Posted on June 10th, 2012
It is only in Sri Lanka that a Member of Parliament, who receives a salary and all types of allowances and perks and is given security at tax payers’ expense, can refuse to hoist the National Flag of the country and still come out with lame excuses to justify the treasonous act. According to a report in Nation on 10 June the Tamil National Alliance MP Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy refused to hoist the flag at an official function held in Jaffna.
The justification put forward by the MP is that 25,000 of his people – not Sri Lankans – are still displaced and, “We are not treated as equal citizens in our own country”. The MP has conveniently forgotten that On 25th October 1990 over 15,000 Muslim families who had lived in Jaffna for generations, engaged in legitimate business, were chased away by the ‘liberator’ of the Tamils with a mere two hours’ notice. Only a fraction of this population has been able to return to their places of birth while the rest is still languishing in temporary accommodation in other regions of Sri Lanka. At the hands of the LTTE a similar fate befell over 150 Sinhala families who lived in Jaffna for a period extending beyond 50 years.
Any sane individual will see that the alleged delay in resettling the displaced civilians and hoisting the National Flag at an official function are matters that are worlds apart. What the MP’s action clearly shows is that he and his clan of TNA MPs do not consider them as citizens of the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka. The writer’s interpretation is lucidly supported by the fact that his party leader at the TNA annual convention held on 26 May in Batticaloa indicated succinctly that the TNA is steadfast in pursuing their dream of a separate nation within Sri Lanka for the Tamils. While Pirabaharan opted to go for open military confrontation against Sri Lanka’s armed forces, a policy which is espoused with more vigour than ever before by the LTTE members and their activists domiciled in the affluent countries, the TNA leader used flowery, poetic language to say that Eelam is what the TNA is after. The major difference between what he said and what Pirabaharan did is that the TNA leader’s aspirations will be realised with the blessings of the so-called international community and the US.
The stance of the TNA is not surprising at all. The MPs of this party ended up in the precincts of Sri Jayawardenepura Assembly Hall reserved for the people’s representatives only because they were propelled there by Pirabaharan. Additionally, ITAK, the party of the TNA leader, stands for Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi, which means Lanka Tamil Kingdom Party. So, it is natural that TNA MPs or ITAK supporters abhor the Lion Flag of Sri Lanka, notwithstanding the yellow strip that had been added to the design of the flag in the belief at the time that that band represented the Tamils, and the flag would signify the unitary sovereign state of the then Ceylon.