Throwing stones from glass houses
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran has announced that he would take legal action against Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front's (EPRLF) Wanni District Parliamentarian Sivasakthi Anandan for accusing of each TNA Parliamentarian accepting bribes to the amount of Rs 20 million from the Government to vote in favour of Budget 2018. As the accusation against the TNA Parliamentarians of accepting bribes from the Government has become a talking point in the backdrop of the last lap of Local Government election campaigns in the North and the East, Sumanthiran denied the accusation at a meeting held in Jaffna last Wednesday (31) and announced that legal action would be taken against Anandan.
The EPRLF remained one of the four constituent parties right from the inception of the TNA along with Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) and People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) until very recently.
EPRLF Leader Suresh K. Premachandran who had been a Jaffna District Parliamentarian until he was defeated at the Parliamentary election in 2015, was critical of the TNA hierarchy stating that the views of the constituent parties were not given due consideration and TNA Leader R. Sampanthan backed by his two lieutenants Mavai S. Senathiraja and Sumanthiran most of the time took their own decisions.
So two months ago when the TNA was in the process of finalizing its list of candidates for the Local Government election, the EPRLF walked out of the TNA and formed a new alliance with Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Leader V. Anandasangaree who is an archrival of Sampanthan.
The TULF being the first party to quit the TNA, now the EPRLF has become the second party to walkout of the alliance.
When EPRLF had quit the TNA its leader Premachandran made a valiant effort even to convince the PLOTE and the TELO to walk out of the TNA when the selection of TNA candidates for the LG polls was in progress.
Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan
However, Sampanthan handled the situation tactfully and managed to prevent the alliance from disintegrating further.
The EPRLF accusing of fifteen TNA Parliamentarians taking bribes from the Government to vote in favour of Budget 2018 and the TNA responding to the accusation saying that the Local Government bodies led by the EPRLF in several places in the North were dissolved in the recent past due to their corrupt administration have made the voters in the North think whether they were represented in Parliament and in the Local Government bodies by honest representatives or crooks with ulterior motives.
The Tamil politicians in the bygone era had the reputation for their professionalism and honesty in politics.
Politicians of the calibre of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan with farsightedness had served the people by building schools and temples with the broader outlook of maintaining the unity and integrity of the country.
The late ITAK Leader S.J.V. Chelvanayakam was known as Eelam Gandhi for his humbleness and steadfast nature in genuinely spearheading Tamil politics.
Chelvanayakam didn't travel in luxury vehicles or build mansions when he was in the limelight of Tamil politics.
The people of his period still remember how he often travelled in 'Yal Devi' between Colombo and Jaffna. Even after getting down from the train at Tellippalai Railway Station at his home town, the humble politician walked up to his house by politely keeping away from the lifts offered to him by those who travelled in vehicles. The majority of the 16 TNA Parliamentarians from the North and the East are of the ITAK; the one and only EPRLF Parliamentarian, Sivasakthi Anandan, has now questioned the honesty of other Parliamentarians who were his onetime colleagues.
It is at this juncture the right thinking people of Jaffna will remember the beginning of all Tamil militant outfits including the LTTE and the EPRLF and their way of survival when the North and the East were shattered by the separatist war.
Each and every militant outfit including the LTTE launched their militant struggle with bank robberies, extortions and abductions for money and jewellery.
Later for entering the political mainstream and even carrying out their operations as paramilitary groups former Tamil militants were paid in millions by the Governments of India and Sri Lanka.
When atrocities were committed by all Tamil militant outfits against their own people in the North and the East in the guise of a liberation struggle, the innocent civilians in the two provinces even tolerated the hardships they faced thinking it was a struggle to win their political rights.
However, the conflicts among the Tamil militant outfits and finally the downfall of the LTTE had very well highlighted that the so-called liberation struggle had done nothing but paved the way for immense deaths and destruction.
The annihilation of several refined Tamil moderate politicians of the calibre of A. Amirthalingam, Lakshman Kadirgamar, V. Yogeswaran, S. Darmalingam, and Joseph Pararajasingam along with several Tamil intellectuals by the Tamil militant outfits had even led to a big vacuum in Tamil moderate politics.
So, traversing through a 'free for all' dark period in the past, the EPRLF is trying to be saintly by pointing the finger at the TNA Parliamentarians as bribe takers.
The EPRLF should not be throwing stones from glass houses and 'whitewashing' their sins.
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