TNA National List dispute resolved

By Sarah Hannan

The disputed National List seat of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was finally resolved with the name of T. Kalai Arasan from the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) being gazetted by the Election Commission (EC).

The decision was confirmed when the National List Members of Parliament (MPs) of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), ITAK, and Ahila Ilankai Thamil Congress (AITC) were gazetted yesterday (11).

ITAK, being the main political party of the TNA, was accused of not seeking the views over the National List seat from the other parties that make up the TNA.

The disagreement occurred after a consensus was reached to give the TNA’s National List seat to the Ampara District. However later on, the decision was changed and it was communicated that ITAK Leader Mavai Senathirajah should be nominated for the National List seat.

Last weekend, ITAK General Secretary K. Thurai Rajasingham announced that the post of National List MP for the ITAK would be given to Kalai Arasan, who contested and lost the last election from the Ampara District.

At the same time, another group in the TNA announced that Senathirajah should be given the post. Senathirajah, who contested from the Jaffna District during this general election, was defeated. Therefore, the TNA was adamant that he should be sent to Parliament through the National List.

However, the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and the People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) said that neither Kalai Arasan nor Senathirajah had been consulted on the proposal.

TELO Leader Selvam Adaikalanathan said that TNA Leader R. Sampanthan had not held any discussions regarding which member would be appointed through the National List.

Meanwhile, PLOTE Leader Dharmalingam Siddharthan said that the three main parties of the TNA should come together and discuss such an important decision.

PLOTE was of the view that Senathirajah should be the National List MP.