“For six months we continued with talks, engaging the Government of Sri Lanka. But, there was no constructive outcome. The Tamil National Alliance cannot just keep continuing without any results, just for the sake of ‘engaging’ and ‘continuing’ the talks giving room for Sri Lanka to project an impression to the outside world that it is engaging in a constructive dialogue with Tamils,” said R. Sampanthan, the parliamentary leader of the TNA on Saturday in Jaffna, delivering a key speech at the ceremony for TNA’s civic council members taking oath in Tamil. While criticising the SL state for not being constructive, Mr. Sampanthan declared for the first time that the TNA was pondering on ‘alternative ways’, which he didn’t specify. But, a Vanni parliamentarian of the TNA declared that the Alliance should build up from the grassroots a powerful base of civil struggle.
Mr. Sivasakthi Ananthan, MP from Vanni who is close to Mr. Suresh Premachandran within the TNA, was stressing on building a powerful civil struggle.
Mr. Sampanthan in his address reiterated that the Tamil National Alliance always favoured reasonable engagement in resolving the ethnic conflict through a negotiated settlement. “But, we find ourselves also in a situation to think about other alternative ways,” he said.
Publicly stating that the [military] governor and the SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa should not interfere in the civic councils, Mr. Sampanthan, for the first time wholeheartedly welcomed the political role played by the Tamil diaspora and its commitment to the Tamil struggle, political circles in Jaffna told TamilNet.
The TNA leader also said that the Tamil diaspora now has an institutional framework in the form of TNA-administered local councils to engage in rehabilitation of the war-ravaged nation of Eezham Tamils.
Striking an emotional cord with the audience, Mr. Sampanthan, in his address described the TNA leadership as looking like a ‘home for the elderly’ and urged the young and talented to come forward in giving leadership to the Tamils.
Unlike a controversial mode adopted at a previous swearing-in ceremony headed by Mr. Sampanthan, this time the event was observed with Thamizh-thaay-vaazhththu (invocation on Mother Tamil) and honouring all those who have laid their lives in the cause for national liberation of Eezham Tamils, political circles in Jaffna further told TamilNet.
Meanwhile, all the constituent parties of the TNA are engaged in forming committees with memberships from the diaspora too.