Tamil United Liberation Front

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Tamil United Liberation Front
Tamil name தமிழர் ஐக்கிய விடுதலை முன்னணி
Sinhala name ද්‍රවිඩ එක්සත් විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ
Leader V. Anandasangaree
Founder S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, G. G. Ponnambalam, Savumiamoorthy Thondaman
Secretary K. K. Kanagarajah
Founded May 4, 1972 (1972-05-04)
Merger of All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi, Ceylon Workers' Congress
Preceded by Tamil United Front
Headquarters 5/3A Wijayaba Mawatha, Kalubowila, Dehiwala
Ideology Tamil Nationalism
Election symbol
Rising Sun
TULF Election Symbol
Politics of Sri Lanka
Political parties
Elections

The Tamil United Liberation Front (Tamil: தமிழர் ஐக்கிய விடுதலை முன்னணி, Sinhala: ද්රවිඩ එක්සත් විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ) is a political party in Sri Lanka which seeks independence for the Tamil-populated areas of Sri Lanka.

Formation[edit]

On May 4, 1972 several Tamil political groups, including the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, formed the Tamil United Front (TUF). The Federal Party joined the TUF in 1976. The TUF changed its name to the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and adopted a demand for an independent state to be known as the "secular, socialist state of Tamil Eelam".

1977 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

In the first general election contested by the TULF, the 21 July 1977 election in which the UNP won by a landslide, the TULF won 6.40% of the popular vote and 18 out of 168 seats in the Sri Lankan parliament, including all 14 seats in the Northern Province.

Votes and seats won by TULF by electoral district

Electoral District Votes % Seats Turnout TULF MP
Batticaloa 26,648 24.70% 1 71.15% Chelliah Rajadurai
Chavakachcheri 20,028 63.27% 1 85.65% V. N. Navaratnam
Jaffna 16,251 56.62% 1 82.32% V. Yogeswaran
Kalkudah 12,595 43.07% 0 86.02%
Kalmunai 7,093 27.38% 0 89.86%
Kankesanthurai 31,155 85.41% 1 83.08% A. Amirthalingam
Kayts 17,640 64.05% 1 75.72% K. P. Ratnam
Kilinochchi 15,607 73.42% 1 79.71% V. Anandasangaree
Kopay 25,840 77.20% 1 80.03% S. Kathiravelupillai
Manipay 27,550 83.99% 1 79.28% V. Dharmalingam
Mannar 15,141 51.58% 1 92.40% P. S. Soosaithasan
Mullaitivu 10,261 52.36% 1 79.34% X. M. Sellathambu
Mutur 7,520 27.00% 0 91.65%
Nallur 29,858 89.42% 1 83.05% M. Sivasithamparam
Paddirippu 15,877 49.17% 1 89.92% P. Ganeshalingam
Point Pedro 12,989 55.91% 1 81.66% K. Thurairatnam
Pottuvil 23,990 26.97% 1 179.02% M. Kanagaratnam
Puttalam 3,268 10.52% 0 83.58%
Sammanthurai 8,615 34.65% 0 91.04%
Trincomalee 15,144 51.76% 1 81.78% R. Sampanthan
Udupiddy 18,768 63.44% 1 80.05% T. Rasalingam
Vaddukoddai 23,384 70.18% 1 81.90% T. Thirunavukarasu
Vavuniya 13,821 59.02% 1 82.31% T. Sivasithamparam
Total 399,043 6.40% 18
Source:[1]

The TULF became the official opposition as result of the rout of the SLFP. The TULF's success would lead to riots in which hundreds of Tamils were murdered by Sinhala mobs.

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, the TULF was frequently blamed by nationalist Sinhalese politicians for acts of violence committed by militant groups such as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In fact, the TULF represented an older, more conservative generation of Tamils that felt independence could be achieved without violence, more rival than ally to youth groups like the LTTE who believed in armed conflict.

In October 1983, all the TULF legislators, numbering sixteen at the time, forfeited their seats in Parliament for refusing to swear an oath unconditionally renouncing support for a separate state in accordance with the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

During the 1980s, the LTTE began to see the TULF as a rival in its desire to be considered the sole representatives of the Tamils of the north and east. Over the next two decades, the LTTE has assassinated several TULF leaders, including A. Amirthalingam and Neelan Thiruchelvam.

1989 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

The TULF formed an alliance with the three Indian backed paramilitary groups, Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front (ENDLF), Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO), to contest the 15 February 1989 election. The alliance won 3.40% of the popular vote and 10 out of 225 seats in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Votes and seats won by TULF / ENDLF / EPRLF / TULF alliance by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TULF / ENDLF / EPRLF / TELO MPs
Ampara 43,424 20.32% 1 80.41% Jeyaratnam Thiviya Nadan (EPRLF)
Batticaloa 55,131 35.49% 3 71.74% Prince Gunarasa Casinader (EPRLF)
G. Karunakaran (TELO)
Thambimuthu Samuel Pennington Thevarasa (EPRLF), murdered 11 May 1990
Joseph Pararajasingham (TULF), from 1990 (replaces Sam Thambimuthu (EPRLF))
Jaffna 60,013 25.02% 3 40.50% Kandiah Navaratnam (EPRLF)
Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF)
Ganeshankari Yogasangari (EPRLF), murdered 19 June 1990
Vanni 17,271 39.99% 2 30.53% Raja Kuhaneswaran (TELO)
Anthony Emmanuel Silva (EPRLF)
National List 1 A. Amirthalingam (TULF), murdered 13 July 1989
Mavai Senathirajah (replaces A. Amirthalingam)
Total 188,593 3.40% 10 63.6%
Sources: [2][3]

1994 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

In the 16 August 1994 election in which the People's Alliance alliance led by Chandrika Kumaratunga came to power after 17 years of UNP rule, the TULF won 1.60% of the popular vote and 5 out of 225 seats in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Votes and seats won by TULF by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TULF MPs
Batticaloa 76,516 43.95% 3 66.47% Joseph Pararajasingham
P. Selvarasa
K. Thurairajasingam
Trincomalee 28,380 23.66% 1 65.15% A. Thangathurai
National List 1 Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam, murdered 29 July 1999
Mavai Senathirajah, from August 1999 (replaces Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam)
Total 132,461 1.60% 5 76.23%
Sources: [4][5]

2000 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

In the 10 October 2000 election in which the People's Alliance alliance led by Ratnasiri Wickremanayake retained to power, the TULF won 1.23% of the popular vote and 5 out of 225 seats in the Sri Lankan parliament. Votes and seats won by TULF by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TULF MPs
Batticaloa 54,448 29.20% 2 71.74% Joseph Pararajasingham
Nimalan Soundaranayagam
Jaffna 32,852 27.59% 3 21.32% V. Anandasangaree
Mavai Senathirajah
S. Sivamaharajah
Trincomalee 14,090 10.58% 0 68.52%
Vanni 4,643 5.58% 0 42.13%
National List 0
Total 106,033 1.23% 5 75.62%
Sources: [6][7][8]

2001 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. 

Split[edit]

TULF President V. Anandasangaree, a critic of the Tamil Tigers, left the Tamil National Alliance when it took a pro-Tamil Tigers stance at the 2004 general election. Anandasangaree gained control of the TULF after a legal battle, forcing the TULF members who wanted to remain in the TNA to resurrect the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi, which is now a constituent party of the TNA.

2004 Parliamentary General Election[edit]

The legal battle over the control of TULF meant that the TULF led by V. Anandasangaree contested as an independent group and only in one electoral district in the 2 April 2004 parliamentary election, winning 0.06% of the popular vote and no seats in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Votes and seats won by TULF by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TULF MPs
Jaffna 5,156 1.82% 0 47.38%
Total 5,156 0.06% 0 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 TULF led by V. Anandasangaree won 0.11% of the popular vote and no seats in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Votes and seats won by TULF by electoral district

Electoral
District
Votes % Seats Turnout TULF MPs
Batticaloa 4,424 2.45% 0 58.56%
Colombo 834 0.09% 0 65.03%
Jaffna 2,892 1.95% 0 23.33%
Vanni 1,073 1.00% 0 43.89%
Total 9,223 0.11% 0 61.26%
Source:"Parliamentary General Election – 2010". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1977". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  2. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1989". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  3. ^ D. B. S. Jeyaraj (1 January 2006). "The benign parliamentarian from Batticaloa". TransCurrents. 
  4. ^ "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1994". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  5. ^ "Senathirajah - new TULF MP". The Island, Sri Lanka. 15 August 1999. 
  6. ^ "Parliamentary General Election 10.10.2000, Final District Results". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. 
  7. ^ "EPDP gets four seats in Jaffna". TamilNet. 11 October 2000. 
  8. ^ "Pararajasingham elected on final count". TamilNet. 11 October 2000. 

External links[edit]