Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a loose group of four parties, Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), People’s Liberation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and Eelam People’s Liberation Front (EPRLF) was formed in 2001 with the blessings of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leadership.TNA then always followed the decrees of LTTE while speaking for the Tamils to the outside world and in Parliament. The TNA’s leader Sampanthan has been at the helm directing the fortunes of Tamils as well as controlling the often rebelling and dissenting members within the alliance. He has been successful in maintaining the brittle alliance without break-up, though dissenting views often appear to lead the break-up. TNA is sustaining its survival due to the charm of Sampanthan and after the election in 2015 it emerged as the second largest group, thanks to the coalition of major rivals UNP and SLFP opting to unite and forming an uneasy coalition Government dubbing it as a Government of ‘Good Governance”. TNA openly called on the Tamil voters to back the SLFP-UNP combination for the sake of a prospective “government of Good Governance” particularly meeting the demands of the TNA for a just and permanent political settlement based on a Federal System of government and to defeat dictatorial Rajapakshe regime.
TNA extended its support unconditionally to the coalition Government without any written agreement or pact. When Sampanthan was asked by the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga as to why he did not insist on a written agreement, TNA leader frankly admitted the earlier betrayals written agreements and pacts. It is an interesting question to ask Sampanthan whether an oral or mutual understanding or consensus is stronger than written ones or whether he knew the fate of this oral understanding to suffer the same death.
It is thus becoming a relevant matter to query Sampanthan as to why he should go on continuing his meaningless support when the net result would be disappointing with deceiving outcome.
If one looks at the track record of TNA from 2015 to as the representative of Tamils and donning the role of the official opposition party, the performance of the TNA is surely souring and hurting the dignity of self-esteem and self-respect of the Tamils.
After more than two years, and with various promises made by the President Maithiri and Prime Minister Ranil, the Tamils are still faced with hordes of problems following the war which ended in 2009.
The release of all political prisoners as promised is yet to be fulfilled and TNA also seems to have left it high and dry as it is.
The release of lands occupied by the security forces in the North and East is another promised matter which is still hanging in balance and there is no likelihood it will ever happen as demanded by the Tamil leaders and TNA.
In Jaffna district, a total of 4800 acres [4200 acres belonging to civilians] is still in the hands of Army while in Kilinochi district a Total of 1600 acres of lands is occupied by the Army.