The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday said it had not asked for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) for the Northern Province till the provincial polls were held.
This follows news reports that the TNA, with Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and civil society members, had asked a visiting delegation of Indian Members of Parliament to press the Government of Sri Lanka to establish an ISGA.
Asked whether his party had requested the GoSL for an ISGA and whether it was confident that it could obtain what the LTTE failed to during the 2001-2003 UNF government, TNA National List MP Sumanthiran told The Island:
“We have never asked the government to establish an ISGA and that was never on the agenda of the TNA. What has effectively happened would have been that the matter pertaining to the ISGA would have come up when the members of the civil society had a meeting with the visiting Indian Parliamentary delegation, which we, the TNA, as a party, were oblivious to. The ISGA has not even figured in our talks with the visiting Indian Parliamentary delegation.”
Sumanthiran urged the government to hold the elections to the Northern Provincial Council at its earliest, adding that it had been overdue for the last four years.
When pointed out that both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella had announced that the Northern Polls would be held in September, Sumanthiran said: “It was to be September 2012 and now it is September 2013. I don’t know why the government is having this September landmark and we are asking whether the month of September is an auspicious time for elections!”
The government could even hold the Northern polls even in June this year, MP Sumanthiran said, adding that it was scared to hold the polls for the fear of losing to the TNA.
Leader of the House and Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripara de Silva said that the Northern Provincial Council would be held in September.
By Ravi Ladduwahetty