party at the end of the tour with a paradigm shift. Yet, the question as to whether the forces like the PRO-LTTE sections of the Diaspora would give the TNA the liberty to act on newfound attitude will be worth pursuing.

No doubt, after the annihilation of the LTTE, the destitute Tamils in the North turned to the TNA for solace. They believe them to be their sole representative- a tagline forcibly put on the terror outfit by its leadership that later fell onto the TNA almost involuntarily. The election results speak volume of their loyalty, which at the same time send out a clear signal that the government has failed to win the hearts of the people in the North despite their infrastructure and livelihood development attempts.

There is no doubt about the right of the TNA has to stand up for the Tamils; as their right is legitimized by the people’s vote. But, if there are external forces such as the post-prabhakaran Diaspora who are seeking strength through the TNA, at any rate this should not be aided and abetted.

The aim of such a diaspora can’t be anything other than separatism as the so-called elite, Tiger-loving sections, to this day, have not had the humanity to extent aid or genuinely care about the poor in the war ravaged North. Their heroics are those that involve in sipping champagne in secret chambers and laying the next plot to attack the government or flock to the town square in their thermo-clothes. Their Eelamist mindsets are incapable of any degree of sympathy and empathy.

Therefore, the TNA’ challenge is to come out of their Tiger taglines and live up to the people’s expectations. Even though the misconception is that supporting or joining the government is the right way, the TNA can hold onto its stance, observe the development process and be critical about areas where criticism is necessary.

Only, by seeking external support and advice it should not be fanning the flames of the diaspora nor should it let any separatist force come between peace and the Tamils in the north who have had their fair share of fear and misery.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka