- TNA leader says country more important than anything else
- Says since 13th Amendment’s introduction in 1988, Tamils have stood for united, undivided, indivisible SL
- Says President being non-politician prepared to speak the truth and to do the right thing
- Says if President making any errors, needs to advise and correct him
- Requests Govt. to honour commitments made to international community including India
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan told Parliament last week his Party is prepared to work with newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa saying the future of all the people in this country, whether they are Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims, it depends upon the survival and the progress of the country.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader R. Sampanthan
“Ever since the enactment of the 13th Amendment in 1988, the Tamil people have decided at every election held since 1988 that they will work for sharing of powers of governance within the framework of a united, undivided, indivisible Sri Lanka and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, as President, will work towards the achievement of those objectives. He can rest assured that he will have the absolute support of our party,” Sampanthan said during the adjournment debate on the Government policy statement.
He said that in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the country probably for the first time has a President who is not a politician, who is prepared to speak the truth and to do the right thing. “If he is making any errors, we need to advise and correct him,” the TNA leader said.
He said that the TNA is prepared to work with him. “The country is more important than anything else. The future of all the peoples in this country, whether they be Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims, depends upon the survival and the progress of the country,” Sampanthan said.
He added that the President had polled seven million votes of the country but 85% of the Tamil people voted against him as he could not capture their vote adding that it is the TNA that today represents the Tamil people.
“You cannot capture their vote with henchmen; you cannot capture their vote with stooges. You will only capture their vote with the support of people who understand the legitimate aspirations of the Tamil people, their civilisation, their traditions, their language, their culture, their dignity and their self-respect. Those are fundamental. Therefore, we are prepared to work with you,” he said.
Sampanthan added that there have been commitments made to the international community, including India and the Co-Chairs that need to be kept and implemented.
“The international community played a major role in the military defeat of the LTTE; India played a major role. There was a trio from each country that strategised the military defeat of the LTTE. On the Sri Lankan side, there was Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the current President and the then Defence Secretary, Basil Rajapaksa, an important Minister and Lalith Weeratunga, the then Secretary to the President. On the Indian side, there was M.K. Narayanan, the then National Security Adviser of India, Shivshankar Menon, the then Foreign Secretary and India’s Defence Secretary,” the TNA leader said.
He said that the LTTE was seen by both Sri Lanka and India as an impediment to a reasonable, negotiated political solution.
“The military defeat of the LTTE was seen as a precursor to a reasonable political solution. Commitments were made to India and other members of the international community, including the Co-Chairs, in regard to a political solution. The military defeat of the LTTE is also substantially attributable to the assistance of both India and the international community to achieve that objective.
“The said commitments need to be honoured. They cannot be reneged upon. If the commitments made to the international community are not implemented – these are all a matter of record that cannot be disputed – it would mean that the international community was used to obtain the necessary assistance to defeat the LTTE militarily, but the commitments made to the international community are now being reneged upon,” he added.
The TNA leader said this would not be good for anyone, certainly not for Sri Lanka and could become a great disincentive for export-oriented foreign investment in Sri Lanka and all the economic development that is now being planned.
“The economic miracle that could happen in Sri Lanka under the Policy Statement of the President could just vanish if Sri Lanka wants to renege on the commitment made to the international community in regard to a reasonable political solution after the military defeat of the LTTE,” he added. (CK)