Following on from a recent visit to Canada with the TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran, the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, R. Sampanthan, addressed the Tamil diaspora in the UK this week, during two public events in London, hosted by the TNA-UK.
Urging the Tamil diaspora to support the TNA so that it may win an overwhelming victory in the polls, the TNA and the TNA-UK, urged the Tamil diaspora to provide financial support and to speak to their loved ones in the North and encourage them to defy government intimidation, and vote.
Taking multiple questions from the floor during the two public events, Sampanthan responded to them collectively at the end. See @TamilGuardian for live tweeting from the event.
A couple of his responses in Tamil to the diaspora are reproduced below, together with responses in English during an interview with the DailyMirror.lk last month:
Asked by a member of the audience as to whether the TNA would work more closely with diaspora groups, such as the TGTE:
Sampanthan on working with diaspora orgs: we are willing to talk to everyone, and listen to everyone, and we need to take decisions together
— Tamil Guardian (@TamilGuardian) August 15, 2013
"I tell the diaspora when I go abroad, we know the ground situation. We know what our people need, our people have elected us, our people have *inaudible* their confidence in us. Therefore please leave it to us to make the decision. We are prepared to consult you. We are prepared to talk to you. We are prepared to listen to your advice, but do remember that the responsibility of making that ultimate decision is ours, not yours" (video part 1, 21:36)
Asked whether the TNA deemed the LTTE terrorists or freedom fighters:
Sampanthan says the LTTE are freedom fighters as audience applauds
— Tamil Guardian (@TamilGuardian) August 17, 2013
"No I don't justify it ["terrorism unleashed by the LTTE on this country"] at all. I can't justify it. I don't justify it at all. You all say you did not condemn it at that point in time ..*frame cuts*.. I was also on the hit list of the LTTE, everybody knows. I was on the hit list of the LTTE long before Mahinda Rajapaksa was on the hit list of the LTTE. We don't at all approve of or condone several acts committed by the LTTE." (video part 2, 08:45)