Leading Tamil diaspora groups in the US slam Sumanthiran

Tamil diaspora groups in the US have slammed Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran alleging he is visiting Washington DC to support the Sri Lankan Government.

Tamils for Obama and American Tamil Forum said Sumanthiran is going to speak at a non- official body at the US Congress along with Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US Prasad Kariyawasam.

“If history is of any guide, instead of speaking up for the Tamils, Mr. Sumanthiran is going to play a second fiddle to the Sri Lankan Ambassador and as usual will be a cheer leader for the Sri Lankan Government. He will do some lip-service on Tamil issues to show his Tamil credentials. It is believed that Mr. Sumanthiran was very active in the current Prime Minister’s political party United National Party (UNP), before joining Tamil National Alliance (TNA) during former President Mahinda Rajapakse’s time. But he still maintains close ties to the UNP. Even though he is currently with the TNA his views and actions are all geared towards helping and protecting the Sri Lankan Government,” the two Tamil groups said in a joint statement.

 The statement said the non- official body that invited Sumanthiran to the US is called the “Congressional Caucus on Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka”. This group has no influence or standing in the US Congress or with the US Government and is run by a junior Member of Congress and occasionally one other senior member shows up for a short time.

Tamils for Obama and American Tamil Forum claimed Sumanthiran used the group to get himself invited to Washington DC to meet other policy makers to convey to them his views on the new Government. (Colombo Gazette)