The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) yesterday distanced itself from the statement made by its MP S. Sritharan eulogising the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Party leader R. Sampanthan told Daily Mirror that this was certainly not the position of the party.
MP Sritharan had told Parliament, in a statement, that Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter who died a heroic death on behalf of Tamil people.
His speech was scorned by the members of both the Government and the main Opposition United National Party (UNP).
Asked for a comment on these remarks, Mr. Sampanthan said his party’s position regarding the national question had clearly been outlined in the party’s manifesto presented to the people of the north prior to the September 21 provincial council election.
“Mr. Sritharan would have been moved by the fact that yesterday (November 26) was Prabhakaran’s birthday. He would have made an emotional statement. We did not campaign during the previous elections on such a line. Even, Mr. Sritharan did not campaign on that basis. We would not have allowed him to do so,” the TNA leader said.
He said, “This clearly does not reflect the TNA’s position. We are clear about it.”
There was uproar in Parliament after Mr. Sritharan’s statement on Tuesday glorifying and romanticising the acts of Prabhakaran.
Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake hit out at the TNA member over such remarks, and queried how a terrorist who killed so many leaders from the Tamil society itself could be called a freedom fighter.
He said the leaders of the political parties aligned with the TNA were brutally killed by Prabhakaran. (Kelum Bandara)