Several Tamil disaspora circles abroad to the Tamil voters in the North and the East

By Manekshaw

Strengthen the new found optimism is the call made by several Tamil disaspora circles abroad to the Tamil voters in the North and the East as well as to the Sri Lankan voters at large with regard to the next week’s parliamentary polls.

Global Tamil Forum (GTF) from the UK, Canadian Tamil Congress (CTC) and Tamil National Alliance’s Canada branch in their respective statements had pointed out specifically to the voters in the North and the East to create a conducive atmosphere to fulfil the political aspirations of the Tamils by strengthening the new found political atmosphere which the three Tamil diaspora organizations claimed to have emerged after this year’s presidential poll in January.

The next week’s parliamentary polls being the second since the North and East civil strife had ended in 2009, several political developments including the establishing of North and East Provincial Councils along with passing the 18th Amendment to the Constitution to further strengthen the Executive Presidency had occurred in the recent past.

However, under the theme of ‘good governance’, the 19th Amendment was brought in to the Constitution in April this year in Parliament to prune the powers of the Executive Presidency.

canadaThe Tamil diaspora organizations had been aggressive towards the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime accusing it for the alleged war crimes and human rights violations believed to have been committed during the final phase of the war in Wanni in 2009.

The Tamil diaspora organizations were even campaigning extensively towards bringing the UNHRC resolutions in Geneva against the Rajapaksa regime in the past. As the Tamil diaspora remains a key factor with regard to the North and East political issues, the call by the diaspora organizations to strengthen the new found optimism is also significant in many ways, as the call not only emphasizes the positive thinking towards building a healthy reconciliation in the Island, it had also clearly reflected the present outlook of the countries where the Lankan Tamils have domiciled towards the internal politics of the Island.

With the collapse of the Rajapaksa regime in January this year, the Tamil National Alliance which played an important role in bringing President Maithripala Sirisena to power has expressed its optimism towards finding a durable solution to the Tamil question by 2016 with the confidence of gaining a good strength in the new Parliament.

Taking into consideration the current political trend in the Island, the US Secretary of State John Kerry during his recent visit to the Island had advised the TNA leadership to be flexible in handling the Tamil political issues and not to adopt any confrontational attitude.

hile reiterating the Indian stance on the 13th Amendment, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also pointed out the need of cultivating a positive approach towards solving the Tamil question, during his visit to the Island early this year.

International community

As the International community and the Tamil diaspora expect to strengthen the new found political optimism which emerged after January this year, the attitude of certain Tamil political parties attacking at each other and the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s decision to take a neutral stance by keeping away from campaigning for the TNA, which had made him victorious at the Northern Provincial Council election, have made one to think how far the Tamil political circles will be supportive of strengthening the new found political optimism in the Island.

Chief Minister Wigneswaran who had been supportive of defeating the Rajapaksa regime this year, was even expected to play a crucial role in the parliamentary election campaign in support of the TNA.

However, it is clear that the misunderstanding which had surfaced between the TNA’s Northern Parliamentarians and Wigneswaran over the allocation of funds to the Province from the Central Government a month ago has now reflected clearly in the Chief Minister’s so called neutral stance with regard to the campaign at the parliamentary poll.

Since the TNA’s overwhelming victory at the Northern Provincial Council election had made Wigneswaran a towering figure in the Northern political front, his absence in the Alliance’s campaign trail would have been felt very much in the North.

On the other hand Chief Minister Wigneswaran had also fallen out with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over the views expressed by the Prime Minister during his visit to the North a couple of months ago in developing the Province joining hands with the TNA Parliamentarians.

So with whatever demands such as self determination and federalism, the TNA has put forward in its parliamentary poll manifesto, it is optimistic of finding a solution to the Tamil question by 2016 along with strengthening the new found political optimism between the North and the South emerged after the call for good governance in January this year.

Therefore, leftist veteran Vasudeva Nanayakkara who is a close relative of Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran being a ‘fire brand ‘of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the parliamentary poll, the neutrality adopted by the Chief Minister over the campaign in the North creates an impression whether the stance taken by the Chief Minister would create obstacles in the TNA’s expectations of strengthening the new found political optimism, while pushing forward its demands in the future.

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