Tamils have right to self-determination – Sampanthan

Opposition and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader Rajavarothayam Sampanthan recently said, the Tamils were a unique race and had historically been living in the country’s North and East.

Sampanthan was speaking at the ITAK office premises, in front of the Athiyadi Pillaiyar Temple, in Vaddukottai, at a meeting organized by TNA parliamentarian E. Saravanabhavan.

He said, “We (Tamils) are a unique race. We have been living in this country, historically, in the North- East and have the right to self-determination. Those need to be recognized.”

He added that it has been the policy of S.J.V. Chelvanayagam, of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), to have a reasonable political solution with the drafting of a Constitution. “It is well-known and based on this the people voted for the TNA.”

“Currently, there are 18 Tamil representatives, from the North and East, in the Parliament. Of them, 16 belong to the TNA, which is an alliance of four major parties, including the ITAK (also called the Federal Party). Most of these MPs, belong to ITAK,” he said.

“We are currently demanding a political solution, which includes, shared sovereignty with assured security for our people, lands and arrangements to fulfil the reasonable aspirations of our people, in the areas such as Economy, Education, Culture and Politics, with the required authority to use our power,” he said.

Sampanthan added, “There should be a reasonable and permanent political solution for the problems and protests of people. Otherwise it cannot be an appropriate solution. Today there is a change in the government. This has happened in this country without any major revolution, but peacefully and in a democratic way. We are satisfied with it. But, there are so many problems that existed during previous governments and they continue now.”