At 90years, R. Sampanthan is still ailing for an elusive Tamil Eelam
Posted on July 18th, 2023

Shenali D Waduge

Rajavarothiam Sampanthan is a Vellala MP and the oldest MP in Sri Lanka’s Parliament. There are not many nonagenarian MPs but Sampanthan is likely to take his Eelam dream to his grave & beyond coupled with the hate, racism, vengeance & revenge that will follow him for many births. Having lived through insurrections, terror, watched his fellow comrades gunned down by those he referred to as sole representative”, Sampanthan chooses not to retire but to drum lies and racism. No wonder the youth continue to go astray when the leaders are taking them astray.

Born : 5 February 1933 (turned 90 years)

Father Superintendent of Stores at the Gal Oya Project

Education: St. Patricks College, Jaffna, St. Anne’s College Kurunegala, St. Josephs College, Trincomalee, St. Sebastians College, Moratuwa

Profession: Lawyer graduating from Ceylon Law College & began practice in Trincomalee

Marriage: Leeladevi (daughter P. K. Rudra)

Children: 2 sons (Sanjeevan & Senthuran & daughter Krishanthini

Leader of : Tamil National Alliance since 2001

MP since 2001

MP from 1977 – 1983

MP from 1997 – 2000

Leader of the Opposition : Sept 2015-Dec2018 (controversial appointment)

Political Career

  • Joined ITAK in 1956 (7 years after ITAK formed in 1949 – Sampanthan was 23years)
  • Offered ITAK nomination in 1963 & 1970 – but Sampanthan declined
  • ITAK, ACTC, CWC formed Tamil United Front and renamed it TULF on 14 May 1972 (days before Republican Constitution on 22 May 1972)
  • Sampanthan was TULF joint treasurer, Vice President & General Secretary.
  • 1977 General Election – Sampanthan was TULF candidate in Trincomalee & won
  • July 1983 Sampanthan & TULF MPs boycotted Parliament & refused to take oath of allegiance & denounce separatism as per 6th amendment
  • Sept 1983 Sampantha & TULF MPs lost their seats in Parliament due to 3 months absence
  • 1989 General Elections – Sampanthan was ENDLF/EPRLF/TELO/TULF alliance candidate for Trincomalee – alliance did not win a single seat in Trincomalee
  • 1994 General Elections – Sampanthan contested under TULF in Trincomalee but failed to win seat
  • 1997 entered Parliament as a result of assassination of A. Thangathurai on 5 July 1997.
  • 2000 General Election – Sampanthan contested under TULF in Trincomalee but failed to win a seat.
  • 20 Oct 2001 – ACTC, EPRLF, TELO & TULF formed Tamil National Alliance – Sampanthan made leader of TNA (at 68 years) contested & entered Parliament
  • 2001 onwards TNA was pro-LTTE with election manifesto declaring LTTE to be the ‘sole representative of the Tamil people’. – this stand resulted in TULF leader V Anandasangaree leaving TNA alliance with some members of TULF LTTE-TNA decide to work united”-Sampanthan
  • 2004 TULF distanced itself from TNA due to pro-LTTE stand – this resulted in ITAK re-emerging as a political party with Sampanthan leading ITAK & TNA
  • Sampanthan re-entered Parliament in 2004, 2010, 2015 & 2020.
  • 2010 Presidential Elections – India ordered TNA to back Sarath Fonseka for President
  • 2015 Presidential Elections – TNA backed Maithripala Sirisena as President
  • With just 16 seats in Parliament to the shock of all TNA was announced Main Opposition in a 225 seat Parliament & Sampanthan named Leader of the Opposition. Amirthalingam became Leader of the Opposition in 1988.

The high number of seats is attributed to the unfair & disproportionate representation given to the North which must be corrected. The contestants hardly get any votes but end up in Parliament due to the proportional representation system. The years where TNA has direct LTTE support have given large representation to Parliament while 2015 is due to TNA role in the regime change.

2014 – ITAK Central Committee on 26 Jan 2014 in Trincomalee under ITAK chairmanship /Presidency of Sampanthan commended attendees for victory at the PC elections & unanimously resolved 6 issues related to the North & East Sri Lanka.

  1. LAND – claiming displaced were not settled on lands in Vallikamam, Jaffna & Sampur in Trinco
  2. MISSING PERSONS – fate of persons no addressed
  3. MILITARY PRESENCE – adverse impact on lives of Tamil civilians (is the military good enough to rescue them & build them homes & toilets & did Tamils have free movement under LTTE)
  4. INDEPENDENT & IMPARTIAL INVESTIGATION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAWS RESULTING IN OVER 40,000 civilian deaths (action should have been taken against this allegation sans any evidence)
  5. COMMITMENT BY GOSL TO TNA – implementation of 13A
  6. FUNCTIONING OF NPC – while ITAK accuses the Centre the reality is that the funds requested by the NPC has never been spent on the Tamil people by the provincial council due to caste differences

Exactly what did TNA do when LTTE was carting 300,000 Tamils with them to keep as hostages/human shields? Did TNA issue a single statement to free them? Did TNA raise a single penny to send them food?

Jan 2023 – Talks between TNA initiated by President Ranil following all party conference on 13 Dec 2022 with 3 point plan

  1. Release of political prisoners (LTTE), release of private lands in NE, enforced disappearances & missing persons
  2. Full implementation of 13A (though even LTTE was against it)
  3. Constitutional reform for power sharing (TNA has hardly 350,000 votes & just 10 seats)

It was a consequence of this meeting that President Ranil attending Thai Pongal celebrations in Jaffna on 15 Jan 2023 declared he would implement 13A in the near future.

ITAK election history

  1. 1952 General Elections – ITAK won 1.9% & 2 seats out of 95. ACTC won 4 seats.
  2. 1956 General Elections – ITAK won 5.3% & 10 seats out of 95. ACTC won 1 seat.

ITAK was blamed for 1958 riots & banned briefly

ITAK accepted 1958 Tamil Language (Special Provisions) Act in accordance with BC Pact.

  • 1960 General Elections (July) – ITAK won 7% & 16 seats out of 151 Parliament
  • 1965 General Elections – ITAK won 5.3% & 14 seats out of 151 Parliament
  • 1970 General Elections – ITAK won 4.92% & 13 seats out of 151 Parliament
  • 1977 General Elections – TULF won 6.4% & 18 seats out of 168 Parliament (14 seats in North)

TNA & pro-LTTE have won the Gobbelsian propaganda campaign using the ‘victim’ card. The GoSL apparatus has failed for lack of will to use the truth at all levels. Tamil leaders were never afraid to lie while Sinhala leaders were always afraid to tell the truth & challenge the lies. As a result the international community are ready to accept” the lies as it falls within their geopolitical strategy. Confounding matters is when Sinhalese are also joining the lying brigade.

Prabakaran was not even born when Tamil leaders made racist demands & formed ethno-religious political parties aspiring to create a separate state (50-50 / ITAK in 1949) Prabakaran was just a 2 year old when the Official Language Act was passed in 1956. Prabakaran was only a 5year old when SWRD was assassinated in 1959. Prabakaran was hardly of an age to know the disproportionate number of positions held by Tamils due to the education & employment biases of the colonial rulers.

Sampanthan screams victimization” while he lives in a house paid for by majority Sinhalese taxpayers, surrounded by Sinhalese bodyguards and living in Sinhala areas when he should be living in Trincomalee.

The Sampanthan that screams victimization” has done nothing against caste victimization by his own people where even entering a Hindu temple has been taboo. Name a single TNA leader who has said a word against CASTE DISCRIMINATION AMONGST TAMILS an inhumane trait in 21st century. Thesalamai law itself is a discrimination against Tamils. When the Social Disabilities Act was passed in 1957 Tamil leaders even travelled to London to oppose allowing low caste Tamils to enter school. If the Language Act was considered worse, why didn’t they travel to London against the language issue.

The Tamil problem is not with the Sinhalese it is amongst themselves. It is a Vellala vs Non-Vellala problem. The Thesavalamai law is for Malabar (Indian) Vellalars & not applicable to all Tamils. Vellala Tamil leaders even appealed to the British to codify caste system. It was this Vellala high caste/class that declared Vadukoddai Resolution in 1976 calling for youth to take up arms to create a separate state. Was the call to arms serving a dual purpose? The majority of armed militant youths were low caste & who perished for a cause they would have been anyway slaves of. The living former LTTE have found out too late that the caste factor will never place them on par with the Vellala’s whether they won or lost the separatist war. The war against the Vellala caste is what the UN is now toying with probably to hand over the baton away from Vellala’s to the low caste who are mostly now under control of the Church. See how artfully the conflict has played with people’s lives.

Sampanthan is a Dravidian Vellala. He does not voice a word against Indian-imported caste system. While he takes pains to howl ‘discrimination by Sinhalese’ he conveniently ignores the oppression, suppression and persecution suffered by Tamils by Tamils. Does Sampanthan bring the caste issue to the attention of the international community? No, neither does any of the other Dravida Vellalas.

Sri Lanka became a republic in 1972 – LTTE was running a defacto state since 1983 till 2009 (37 years of becoming a republic – 26 years LTTE ruled its own people) So what relief did LTTE provide Tamils in an area where there were no Sinhalese? Those who travelled to the North after the war would have seen the pitiful state of the people & what North looks like today after the development undertaken by the Government that eliminated the LTTE. While Tamils that lived amongst LTTE had no freedom or rights, Tamils who were living amongst the Sinhalese grew from strength to strength, studied got employed, bought land in the South & even travelled overseas. The best example is Wigneswaran – went to Royal College, lived in Colombo, became a Supreme Court judge and then went to the North only after 70 plus years to continue to racist Goebbels lies.

Sampanthan’s ITAK 14th Convention speech in May 2012 exposes who Sampanthan is & how he thinks

Shenali D Waduge

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