By Easwaran Rutnam
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has demanded equal rights for Tamils and slammed a comment by a government minister who they say made derogatory comments against the Tamil population.
“We will not allow the government or anyone else to treat the Tamils as a minority anymore. If the Sri Lankan government thinks the Sinhalese are the majority and the Tamils are the minority, then they are mistaken,” TNA MP Suresh Premachandran told The Sunday Leader.
Government Minister Champika Ranawaka had on Tuesday July 26, said, “Just because they won a few councils they must not demand police and land powers. They need to take note of the fact that 56 per cent of the voters had voted to retain the unitary character of the country,” he said.
He accused the TNA of trying to use the USA to try and intervene in order to win Tamil demands. “We the Sinhalese will not kneel down before the US or any other power. As long as the power of the saffron robe of the Buddhist monks remained they will not be able to achieve what they aim for,” Ranawaka added.
Premachandran said that by making controversial remarks against the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, the government was only creating another rift between the two communities in the country. “Government ministers should be mindful of the remarks they make against the Tamil community. The Tamils will not allow or accept any foolish remarks made by certain Sinhalese government ministers,” Premachandran said.
Sri Lanka is only just recovering from a brutal war which lasted nearly three decades in which the LTTE was demanding a separate state for the minority Tamil community. Following the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 the Tamil National Alliance, which had once accepted the policies of the rebels, began talks with the Sri Lankan government to find a solution to Tamil concerns. During recent local council elections the Tamil National Alliance won majority support in the Tamil dominated north of the country while the government won the polls in the Sinhalese dominated south.