Save the country from TNAs Treachery –  Part X
Posted on December 16th, 2018

By A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA

Religion based political history of North and East indicate that although Sumanthiran belongs to the  protestant Christian minority  it is believed  that  he    would  receive the overwhelming support of the predominantly Hindu electorate of Jaffna. The most famous of Protestant Christian being elected include the co-founder  and leader of the Federal Party, S.J.V. Chelvanayagam  who won in Kankesanthurai repeatedly in 1947, 1956, 60, 65, 70 and 75. Rajan Selvanayagam in Batticaloa (1970) and Alfred Durayappah in Jaffna (1960) was also protestant Christians though Durayappah later transcended religion and became  a Theosophist worshipping at Hindu temples and Buddhist vihares. In recent times T. Kurukularajah a protestant Christian won from the Kilinochchi district at the Northern provincial council elections. Kurukularajah who was the provincial Minister for Education is the son of eminent clergyman Rev. A.C. Thambyrajah who set up the unorthodox Christian institution Navajeevanam”in Murasumottai near Paranthan.

Political analysts commented that the main reason for Christians being elected in Hindu majority areas is since Tamil politics in Sri Lanka has been of a secular nature. Homage is paid to the Thamizh Thaai” or Tamil mother who symbolises Tamil unity regardless of religious differences. The political struggle for Tamil equality in the island has been on ethno-linguist grounds and pro separatist Jeyarj says when mobs attacked Tamils in 1956, 58, 77, 81 and 83 the victims were targeted for being Tamils and not for being Hindus or Christians. Similarly, when bombs and shells rained down on Tamil populated areas they did not differentiate between Hindus and Christians altogether .

This phenomenon of Christians being political leaders in the Tamil community has been remarked upon and questioned. This was particularly so in the case of S.J.V. Chelvanayagam who led Tamil non –violent political resistance for two decades and was revered as Than Thai (Father) Chelva.  I t was said that former Prime Minister Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike once wrote to Chelvanayagam and asked him as to what right he  had as a Christian to speak for the predominantly Hindu Tamils of the North and East. Chelvanayagam is reported to have responded saying that It is to the credit of the Tamil people that they did not require their leaders to change their religion in order to lead them.”

The reference to changing religion” was a veiled barb at  Sinhala leaders like S.W.R.D.  Bandaranaike and J.R. Jayewardene who were born and baptized as Anglicans but later became Buddhists.

TNA overseas branches in Canada, UK and Australia are also firmly supportive of Sumanthiran’s candidacy. Thus, Sumanthiran’s political opponents and competitors anticipate his victory and are apprehensive.

It is said that under the nre Ranil Wickremasinnghe dispensatiomneither the TNA nor Sumanthiran were willing at this juncture to join a Govt. There is however the probability of the TNA joining a national Government in the near future or after fresh elections and accepting ministerial posts and would depend upon a number of factors and it may be premature to speculate in greater detail on this possibility at this point.

The important thing is to note that anxiety about the TNA establishing greater rapport with the new government and accepting Cabinet posts in the future has reported to have afflicted two components of Tamil society. The major component consists of Tamil extremists and hardliners who do not want any rapprochement or reconciliation.      They particularly abhor the prospect of the TNA sharing power at the centre as part of a government. The minor component comprises those who are personally opposed to Sumanthiran and to a lesser extent Sampanthan. Currently there is a convergence of interests between both components and a tactical alliance  is  reported  to  have been evolved

 

The demands for Bifurcation of t5he country were given to Ranil in Writing Says TNA MP Siddarthan Dharmalingam 

  The genocide of Tamils” resolution drafted and presented by the former Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran was unanimously” passed by the Northern Provincial Council.        It is important to note that the genocide resolution has poisoned   the cordial climate that prevailed between the Govt and the TNA since the beginning of  this year. There were many dimensions to Wigneswaran’s agenda and one such aspect is that  of   the resolution being a pre-emptive strike to prevent greater co-operation between the  TNA and the Government

A further extension of these efforts to pre-empt a Govt-TNA nexus is the recent escalation of attacks on Sumanthiran. One does not know whether Sumanthiran himself is confident about winning an election, but those circles opposed to him seem to be sure that the bespectacled lawyer residing in Wellawatte will  win a seat in Jaffna and enter Parliament through the Mun Kathavu” or front door. It is further anticipated that he would be a Cabinet minister after the next elections. This has lent a sense of urgency to the Anti-Sumanthiran camp.

The objective behind the intensified attacks  seems to be to increase pressure on Sumanthiran  and dissuade him from continuing with politics. By increasing attacks on multiple fronts   these elements want to pressurise him into re-thinking his future and reviewing his options.   Why should a person with a lucrative legal practice living comfortably in Colombo  with his  family expose himself continuously  to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes” in the  form of acts like effigy burning attacks?  is the  crude logic governing the masterminds    behind the demonstrations. The motive behind the malignant attacks is to exert pressure and make Sumanthiran quit politics voluntarily” explains his portage Jryaraj.

 A key device in this strategy is the tartarisation” strategy. Sumanthiran is being vilified widely as a thurogi” or traitor. In the bad old days when Veluppillai Prabhakaran  and his lethal minions were ruling the Tamil roost the modus operandi  adopted was  to demonise someone as a traitor and then exterminate him. Mercifully this is no longer an option for the tigers and their fellow travellers  because of Mahinda Rajapaksa who bestowed a great gift upon the Tamils by destroying the LTTE militarily in Sri Lanka. ryaraj says in a post-Prabhakaran era the course of action available is not assassination but character assassination. The idea is to kill without killing” by portraying the targeted victim as a traitor. Unable to kill physically, the blood-thirsty fiends satisfy their lust by cremating” portraits and effigies.

Ryaraj asserts that  the  orchestrated protests against Sampanthan and Sumanthiran therefore  should be viewed in this light. Initially the grouse was about attending the  Independence Day event. Now it is about the delay” in releasing the UN report on Sri Lanka.    Don’t delay” is the demand. Ironically the very same elements who are criticising the TNA  for the delay are the same sections who protested the UN probe itself when it was  mooted. What a contradiction! Likewise, Wigneswaran says his genocide resolution is to  signal the UN not to delay releasing the report. Again, the question is would not investigation  into genocide protract  UN proceedings further? Faulty logic bordering on political  hypocrisy!

If the track record of Tamil politics is any indication, the campaign against Sampanthan and Sumanthiran would keep continuing for a while.    ryaraj   claims the next phase would be an influx by an assortment of  Tamil nationalist patriots”  to Geneva demanding  speedy justice for the Tamils. In the process more, portraits and effigies of Sampanthan and  Sumanthiran may be set on fire in Geneva.

Different aspects of TNA-LTTE treachery and UNP/JVP and Western/Indian cooperation will be continued in a different series. Thank you

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