New Tamil Leader on Nationalist Path

New Tamil Leader on Nationalist Path

The Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) has undergone a significant shift in policy with the new leader, Sivagnanam Shiritharan.

Unlike the outgoing leader, Rajavarothayam Sampanthan, who advocated for resolving Tamil issues through negotiation within an undivided Sri Lanka, Shiritharan takes a more hardline approach. He rejects the 13th Amendment and has laid a wreath at the Maveerar cemetery, referring to Velupillai Prabhakaran as “our national leader.” Shiritharan aims to unite Tamil nationalist forces for a political solution, emphasizing strength and distancing from the Sampanthan-Sumanthiran position.

Blessings from Veteran Sampanthan

“In order to win the national aspirations of the Tamil people, I will make my best efforts to rebuild the mobilisation of the Tamil nationalist forces as they were before 2009 and to unite everyone without the expectation of leadership or competition so we can chart the correct path for the rights of the Tamil people. I am ready to make as many concessions and sacrifices as I have to. To embrace everyone and work with a spirit of sacrifice towards the journey of winning the national aspirations of the Tamil people.”

This marks a departure from the ITAK’s previous stance on finding a solution to the Tamil question. However, it is still not clear how far the new leader could proceed on his hard line. The hard-line nationalistic approach is not the preferred approach of the entire Tamil community.

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