While people are free to choose their representatives to parliament; they must understand that once the choices are made, they are tied to the consequences of those choices at least till the next general election five years later. As far as the representatives of the Tamils in north and east provinces their choice for decades was the Tamil National Alliance (TNA). The TNA was formed as an alliance of Tamil political parties during the period the civil war was still in full swing; it must be said they have to say the least served their people under severe circumstances; when their was no voice of any strength to address the plight of the Tamils in the war zones.
When the war was brought to finish in 2009, there were new issues added to TNA’s list of already existing issues of the Tamils that caused the civil-war. TNA brought these issues to parliament to get resolutions for them from majority dominated governments with exclusive rulers, who were least interested in resolving issue of the minorities. This created a situation for TNA not to participate in governance until their issues were settled and always opted to stay in opposition benches, even when opportunities came their way to join the governments of the day.
Especially in 2015 following a Change of Wind, where TNA played a key role with many civil groups to change the rulers. It reflected the honesty and sincerity of its leadership, not well appreciated by some leaders of political parties in the alliance. As these minions forgot their collective responsibility and began rumbling in public, criticizing its own leadership; as years passed these small minded leaders left the alliance with their political parties were suitably rejected by the people.
In TNA, there is still a small number of parliamentarians, as seen in many other political parties in parliament, who are not law makers are project agents, making additional income than serving the people who elect them. They spend little time with minimum participation in debates; but make up the numbers during voting as ‘yes’ men, serve as a dead weight or bad eggs in a basket. As a minority group in parliament TNA cannot afford to carry such dead weight or have such bad eggs in their basket. As the result of these unproductive representation in parliament, TNA is left with many problems of their people unresolved, such as housing, health care, education and employment. Where as these underutilized members could have helped the alliance to resolve the problems of their people; while the TNA leadership devoted it’s time in parliament resolving larger issues in helping to draft a new constitution and supporting the government at time of crisis to democratic values; or help the government to face up to its responsibilities on the ‘infamous’ UNHRC Resolutions passed against the country.
While TNA served the NE Tamils in parliament, their opponents continued to make noise from outside. True TNA could have handled some problems better, but considering all the constraints imposed on them by the rulers and limitation they faced within the alliance it could be said they have achieved considerable progress. But many issues remains untouched is a cause for concern to many, both in the country and outside.
With all the events that have gone on during the postwar negative peace decade, the activities in the parliament were forced to take a back seat and none of the issues of the people in NE have been concluded successfully in that period. So it would be unwise for the people in NE to think of changing the horses mid stream at this juncture, as the crossing is far from over.
The Tamils in NE would help TNA to field a full productive team from NE to fill opposition seats in parliament; only if the TNA leadership for their part bring in new candidates to replace all known non productive, call them “dead wood” or “bad eggs” members with new young quality people, including at least two women. This will certainly induce Tamils in NE to come out and cast their votes in number at the polls to enable TNA to fill more seats in the next parliament.