Tamil National Alliance

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Tamil National Alliance
Tamil name தமிழ் தேசிய கூட்டமைப்பு
President R. Sampanthan MP
Secretary-General Mavai Senathirajah MP
Deputy President A. Vinayagamoorthy MP
Deputy Secretary Selvam Adaikalanathan MP
Suresh Premachandran MP
Founded October 20, 2001 (2001-10-20)
Headquarters 6, 1st Lane, Point Pedro Road, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Ideology Tamil nationalism
Parliament
13 / 225
Provincial Councils
41 / 417
Local Government
76 / 3,036
Website
www.tnapolitics.org
Politics of Sri Lanka
Political parties
Elections

The Tamil National Alliance (Tamil: தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பு ISO 15919: tamiḻt tēciyakkūṭṭamaippu) is a national Sri Lankan Tamil political alliance in Sri Lanka. It was formed as an amalgamation of moderate Tamil parties as well as number of former rebel groups. It has participated in elections since 2001.

The alliance originally supported self-determination in an autonomous state for the island's Tamils, but dropped the demand for an independent state in 2010, saying that it is ready to accept regional self-rule.[1]

The party supported negotiations with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to resolve the civil war in Sri Lanka. Three of its sitting Members of Parliament, Kiddinan Sivanesan, Joseph Pararajasingham and Nadarajah Raviraj have been assassinated since 2006.

Formation[edit]

The alliance was formed in October 2001, just before the 2001 parliamentary election, and consisted of:

The TULF and ACTC have since left the TNA. Some members of the TULF who wanted to remain in the TNA have resurrected the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi which is now a constituent party of the TNA.

Manifesto and policies[edit]

The alliance has come up with two manifestos since 2001.[2] In general the policies are based on the what is known as the Thimpu principles amongst Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists. They are

  1. Recognition of the Tamils of Sri Lanka as a distinct nationality.
  2. Recognition of an identified Tamil homeland and guarantee of its territorial integrity.
  3. Based on the above, recognition of the inalienable right of self-determination of the Tamil nation.
  4. Recognition of the right to full citizenship and other fundamental democratic rights of all Tamils who look upon the island as their country.'

Further the alliance stands for

  1. The immediate lifting of the economic embargo currently in force in parts of the northeast province
  2. The withdrawal of the residential and travel restrictions foisted on the Tamil nationality
  3. The immediate cessation of the war being currently waged in the northeast
  4. The immediate commencement of the process of negotiations with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) with international third party involvement.[3]

Relationship to the LTTE[edit]

The alliance recognized the LTTE as the sole Tamil national entity that has the right to negotiate on behalf of the Tamil people with the government of Sri Lanka. The alliance fully supported the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal made by the LTTE. The alliance in general facilitated the eventual peace talks between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE directly over the Tamil national problem.[3] [4]

Assassination of MPs[edit]

The first TNA Member of Parliament (MP) to be killed was Nadarajah Raviraj. A local human right organization, University Teachers for Human Rights (UTHR), claimed that they were near certain that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, current Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defence of the Government of Sri Lanka, was involved in the assassination. Further, it claimed that one Gajanayake, whose forces work under the Ministry of Defence, was the main organiser behind the assassination.[3][5] The Sri Lankan government denied responsibility and strongly condemned his killing.[6]

In the murder of Joseph Pararajasingham,[7] UTHR report claimed the pro government Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal a splinter group from LTTE that is headed by one Karuna and Eelam Peoples Democratic Party headed by Douglas Devananda, para military cadres were responsible for the murder.[3][8]

K. Sivanesan[9] the third M.P. was killed on March 6, 2008 by a roadside bomb near Killinochchi in LTTE controlled area in northern Sri Lanka while he was returning to his house in Mallaavi. The LTTE and other TNA MPs alleged that it was carried out by a Sri Lanka Army Deep Penetration Unit,[3][10][11] the Army has denied the allegation.[12] K. Sivanesan had alleged that he had been harassed by Sri Lankan Army earlier.[13]

Further Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru[14] a founder member of the pro-LTTE [1] NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESHOR) and also a former Member of Parliament of Tamil National Alliance elected from Amparai in Eastern Sri Lanka was ambushed and killed on February 7, 2005. The government had denied any responsibility, however the family and TNA blame SLA [15]

Election results[edit]

2001 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

In the first parliamentary election contested by the Tamil National Alliance, the 5 December 2001 election, the TNA led by Rajavarothiam Sampanthan won 3.88% of the popular vote and 15 out of 225 seats in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Votes and seats won by TNA by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TNA MPs
Ampara 48,789 17.41% 1 82.51% Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru (TULF)
Batticaloa 86,284 48.17% 3 68.20% G. Krishnapillai (ACTC)
Joseph Pararajasingham (TULF)
Thambiraja Thangavadivel (TELO)
Colombo 12,696 1.20% 0 76.31%
Jaffna 102,324 54.84% 6 31.14% V. Anandasangaree (TULF)
Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam (ACTC)
Nadarajah Raviraj (TULF)
Mavai Senathirajah (TULF)
M. K. Shivajilingam (TELO)
A. Vinayagamoorthy (ACTC)
Trincomalee 56,121 34.83% 1 79.88% R. Sampanthan (TULF)
Vanni 41,950 44.39% 3 46.77% Selvam Adaikalanathan (TELO)
Sivasakthy Ananthan (EPRLF)
Irasa Kuhaneswaran (TELO)
National List 1 M. Sivasithamparam (TULF), died 5 June 2002
K. Thurairetnasingam (TULF) (replaces M. Sivasithamparam)
Total 348,164 3.88% 15 76.03%
Source:"Parliamentary General Election 2001, Final District Results". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 

2004 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

In the 2 April 2004 parliamentary election in which the United People's Freedom Alliance alliance led by President Kumaratunga came to power, the Tamil National Alliance led by Rajavarothiam Sampanthan won 6.84% of the popular vote and 22 out of 225 seats in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Votes and seats won by TNA by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TNA MPs
Ampara 55,533 19.13% 1 81.42% K. Pathmanathan, died 21 May 2009
Thomas Thangathurai William, from 12 June 2009 (replaces K. Pathmanathan)
Batticaloa 161,011 66.71% 4 83.58% Senathirajah Jeyanandamoorthy
Thanmanpillai Kanagasabai
Thangeswary Kathiraman
Kingsley Rasanayagam, resigned April 2004
P. Ariyanethiran, from 18 May 2004 (replaces Kingsley Rasanayagam)
Jaffna 257,320 90.60% 8 47.38% Selvarajah Kajendren
Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam (ACTC)
Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF)
Nadarajah Raviraj (ITAK), murdered 10 November 2006
Mavai Senathirajah (ITAK)
M. K. Shivajilingam (TELO)
K. Sivanesan, murdered 6 March 2008
Pathmini Sithamparanathan
Nallathamby Srikantha (TELO), from 30 November 2006 (replaces Nadarajah Raviraj)
Solomon Cyril, from 9 April 2008 (replaces Kidnan Sivanesan)
Trincomalee 68,955 37.72% 2 85.44% R. Sampanthan (ITAK)
K. Thurairetnasingam (ITAK)
Vanni 90,835 64.71% 5 66.64% Selvam Adaikalanathan (TELO)
Sivasakthy Ananthan (EPRLF)
Sathasivam Kanagaratnam
Sivanathan Kisshor
Vino Noharathalingam (TELO)
National List 2 M. K. Eelaventhan, expelled from Parliament 14 December 2007 for non-attendance
Joseph Pararajasingham (ITAK), murdered 24 December 2005
Chandra Nehru Chandrakanthan, from 27 September 2006 (replaces Joseph Pararajasingham)
Raseen Mohammed Imam, from 5 February 2008 (replaces M. K. Eelaventhan)
Total 633,654 6.84% 22 75.96%
Source:"Parliamentary General Election 2004, Final District Results". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 

2010 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

In the 8 April 2010 parliamentary election in which the United People's Freedom Alliance alliance led by President Rajapaksa retained power, the Tamil National Alliance led by Rajavarothiam Sampanthan won 2.9% of the popular vote and 14 out of 225 seats in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Votes and seats won by TNA by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TNA MPs
Ampara 26,895 10.47% 1 64.74% Podiappuhamy Piyasena
Batticaloa 66,235 36.67% 3 58.56% P. Ariyanethiran (ITAK)
P. Selvarasa (ITAK)
S. Yogeswaran (ITAK)
Jaffna 65,119 43.85% 5 23.33% Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF)
E. Saravanapavan (ITAK)
Mavai Senathirajah (ITAK)
S. Sritharan (ITAK)
A. Vinayagamoorthy
Trincomalee 33,268 23.81% 1 62.20% R. Sampanthan (ITAK)
Vanni 41,673 38.96% 3 43.89% Selvam Adaikalanathan (TELO)
Sivasakthy Ananthan (EPRLF)
Vino Noharathalingam (TELO)
National List 1 M. A. Sumanthiran (ITAK)
Total 233,190 2.90% 14 61.26%
Source:"Parliamentary General Election – 2010". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]