“The TNA has been misquoted. They are in constant touch with us and what the media has put out is absolutely wrong. The TNA has not abandoned its four co-principles which include a separate homeland for Tamils,” Canadian Tamil Congress leader David Poopalapillai told IANS here.
Outlining the TNA’s “four co-principles”, the Tamil diaspora leader said, “These include a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka, their right to self-determination, preservation of distinct Tamil identity and citizenship rights for Tamils who came to Sri Lanka from India in the 18th century.”
Poopalapillai said, “The 1.3 million-strong Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora is behind the TNA and it has full faith in its leadership. We are very firm on what we want.”
The Tamil leader added, “What we are fighting for is something like Puerto Rico and the US – two nations with one passport. The island of Sri Lanka will be one country with two nations – one Tamil nation and one Sinhalese nation.”
He said nearly half of Tamils of Indian origin who were settled in central parts of Sri Lanka in the 18th century but still have no citizenship will be accommodated in the new nation.
Reports from Colombo said Friday that the ethnic Tamil party has given up its demand for an independent state and is ready to accept regional self-rule under a federal set-up.
The TNA, which backed the Tamil Tigers since its formation in 2001, reportedly released its so-called platform to accept a federal set-up. The party has 22 members in the nation’s 225-member parliament. It supported former army chief Sarath Fonseka during the January presidential election.