The leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) told a visiting U.S. House of Representatives delegation that “our people will be forced to rethink our position” if Sinhala leaders continue to ignore the Tamil political question.
Speaking to the United States House of Representatives Armed Services Committee delegation as they visited the island, TNA leader R Sampanthan said that “some Sinhala political leaders are trying to satisfy the hardliners than being just and equal to all people in this country”.
“They cannot go on this path forever,” he warned. “It will only end up in history being repeated.”
“We may have to rethink and our people will be forced to rethink our position if things do not go well and if things are not achieved within a certain timeframe”
Mr Sampanthan stated that Sinhala leaders were lacking “courage… to go out to the people and explicitly tell them on the need for a new Constitution”. He said both Sri Lanka’s president and prime minister “must go to the Sinhala people and genuinely explain the need for a new Constitution”.
“Since 1988 every successive government and President have made several attempts to change the present Constitution, therefore, this should not be a difficult task for the majority of Sinhala people to understand.”
He went on to call upon the international community to exert pressure on Sri Lanka and force Colombo to act.
“The International community must ensure that the promises and the commitments given by the Sri Lankan Government are adhered to and implemented. The International community cannot be a spectator anymore with regard to Sri Lanka, if the government of Sri Lanka continues to fail in their commitments the international community must clearly state their position on their follow up mechanisms to safeguard the victims and ensure the non-recurrence of the past.”
“We are unhappy about the way the country is progressing,” Mr Sampanthan concluded.