TNA is a failed Opposition – but for Separatism
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA,) which was supposed to be the main Opposition party, was shamelessly assisting the government’s initiative to delay elections, leader of the United National Freedom Front (UNFF), Maithri Gunaratne said yesterday, addressing a press conference.
Gunaratne also warned the government against delaying elections as it had shown its desire to rule without holding polls. “The Opposition leader must be on the road demanding elections, but he is defending the government policy of ruling without polls. Allow people to vote because whenever governments deprive people of the right to vote there is a bloodbath.”
The government’s failure to carry out any development activity in the North for three-and-a-half years had been used by the TNA to pit the Tamil people against the government and the majority community, UNFF leader Gunaratne said.
“The TNA always tried to create animosity between the people of the North and the South. They are not interested in developing empowering the Tamil people economically or politically or socially. They have the Northern Provincial Council under their control but youth in the North have become disillusioned because there are no opportunities,” Gunaratne said, adding that the government should hold the Provincial Council election according to the mixed system, a combination of the First Past the Post and proportional representation, as President Maithripala Sirisena promised during his election campaign.
“Despite what some people say this is the best system for Sri Lanka. The last local council elections were the most peaceful electoral contest we have had for decades thanks to the new system. And candidates don’t need donations from institutions like Perpetual Treasuries Limited because campaigning does not involve huge expenditure.
Gunaratne also criticised the government’s rapid rural development project “Gamperaliya” (a revolution in the village). He said that the actions of the government had already created hitherto unseen chaos at the village level.
“They have destroyed the village economy and the livelihood of the average citizen. 77 Viewers