Lanka’s main Tamil party cracks whip on hardliners

Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party has censured two hardline members for their anti-party activities, including “unwarranted and unacceptable” criticism of its leaders.

The Tamil National Alliance central committee condemned the conduct of lawmakers Suresh Premachandran and Ananthy Saseetharan for criticising party leader R Sampanthan and senior member MA Sumanthiran.

The party resolution yesterday said Premachandran and Saseetharan were involved with a protest held in Jaffna on February 21, where an effigy of Sumanthiran was burnt.

ANANTHYSampanthan and Sumanthiran, regarded as moderates in the TNA, have been criticised by hardliners for taking part in the anniversary of Sri Lankan independence in February.

It was the first time Tamil leadership participited in such celebrations after the promulgation of Constitution in 1972.

The Tamil parties have been protesting against the 1972 Constitution as it maintains the unitary character of the state, which deny any justifiable solution to the ethnic Tamils within a united Sri Lanka.

The TNA in its resolution has urged the new Sri Lankan government to expedite the release of the lands in the North taken for military purposes, the release of political prisoners and take steps to investigate the disappearances of people.

The Tamil hardline lobby has been exerting pressure on the moderates for vigorous pursuit of Tamil rights issues.

Tamils voted in large numbers for President Maithripala Sirisena to defeat the pro-Sinhala Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 8 polls.

The new government persuaded the UN rights body to delay the presentation of investigation report by six months.

The new government’s call for a domestic mechanism rather than an international probe to biting the alleged human rights perpetrators to book has not found favour with the Tamils.

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