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TELO leader draws on LTTE legacy and claims TNA cannot be ‘broken’

Parliamentarian Selvam Adaikalanathan spoke on the LTTE’s participation in forming the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) during a speech in Mannar last week, stating the alliance “was formed for the purpose of liberation of our people”.

“No one can break the Tamil National Alliance which was formed as our people’s power with the LTTE’s  participation,” said Adaikalanathan, who heads the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO).

“We cannot be bought. We will never sell our people out. The TNA will never do that," he said. 

Adaikalanathan went on to claim the TELO was “keeping the TNA intact” and without them the alliance would not function. He added there were “enemies” that were had criticised the TNA and also lashed out at members of the alliance.

“The things some members of the TNA say are weakening the party,” he stated. “It also gives a chance to the enemies… We are telling those people not to speak unnecessary things.” 

The parliamentarian highlighted Sri Lanka’s Independence Day celebrations as one such example. The TNA’s leader R Sampanthan attended the celebrations earlier this month, including at a military parade in Colombo. 

“Every Tamil person who thinks that he should have every right available in this country can only experience the freedom when he thinks that he has achieved independence. So, nobody can say that this country has achieved independence, hence I will celebrate that day happily until every single human living in this country achieves independence.”

The TNA has come under increasing criticism from across the North-East over recent years as families of the disappeared and political prisoners, as well as displaced families criticise the party as being incapable and too close to the UNP leadership. 

Families of the disappeared protesting in Vavuniya on February 9, 2019

Last week families of the disappeared in Vavuniya who were holding a demonstration urging the UN Human Rights Council not to grant Sri Lanka more time to implement the co-sponsored 30/1 resolution, criticised TNA leadership for agreeing to such a time extension. The mothers of the disappeared who have been protesting for 725 days, said nothing would be achieved by giving Sri Lanka further time. 

"For the past two years, these mothers have been protesting continually," Jeyavanitha K, one of the mothers, told Tamil Guardian.

"In this situation - in the situation that we thought the UN body will give us a solution - our people's representatives have released a statement calling for a time extension. This disappoints us." 

"Therefore, what we ask this UN Council, do not give the Sri Lankan government an extension of time."

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