TNA Refutes Wigneswaran’s Charge of Giving Up Right to Self Determination

COLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has refuted Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran’s contention that it has reneged in its commitment to secure for the Tamils of Sri Lanka the right to self determination.

Wigneswaran had told TNA members in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) earlier this week, that the TNA had pledged itself to securing for the Tamils self determination in its manifesto for the 2013 NPC elections, but it had not mentioned it in its manifesto for the August 2015 Lankan parliamentary elections. He was insinuating that the TNA’s leadership had struck a cozy relationship with the Sinhalese leaders in Colombo to the detriment of the Tamils.

Refuting this contention at a meeting of members of the TNA in the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils held at Kilinochchi on Thursday, the party’s leaders said that the manifesto for the August 2015 parliamentary elections had clearly stated self determination as a goal.

The 2015 manifesto said: “The Tamil People are entitled to the right to self-determination in keeping with United Nations International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both of which Sri Lanka has accepted and acceded to.”

“Power sharing arrangements must continue to be established as it existed earlier in a unit of a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure.”

It demanded “devolution of power on the basis of shared sovereignty shall be over land, law and order, enforcement of the law so as to ensure the safety and security of the Tamil People, socio-economic development including inter-alia health, education, higher and vocational education, agriculture, fisheries, industries, livestock development, cultural affairs, mustering of resources, both domestic and foreign and fiscal powers.”

The manifesto for the 2013 NPC elections had said: “The Tamil People are entitled to the right to self-determination. Power sharing arrangements must be established in a unit of a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure.”

Further, “devolution of power on the basis of shared sovereignty shall necessarily be over land, law and order, socio-economic development including health and education, resources and fiscal powers.”

“The 2015 manifesto has more to say on self-determination,” TNA spokesman, M.A.Sumanthiran told Express.