The Sunday Leader

We Have Yet Not Decided – Mawei Senathirajah

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and ITAK leader Mawei Senathirajah claims that the Tamil people in the North will only support a presidential candidate who will be genuinely committed to resolving the issues of the Tamils.

In an interview with The Sunday Leader he claimed that while several countries had, during the provincial council elections, promised to assist the people of the North and East the government has done nothing to help bring in these funds. He claims that even the Diaspora are willing to help the northern region develop but the government is blocking all avenues and preventing the development of the North as they want to hold on to power and control the whole country.

He said that even the farmers are in a dilemma as they have no lands to cultivate. Although the government claims to have given farmers fertilizer subsidies and other concessions, nothing has been given to the northern farmers. Further the people were given loans from banks and now the people are unable to pay these loans and are in a big mess as they do not have a proper income either.Similarly the 80,000 war widows are also in great trouble as they have no employment or no livelihood assistance whatsoever. “We are aware of the problems faced by the Tamil people but what are we to do when we have not been given the resources to address these issues.”

Excerpts of the interview:

By Camelia Nathaniel

Q: Has the TNA decided on who they will support at the upcoming presidential elections?

A: We have yet not decided on whom we are going to support or whether we will support any candidate. However, we as the TNA are in consultation with the party branches and the people regarding their opinion. We are also waiting for the manifestos of the presidential candidates to be released before we make a final decision as to who we will support.


Q: The people of the North claim that they have no faith in the government nor the TNA as they feel that the people are used as pawns in your battle. Is this so?

A: That is wrong to say that we are not working for the people. One must understand that the provincial council only receives a certain percentage of the funds by the central government while the majority of the allocations are still controlled by the central government.

The government claims that more than sufficient funds have been allocated to the Northern provincial council. According to them Rs. 5,831 million has been allocated to the Northern provincial council. However of that only Rs. 1,876 million is for the council under the TNA and the rest is in the treasury.

Although we are conveniently blamed and made to look like we are not serving the people and shirking our responsibilities, the truth is that the allocations that are given to us directly are totally insufficient to complete the projects that are undertaken.


Q: The people constantly complain of the land issue in the North and as the elected representatives of the people what have the TNA done to resolve these issues?

A: We have raised the issue of lands constantly with the government. However the government claims that these lands are taken over for the high security zones and that it is of national importance. However, I don’t think these lands are required as high security zones, but the military utilizes these lands for their own purposes.

There are people still living in around 11 refugee camps where they have been robbed off their lands. This is a grave problem for the Tamil people. The government has blocked everything and want to control everything under them and we will continue to fight for the land rights of the people, but the government does not want to hand over power to us and wants control and under these circumstances no one can expect development.


Q: How does the Tamil people see the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena as the presidential nominee?

A: Well right now it is too early to say and I don’t want to make a comment just for the sake of doing so.


Q: You say that the government is not allocating sufficient funds for the North, but what about the foreign funds?

A: Well the foreign funds are largely loans given by the foreign countries and eventually it is the people who have to pay for them. No matter what their financial situation is, the Tamil people pay their taxes but the money eventually goes to the south and we have no benefit. For example the allocations for the North and East for 2014 was Rs. 23,519.24 million of which Rs. 17, 961.24 million are foreign funds. But eventually the people have to pay for these.

The majority of the people in the North and East fall into the category of living below the poverty line. If the government is doing so much for the people then there won’t be so much poverty in these regions. Therefore no matter who comes to power, I hope that they will be more committed in helping the Tamil people.

6 Comments for “We Have Yet Not Decided – Mawei Senathirajah”

  1. E N Gland

    The Tamil vote will have no significant effect on the forthcoming Presidential Elections. Most of the Tamil people are now living and voting in foreign countries so they cannot tip the balance in any way and the Tamil leaders know it very well.

    The candidates should worry about the Sinhala Buddhist voters, they are the important votes.

  2. If you are not decided but whole Sri Lankans knows TNA is Pro-LTTE. Tigers can change the jungle but they cant change the stripe. Whole world know Sri Lanka belongs to Aryan Sinhalese and Tamil Nadu belongs to Tamils , same as Israel belongs to Jews, middle east belongs to Arabs, Fiji Islands belongs to Fijians, Malaysia belongs to Malays and Zimbabwe belongs to Zimbabweans.

  3. Never ever trust TAMILS. Indian proverb “If you see Tamil and Cobra, kill Tamil first” and Sri Lankans proverb, don’t trust Tamil who is in front of the mirror, Tamil who is going to born and Tamil who dead.

  4. Lanka Watch

    If Mr. Mithripala Srisena remains silent like the ruling party without any
    consultation with TNA .before 08th Dec, TNA should nominate their
    own candidate on 08th Dec to contest as a common candidate as they
    cannot ask the Tamils to boycott the election like the previous election
    as there could be mass scale rigging and impersonation in the N/E, on
    the election day and no one can stop it. TNA should ask Mano Ganeshan
    and Indian Tamils to vote for TNA candidate and they will oblige.

    Tamils were stunt last time when TNA, with all the legal brains in the
    party, made a terrible blunder by asking the Tamils to vote for an ex Army General, who was the commander in the North during the war , massacred thousands of innocent Tamil civilians and he is the only commander who
    extended the security zone, 10 fold to cover 1/3rd of Jaffna, including the
    coastal areas, thus destroying farm lands, leading schools, temples and
    farmers and fisher folk were chased away, depriving of their livelihood. and
    their lands were grabbed. School children of the areas under occupation had to walk or cycle miles and miles to reach the next school, nearer to them. This was done in defiance of the then President’s request to down size the security zone. MS wants to appoint Gen.Fonseka as defence secretary as media commented . Will TNA or the Tamils of N/E accept this proposal. Will he withdraw the armed forces from N/E and down size the sec. zone, which he only created, in the event MS gets the power. TNA should play their cards well and intelligently and should not accept ‘we will see’ answers from both parties and watch out for feelers from India as they might use Tamils as scapegoats to please SL to cut down China’s influence in SL. TNA, unlike the previous times, is under watch by the Tamils and
    any more blunders will see their vote bank plummeting like pack of cards.

    • Lanka Watch

      Dear Editor,

      Would appreciate if the above article by ‘Lanka Watch’ released
      to the readers of your valuable news paper as TNA should know where the
      Tamil people stand on the issue.

  5. Vichara

    “The majority of the people in the North and East fall into the category of living below the poverty line. If the government is doing so much for the people then there won’t be so much poverty in these regions.”

    According to the Department of Statistics the Percentage of Poor Houesholds Based on the Official Poverty Line has reduced from 12.4 to 6.6% from 2009/2010 to 2012/2013.

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