Sirisena to Get Total Support from TNA
COLOMBO: The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has come out of its shell and declared full support to the Joint Opposition Candidate, Maithripala Sirisena, against incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 8 Presidential election.
Announcing this to the media here on Tuesday, TNA chief R Sampanthan said the Tamil question, which he called the “National Question”, can be solved only in a democratic set up and not under a dictatorship or a totalitarian system, whether of the Rajapaksa variety or the LTTE variety. Under Rajapaksa, Lanka has inexorably moved towards dictatorship and totalitarianism, he charged. The judiciary and other institutions are subverted to be subservient to the Executive Presidency. Parliament is devalued as an oversight body by “enticing” opposition MPs to join the government; and curbs are put on the media. On the other hand, the joint opposition candidate, Sirisena, has promised to restore democracy, Sampanthan said.
Sirisena is to dismantle the 18th Amendment, which had done away with Independence Commissions overseeing key government institutions. He is to abolish the Executive Presidency and reinstate the Rule of Law. The TNA leader said restoration of democracy will enable free and fair discussion of the Tamil question and help arrive at a durable, workable, generally acceptable, and just solution within a united Sri Lanka. He made it clear that the TNA does not believe in finding a solution to the Tamil question through secret and backdoor deals. It should be based on open discussions with all stakeholders, he said.
After the exit of the LTTE from the political sphere in 2009, there came into being an atmosphere for free and fair discussions. But, Rajapaksa actively subverted democratic structures to render any free and meaningful discussions impossible, Sampanthan said.