TNA win in polls won't help us: Minorities
Muslims and Sinhalese, who are the minorities in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Northern Province, view with some trepidation the prospect of a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) victory in the September 21 elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC).
Mowlavi Abdul Samad of Pattaanichur said that Tamil politicians might not help the Muslims, and Tamil officers might not attend to matters relating to the Muslims.
“My assessment is based on our experience. We have always had to turn to Muslim leaders like central minister Rishad Bathiudeen to get our work done. Further, the TNA has taken up only Tamil issues though it claims to represent all the Tamil-speaking people who include the Muslims. In Vavuniya district, which has a large Muslim population,it has not put up a single Muslim candidate,” Abdul Samad told Express on Wednesday.
“The Muslims of Pattaanichur have given land to the Tamils to build a Kali temple, but the Tamils have been agitating against the Muslims’ bid to construct a cultural centre on their own land. The leader of the Tamils on this issue is Rathan, a TNA man,” Samad said.
He fears that if the TNA succeeds in its efforts to secure for the NPC rights over land and the police, it will misuse these powers against the Muslims.
Venerable Muva Attagama Ananda Thera, chief priest of the Sri Dalada Viharaya at Madukanda, said that the minority Sinhalese and Muslims in the Tamil-dominated Vavuniya district had always been subservient to the Tamils. He felt that a provincial council under the TNA would only sharpen the ethnic division.
“I am totally opposed to the it, which has increased the administrative and financial burden by creating parallel structures. Earlier, the same work was done efficiently by a district minister and a few officials. The provincial councils have created new divisions and conflicts,” he said.
However, the monk did not rule out the possibility of the TNA behaving sensibly once vested with governmental power.