A delegation of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is in South Africa to attend the centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC), a leading liberation movement and the party that holds power in South Africa.
TNA leader R Sampanthan is leading a four member delegation to the ANC centenary celebrations.
TNA parliamentarian MA Sumanthiran told BBC Sandeshaya that it hopes both the TNA as well as Sri Lanka government could learn from the ANC’s experience.
“We are trying for a political solution that recognises Tamils as a nation and South Africa’s help will be vital for both the TNA and the government in achieving that,” he said.
In a recent visit to Sri Lanka, he said, a South African minister held discussions with the government as well as the TNA.
We are trying for a political solution that recognises Tamils as a nation and South Africa’s help will be vital for both the TNA and the government in achieving that
MA Sumanthiran, MP
Mr Sumanthiran said Global Tamil Forum (GTF) representing Sri Lankan Tamils worldwide is also among the invited delegates for the centenary celebrations.
The Sri Lankan government has boycotted the celebration, for which over 40 heads of states and government taking part, in protest over the participation of the GTF, according to Sunday Times published in Colombo.
GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran said that seven delegates from several member country organisations in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia, Germany including its President Rev S J Emmanuel is representing the Tamil Diaspora.
African and world leaders, as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and African-American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, are also in Bloemfontein for the celebrations.
They attended a gala dinner on Saturday night, and an interfaith service on Sunday at the Wesleyan Church in Mangaung, just outside Bloemfontein, where chiefs, church leaders and other prominent people gathered on 8 January 1912 to create the liberation movement