COLOMBO: Leaders of Sri Lankan Tamil political parties have appealed to Tamil Nadu leaders not to use the Lankan Tamil issue for mudslinging in the run up to the State Nadu Assembly elections.
“For God’s sake, please drop the Lankan Tamil issue during your highly charged election campaign. Let’s talk after elections,” tweeted Mano Ganeshan, leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA), a party of Indian Origin Tamils, addressing leaders of Tamil Nadu’s political parties.
Ganeshan told Express that the Lankan Tamil issue should not be made an election issue and “used as a stone to be thrown at one’s rival.”
The Tamils’ problem is too serious a matter to be treated in a cavalier fashion, he felt.
“ Tamil Nadu has a role to plan in the struggle of the Lankan Tamils, but that has to be discussed after the elections when the State acquires a legitimate government after elections,” Ganeshan explained.
M.A.Sumanthiran, spokesman of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said that when the Lankan Tamil issue in used in competitive electoral politics in Tamil Nadu, the genuineness of the State’s concern over the issue comes to be doubted.
In other words, people in Lanka will come to view the statements made by TN leaders as a just another ploy to win votes, and nothing else.
“The statements emanating from Tamil Nadu actually harm the cause of the Lankan Tamils,” Sumanthiran asserted.
Already there is concern among Sinhalese political leaders over the Tamils’ demand for a federal constitution. Some outfits have called for the arrest of Tamil leaders and comments in the media suggest that federalism will lead to secession.
In this context, TN leaders’ call for the establishment of a Homeland for Tamils sets off alarm bells in the Lankan political Establishment, and colors its attitude to the Tamil question.