When the civil-war intensified in Sri Lanka, in order to get a proper representation in parliament for the Tamils living in the war torn merged northeast province the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was formed in 2001. Made up of moderate Tamil parties and former militant groups TNA entered parliament in 2001 winning 15 seats to self-claim itself as the sole representatives of the Tamils. Following the 2015 General Election TNA gave unconditional support from opposition to the present government. With Presidential Election due in two weeks on 16 November the parties in government have picked Sajith Premadasa as their Presidential Candidate of its New Democratic Front (NDF), an alliance of over 50 made with other political parties and civil society groups. The TNA is the only political bloc in parliament yet to decide whom to support and surprised many was their indecisiveness to support Sajith, the presidential candidate of NDF representing the largest democratic bloc in the country. However it is expected that its vote base made up of majority of Tamils in the North and East provinces will cast their vote to Sajith.
Tamils know well pledges made at elections are only promises; yet welcome Sajith’s positive mindset reflected in his manifesto to bring in a new constitution to build a strong undivided indivisible nation to create a democratic pluralistic society by devolving maximum power to provinces and set up a second chamber which will be comprised of provincial council representatives. Sajith’s intention is to build a nation where justice prevails and where economic, religious and cultural rights are upheld in addition other basic human rights; further to ensure that the judiciary be independent of government, the new Constitution will create an independent public prosecutor, appointed by the Constitutional Council and propose to move the judicial interpretation of the constitution away from the Supreme Court to a new Constitutional Court which will also adjudicate disputes among different levels of Government, between provinces and the Central Government and among the provinces themselves are all positive moves.
Further Sajith’s plans to establish an Executive Presidency which will work in concurrence with the Prime Minister and a cabinet of ministers free of corruption and conflicts of interest; with no relations given government appointments and end crossovers in Parliament should establish good governance for all. Further Sajith has plan for a nation with real sovereignty, where democracy is upheld in an era where some countries make an effort to intervene in internal matters of other nations; possible only in a nation where its rulers act as real custodians of the nation instead of acting like its outright owners.
Most of all to bring in new laws and regulations under which religious extremism will be monitored, introduce penalties on hate speech introduce a Harmony Act, resettlement of war displaced persons, adopt effective disaster management policies, meaningful power devolution to provinces. With zero tolerance on religious extremism and violence, everyone will be free of fear in their homes and places of worship, while ensuring speedy development. Build up a new machinery to ensure security of the nation with a national security council which will be legally constituted and to introduce a post of National Security Advisor, and the right people will be put in the right places. All enforced will produce much expected holistic rule fit for the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation that is Sri Lanka.
All minority communities in Sri Lanka shall vote for the swan symbol at the presidential election for Sri Lanka to have its youngest president in Sajith Premadasa pledging to bring in a new constitution to build a strong undivided indivisible nation to create a democratic pluralistic society by devolving maximum power to provinces and set up a second chamber which will be comprised of provincial council representatives; enabling the TNA vote bloc of Tamils living in North and East Provinces to vote for Sajith. As the sole representatives of these people in parliament TNA should prepare for the next parliamentary elections due in 2020 to retain if not increase their seats in parliament; thereafter with a mindset change join NDF government and serve in its cabinet to deliver its manifesto pledges for a holistic rule to benefit all communities and drive the nation by 2025 to prosperity.