TNA shouldn't fail representing hearts of Tamils: Fr. Emmanuel

[TamilNet, Thursday, 18 February 2010, 13:26 GMT]
At a time when Colombo and its collaborators try their best to erase out the national aspirations of Tamils, the Tamil National Alliance has the noble responsibility to maintain its unity in being the true voice and champions of Tamil aspirations, says Rev. Prof. Dr. S.J. Emmanuel, the former Vicar General of the Catholic diocese of Jaffna in an open letter addressed to TNA leaders Sampanthan, Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, Selvam Adaikalanathan and Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam. Eezham Tamils have been consistent in expressing their genuine desire for independence ever since 1976 and even now it remains the underlying goal despite constitutional sanction on speaking it out openly in the island of Sri Lanka. But, their kith and kin in the free diaspora have voiced on their behalf, overwhelmingly re-confirming that desire as the standing-aspiration, he said in the appeal.

Full text of the open letter follows:

An open appeal to the leaders of the Tamil National Alliance

Mr. R.Sambanthan
Mr. Mavai Senathirajah
Mr. Suresh Premachandran
Mr. Selvam Adaikalanathan
Mr. Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam

Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel
Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel
As a Tamil catholic priest, journeying with the Tamil people on their long journey of liberation, I feel it necessary to make a humble appeal to you at this hour to preserve the unity and strength of your political leadership vis a vis the ethnic majoritarian state and its government.

We are all aware of the efforts made some ten years ago by politicians and journalists from the Eastern Province, to form the TNA in order to keep the Tamil votes solidly behind one Tamil political party. You formed the TNA and won two Parliamentary Elections, the latter a more successful victory with the help of the LTTE.

In spite of many difficulties and even rejections by the Sinhala governments, you all kept your unity with the Tamil people and their LTTE leadership.

After the tragic events of 2009 to wipe out people and leaders from Vanni, you faced the Presidential Election asking the people to vote for a change of government. Though the Tamils were not much interested in the choice between two war criminals, those who voted did only for a change of government. Unfortunately that did not happen.

At present the Sinhala majority and their leaders are fighting among themselves as to who should be the saviour of good governance, human rights, democracy and so on.

We know out of our own long experience, that the Sinhala Buddhist Majoritarian Democracy (SBMD), is unwilling and incapable to understand the genuine grievances and basic human rights of the Tamil people. On the other hand with the 6th Amendment, neither you nor the Tamil people in Sri Lanka can speak openly the genuine desire of the Tamil people for a separate state of Tamil Eelam. This genuine desire as expressed in the Vaddukkoddai Resolution of 1976, affirmed by the Tamils at the Parliamentary Elections of 1977, strengthened by the heroic sacrifices of the people and the militants under the leadership of the LTTE still remain the underlying goal of all the Tamils, even though those within the island are unable to stand up for it.

Hence the Diaspora Tamils, the kith and kin of those in Sri Lanka, having the freedom to speak up, have overwhelmingly re-confirmed that desire as the standing-aspiration of the Tamils.

At this critical moment when you are reorganising your Alliance in preparation for the general election and selecting naming candidates on behalf of the TNA, my humble appeal to you all is not to weaken in any way the standing aspiration of all the Tamils.

At a time when strong attempts are made by the government and their Tamil-collaborators under cover of 'development' to divide the Tamils and make them give up their long standing desire to be liberated and free as a dignified people on their homeland, you have the noble responsibility to be the true voice and champions of their aspirations.

I am confident that virtue and wisdom will prevail over profitable strategies to win elections.


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