The leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), V. Anadasangaree yesterday said he would pledge his support to the common candidate at the upcoming Presidential election. In an interview with the Dailymirror he said the development of war affected areas is being sidelined and the Tamils are not being equally treated. Sangaree said President Rajapaksa’s “Mahinda Chinthanaya” is either polluted or diluted and ideas of others are smuggled in to it. Furthermore he said Tamil National Alliance (TNA) should not make decisions for the Tamil people and let them make their own decisions.
Following are the excerpts of the interview:
The TULF seem to be silent in the political field. Why is that?
It is not the TULF, it is the TNA which is silent. They know the moment they open their mouth things will be detrimental.
Do you mean to say TULF is not active because of TNA?
Firstly you need to know the people behind the TNA. After Amirthalingam died, for a number of years they could not run the party. Their diehard supporters were kept away. So, the party had to run with a few front liners. By that time Sampanthan came all the way from Madras to engage in politics. We faced an election. Since there was one vacancy Neelan Thiruchelvam was selected. During this period Sampanthan and Senadhirajah were influencing Neelan to resign. Later Neelan was assassinated.
When Parliament was dissolved and another election was held. I was the most deserving candidate. But Senadhirajah was campaigning for himself with two others. However I managed to get 32,000 votes.
I always refused to accept LTTE as the sole representatives of the Tamils. Yet I supported LTTE’s discussions with the government. Because I did not recognize LTTE, they tried to oust me from party activities. In 2003 Senadhirajah had close connections with the LTTE and its leaders. It was during this period Senadhirajah hired a young Tamil man saying that he was a typist. However, others at the office told me that this young boy was suspicious and didn’t do anything. By that time news revealed that I had been a target of the LTTE and then there was a police report as well. Soon after the news was published, the typist disappeared. There was a plot to assassinate me to which Senadhirajah was also a party.
Later Sampanthan, Senadhirajah and Joseph Pararajasingham wanted to have a meeting with the LTTE which I stopped through a restraining order. According to the laws of the party any meeting has to be decided by me. However, a meeting with Thamilchelvan who decided on the party’s candidate. For this I refused to give the symbol of the party. This happened at the election held in 2004. This election was conducted by the LTTE. I have evidence.
The TNA was formed in collaboration with four parties. TULF, TELO, EPRLF and Ponnambalam’s Congress Party in 1972.
Till 2004 the Federal Party was defunct. In 2004 the Federal Party in writing accepted LTTE as the sole representative of the Tamils. It is the Federal Party which calls them as TNA. Up to now TNA has not consulted me or invited me.
Do you think otherwise JHU and UNP would come on one stage? Also JVP and UNP?
These are political parties with different ideologies that will never agree. TNA is silent so far.
But TULF is not a party of TNA?
For the last five years the TNA has not invited nor consulted TULF for any matter. But they go under the name of TNA also they collect money. TNA’s activities and association with the LTTE is hated by many. They survived through their charms. At the eleventh hour they come up with something and people were made to vote.
At this moment many are getting together. Let the TNA not choose for the Tamil people. Let the people choose, they know what is right and wrong. The Tamils know why 33 parties have got together and they know why some of the parties are crossing over to the Government.
You have earlier commended President Rajapaksa. But yesterday you said you are supporting the opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena? If TNA decides to support the common candidate would your stance differ?
Let both parties place their manifestoes and leave people to decide. But never be guided by the TNA.
However I pledge to support the common candidate. My only request is let Tamil people make their decision. They have unnecessarily involved with the lives of the Tamils. If they support the common opposition the others may say the alliance is supporting LTTE. If they support the common alliance it will be detrimental.
At one point you said TNA is LTTE’s proxy. Do you think they are trying to pave the way for another Eelam?
They have nothing in their head and they still think Eelam is a reality. They want to cling on to their seats because of that. They have done enough. In 2005 the TNA which is backed by the LTTE, campaigned saying the people not to vote. The Government and the LTTE had an agreement.
Same thing happened in 2010. TNA went and campaigned for Sarath Fonseka. They helped Sinhala people to identify Sarath Fonseka as a traitor. The line they took deliberately helped Fonseka to lose. They did that for a price. On two successive occasions the TNA has deprived the people of the country to choose the proper leader for the country.
I am out of this mess but I cannot keep quiet this time. Future of the Tamil people and the country as a whole cannot be left in the hands of unscrupulous elements of the TNA. They are selfish and not interested in finding a solution.
In January 2009 I wrote a letter asking TNA to save the lives of Tamil people. Then I wrote to Prabhakaran telling that more than 300,000 people were cursing him and the curse will continue for generations. I requested him to come to a settlement.
In April 2009 the Indian Foreign Secretary Sivasankar Mennon invited TNA leaders for a meeting. They did not accept. They said they would come if they stop the war. How can India stop the war? If they went Mennon would have influenced the LTTE to lay down their arms. If this happened many lives would have been saved. Luckily for them they have a diaspora.
In a letter you sent recently to the President, you stated that Tamils would not give credit to the President for the development projects until they feel they are equal. Does that mean the Tamils are not equally treated?
They are not equally treated. The train “Yal Devi” took five years to go to Jaffna. If the Tamil people were given prominence “Yal devi” could have gone to Jaffna in two years. Jaffna was never a priority. The priority should have been war affected areas.
If it is development, who should have been consulted? Leave aside me. But there are many Government officials who could have been consulted. Of course nice buildings have come up. I don’t think the economic status of the people doesn’t deserve these types of magnificent buildings. I have told the President that his Mahinda Chinthanaya is either polluted or diluted and Chinthnaya of others are smuggled into yours.
What is your stance about Executive Presidency? Should we abolish it?
It should be abolished. Those days to allocate money even for a rural development project we had to go to the parliament to get permission. But this does not happen now. Money is being passed without proper approval.