Internal squabbles of TNA intensify

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Having consolidated its position in the Northern Province, the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is seeking to neutralise an influential section within the coalition. TNA candidates contested the recently concluded Aug. 17 parliamentary polls on the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) ticket.

The TNA alleged that certain persons had tried to sabotage its propaganda campaign, thereby depriving them of the opportunity to win all seven seats in the Jaffna peninsula at the Aug. 17 parliamentary polls.

The TNA secured five seats in the Jaffna peninsula while the EPDP and the UNP shared one seat each.

Sources said that the TNA leadership had been strongly critical of its Northern Province Chief Minister former Supreme Court judge C. V. Wigneswaran for not throwing his weight behind their campaign.

WIGNESWAREN (3)In a statement issued in Jaffna, leader of the ITAK Mavai Senathirajah alleged that those smaller outfits which had entered the fray confused the electorate. Senathirajah alleged that this was done at the expense of the TNA,. Senathirajah said: “Continuous anti-TNA statements of some persons who were respected as responsible persons by our people made confusion to some extent among the people.’’

The ITAK had been able to secure altogether 14 seats plus two National List slots in spite of internal squabbles due to the electorate having faith in the current leadership, sources said. The outfit polled 515,963 votes. At the last parliamentary polls in April, 2010, the ITAK obtained 14 seats, including one NL slot.

Sources said that the TNA had received the backing of the most influential Diaspora grouping the Global Tamil Forum (GTF). The Canadian Tamil Congress, too, backed the TNA, sources said, adding that all those who had entered the fray believing they could manipulate the Tamil vote experienced a humiliating defeat.

Sources said that the Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF), too, had failed to make progress in Jaffna in spite of taking an extremely hardline stand vis a vis the Sri Lankan state. Sources said that the TNA’s overwhelming victory would strengthen the ongoing post-war national reconciliation efforts.