Earthiness of TNA too much for urbane Colombo Tamils

By: Colombo Tamils

The reason for the TNA not contesting the forthcoming polls in Colombo is due to negotiations with P. Chandrasekaran of the Upcountry Peoples’ Front (UPF) to field a common list in the district failing to materialise.

There was a once thinking in the TNA that if such an alliance could be forged and a common list drawn up, both elements in the alliance would benefit, especially by being able to nominate additional MPs on the national list since the TNA commands support in the northeast and Colombo, while the UPF does in all areas where Tamils of recent Indian origin vote.

The Western Province Peoples’ Front of which Mano Ganeshan is the leader, is playing very safe politics. It is contesting as part of the UNF list knowing full well that Ganeshan himself is the most probable candidate to win a seat from that group and that it would only be to his advantage to capitalise on his popularity among non-Tamil voters too.

The TNA contested the polls in the Colombo District in 2001 general elections and was able to garner 12,696 votes in the district. However, it did not win a single seat. This time the Tamil candidates have grown wiser than allow these votes to go waste and are exploiting what appears to be a growing congruity of views between the TNA and UNF by accommodating the Tamil voice within the UNF.

Another consideration appears to have been the feeling that ‘Colombo Tamils’ – an indefinable yet accepted entity in Colombo’s politics – are not too happy with TNA candidates, since they have too much of a northeastern flavour, which has adverse repercussions on the delicate sensibilities of ‘Colombo Tamils.’

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