TamilWeek, Nov 27 - Dec 2, 2005
TNA to boycott general elections

he Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is unlikely to participate in a future general
election given the latest decision by the LTTE to exclude and boycott the Sri
Lankan polity and its power system in the future.

LTTE Chief Velupillai Pirapaharan in his Maveerar Day speech said the Tamils
have reached a historic turning point in the struggle for self determination and that
the ruling elites of southern Sri Lanka will never recognise the Tamil people’s right
to self determination.

"The Tamil’s right to self-determination will never find space in the entrenched
majoritarian constitution and in the political system built on that constitutional
structure. Our people have, therefore, realised that they have no alternative other
than to fight and win their right to self-determination. Self-determination entails the
right to freely choose, without external interference, our political life.

"The Sinhala nation has been refusing to embrace our people, to recognise their
national identity and to share political power. This political alienation has
continued since the independence of the island 57 years ago. Frustrated by years
of alienation, oppression and ill-treatment as an unwanted people, the Tamils
have finally decided to exclude and boycott the Sri Lankan polity and its power
system," he said.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian Joseph Pararaja- singham said
under the given circumstances, it would be difficult for the TNA to participate in a
future general election.

He said the TNA is posed with a "huge question" as to whether it should contest a
future general election or not given President Mahinda Rajapakse’s stand on
solving the ethnic crisis.

He said the Tamils have already viewed the newly elected President as ‘anti Tamil’
and asked whether it was prudent to participate in an election.

"We are still confused over this. The sentiments expressed by President
Rajapakse regarding finding a solution to the north east crisis, is so rigid,
impracticable and unpalatable that we just do not feel like participating in any
election," he said.

However he said the party has still not taken a final decision on this. He further
said the TNA might not even receive the LTTE’s blessings to participate in a future
general election.

"Certainly this is the ground reality and we have to face it whether or not we like
it," he added.

Meanwhile TNA Convenor Suresh Premachandran was of the view that
participation at a future general election would strengthen the Tamil population.

"If we do not participate what would happen? The EPDP and even Karuna will be
dictating to us one day," he said.

He said being represented in parliament and being the voice of the Tamils is one
of the responsibilities of the TNA adding it should be done at any cost.

Premachandran earlier opposed the LTTE boycott called and urged the
organisation to withdraw it without success.
[Courtesy: MorningLeader]
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