Tamil National Alliance

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Tamil National Alliance
தமிழ் தேசிய கூட்டமைப்பு
දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය
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
16 / 225
Provincial Councils
41 / 417
Local Government
76 / 3,036
Politics of Sri Lanka
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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.


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]

Tamil National Alliances manifesto were based on what is known as the Thimpu principles amongst Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists.[2] But the TNA later rejected separatism preferring power devolution to the provinces and stated that they accept that Sri Lanka is a unitary state and the TNA does not intent to form a separate state.[3][4]

The current political manifesto and polices of the TNA are,[5]

  • The Tamils are a distinct People and from time immemorial have inhabited this island together with the Sinhalese People and others
  • The contiguous preponderantly Tamil Speaking Northern and Eastern provinces is the historical habitation of the Tamil Speaking Peoples
  • The Tamil People are entitled to the right to self-determination
  • Power sharing arrangements must be established in a unit of a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces based on a Federal structure, in a manner also acceptable to the Tamil Speaking Muslim people
  • Devolution of power on the basis of shared sovereignty shall necessarily be over land, law and order, socio-economic development including health and education, resources and fiscal powers.

The TNA also stands for,

  • There must be meaningful de-militarization resulting in the return to the pre-war situation as it existed in 1983 before the commencement of hostilities by the removal of armed forces, military apparatuses and High Security/Restricted Zones from the Northern and Eastern Provinces
  • Tamil People who have been displaced in the North and the East due to the conflict must be speedily resettled in their original places; housing provided, their livelihoods restored and their dignity respected
  • An Independent International Investigation must be conducted into the allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws made against both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE during the last stages of the war, the truth ascertained and justice to victims and reparation including compensation must be ensured
  • Persons who are detained without charges must be released promptly and a general amnesty should be granted to all other political prisoners
  • There must be finality reached with regard to thousands of missing persons and compensation must be paid to the next of kin
  • Tamils who fled the country must be permitted to return to their homes and a conducive atmosphere created for their return
  • A comprehensive programme for the development of the North and East including the creation of employment opportunities for the youth will be undertaken with the active support of the Sri Lankan State, the Tamil Diaspora and the International Community

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.[6][7] The Sri Lankan government denied responsibility and strongly condemned his killing.[8]

In the murder of Joseph Pararajasingham,[9] 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.[6][10]

K. Sivanesan[11] 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,[6][12][13] the Army has denied the allegation.[14] K. Sivanesan had alleged that he had been harassed by Sri Lankan Army earlier.[15]

Further Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru[16] 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 [17]

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

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

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

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]


External links[edit]