Bid to form Tamil MPs’ caucus receives good response: Mano

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Tamil Progressive Alliance (TPA) leader Mano Ganeshan, MP, yesterday (10) said that TELO (Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation) leader Selvam Adaikalanathan, MP, and DPLF (Democratic People’s Liberation Front) leader Dharmalingam Siddarthan had responded positively to his recent call for the formation of a Tamil MPs’ caucus in Parliament.

Both TELO and DPLF contested the last general election in August 2020 on the Tamil National Alliance (TNA ticket).

Colombo District lawmaker said that his colleagues in TPA Palani Thigambaram, MP and V. Radhakrishnan, MP had assured their support for the move. The TPA contested the last general election on the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) ticket.said that Tamil MPs’ caucus was required primarily for three specific reasons.

The grouping could declare what the TPA leader called the collective desire of their community to reach consensus with other communities within an undivided Sri Lanka.

MP Ganeshan said that the grouping could enter into a collective dialogue with other political parties represented in parliament and also reach out to the Sinhala community and organizations not represented in parliament.

And finally make a collective effort to persuade the international community and Sri Lanka’s development partners to convince the government to adhere to what MP Ganeshan called Sri Lanka’s international obligations.

Responding to another query, the outspoken MP said that he didn’t believe the proposed caucus should engage in political discussions. Political discussions should be the responsibility of respective political parties.

Declaring that there were differences between political aspirations of Tamil speaking people in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and that of the upcountry region, MP Ganeshan stressed that the caucus could prepare the ground for talks with the government.

Having sent his proposal on Tamil MPs’ caucus to four Tamil parties represented in parliament, on March 30, MP Ganeshan has so far received responses from TELO and DPLF.

Appreciating ITAK (Illankai Thamil Arasu Kaddchi) spokesperson M.A. Sumanthiran’s declaration that the party was ready to discuss his proposal positively, MP Ganeshan said that the ITAK and C.V. Wigneswaran’s TMK were yet to respond, officially.

ITAK is the largest Tamil group in parliament with ten members. ITAK was represented by 14 members in the previous parliament.

MP Ganeshan said that the urgent need to reach a consensus on the national issue shouldn’t be put on a back burner as the government addressed pressing economic issues. Asserting that the proposed caucus could be utilized to improve relations with Sinhala MPs, lawmaker Ganeshan discussed the possibility of inviting progressive minded Sinhala MPs.

Asked whether he expected to form the grouping soon, MP Ganeshan said that everything would depend on the responses he received from four Tamil political parties represented in parliament. Such an initiative couldn’t be pursued unless all got together, he said.

Political sources said that some hardline Tamil Diaspora groups had asked Tamil political parties here not to throw their weight behind the TPA initiative. They had been offended by MP Ganeshan’s declared commitment to an undivided Sri Lanka, sources said. Those Diaspora groups were of the view that such a commitment on the part of the proposed Tamil MPs caucus would be detrimental to their agenda, sources said.

Sri Lanka brought the war to a successful conclusion in May 2009.

MP Ganeshan said that since Sri Lanka’s declaration of bankruptcy status in May last year, the national issue hadn’t received any attention at all though various spokesmen made on and off comments. Formation of Tamil MPs caucus could help the community to take up the issue at hand, collectively, the TPA leader said.

, Local, ,

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post