Lankan SC notice to TNA on 'self-determination' issue
The Sri Lankan Supreme Court on Friday asked Mavai Senathirajah, Secretary General of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), to appear before it on October 2, to answer the charge that the TNA’s election manifesto had sought “self-rule” with an intention to divide Sri Lanka in violation of the Lankan constitution.
The court had before it a petition filed by N.K.Aruna Thilakasiri of Handapangoda, in which the petitioner had said that the TNA’s manifesto had proclaimed that the Tamil people were entitled to “self-determination” and that they needed “self-rule” to exercise self determination. The petitioner asked the court to declare that the objective of the TNA was to establish a separate state.
When a newsperson asked the TNA’s Chief Ministerial candidate C.V.Wigneswaran about the demand for “self-determination” Wigneswaran said that the TNA manifesto had very clearly stated that it was for “self-rule for the Tamils within a united Sri Lanka.” Self-determination within Sri Lanka meant a federal constitutional structure which was not be equated with separation or secession, he explained. But the Sinhalese majority in South Lanka is unconvinced.
Meanwhile ,Champika Ranawakka, cabinet minister and leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has vehemently opposed the TNA’s plan to put up candidates in South Lankan elections also. Ranawakka warned that if the TNA came to the South to spread its “separatist” ideology, there would “Nandikadals” in the south also. What he meant was that the army would crush the movement with brute force in repetition of what happened at Nandikadal in the North where LTTE chief, V.Prabahakaran was killed by Lankan troops in May 2009.
In answer to Ranawakka’s contention, TNA’s spokesman, Suresh Premachandran, said that the TNA had the right to contest everywhere in the country. “If Sinhalese parties can put up candidate in the Tamil North, the TNA can contest in Galle or Matara in the South,” Premachandran said.