[TamilNet, Thursday, 12 January 2017, 22:39 GMT]
The very basic demands of Tamils have been totally denied, both by the constitutional assembly tasked with drafting the new constitution and by the political parties in the South. On what basis, the two ITAK politicians R. Sampanthan and M. Sumanthiran continue to be part of the constitutional assembly, asks EPRLF Leader Suresh Premachandran, who took up the matter in a recent coordinating committee meeting of the TNA. The Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK), under the leadership of Thanthai S.J.V Chelvanayakam, boycotted the 1972 Constitution as the constitutional proposal didn’t respect the demands of Tamils. Similarly, the TULF boycotted the 1978 constitution brought by J.R. Jayawardene. There has been no democratic discussion or debate within the ranks of the ITAK. The two other parties, Sitharthan’s PLOTE and TELO led by Selvam Adaikalanthan are also answerable, he said.
All the mainstream parties in the South have been seriously discussing the interim report issued by the constitutional assembly. The JVP has been discussing the interim report and it had even demanded more time to discuss and respond, the SLFP has discussed the report and so is the UNP. But, Mr Sampanthan and Mr Sumanthiran didn’t want to discuss the issues related to Tamil position regarding the constitutional proposals within their own party, Suresh Premachandran told TamilNet in a video interview on Thursday.
“Only two people deciding the fate of Tamil people is not acceptable,” the leader of the EPRLF categorically stated. The duo doesn’t want to discuss it with the Tamil people, their intellectuals or the parties representing Tamils, because they know very well that the people would oppose the attitude of the TNA,” Mr Premachandran said.
Sampanthan and Sumanthiran have totally failed to convey the Tamil demand of merged North-East. When the EPRLF leader took up the matter for discussion in the coordinating committee meeting, the duo responded by saying that Muslim parties were not engaging with the TNA on the matter of merged North-East. While there are options that should be taken up with the SL Government and the Muslim leaders, Sampanthan and Sumanthiran, preoccupied by deceiving their own people, were finding excuse with the lack of engagement with Muslims.
The TNA, as mandated by the Tamil voters, should have negotiated with the SL Government and secured its backing to federal arrangement, N-E merger and at least secular North-East overriding the concept of foremost place to Buddhism in the SL Constitution, Mr Premachandran said.