Sri Lanka's main Tamil at odds over attending independence day celebrations   2015-02-05 14:15:55

COLOMBO, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- A rift emerged in Sri Lanka's main Tamil political party on Thursday after some of its members including the party leader had attended the national Independence Day anniversary celebrations for the first time in 43 years.

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had attended the 67th Independence Day celebrations just outside Colombo on Wednesday on what was seen as a historic move aimed at supporting Sri Lanka's newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena's efforts to reconcile the Tamils and majority Sinhalese communities.

However Senior TNA member Suresh Premachandran told Xinhua Thursday that the decision by Sampanthan to attend the Independence Day anniversary event did not have the full support of all members of the TNA.

"The decision to attend the event by these individuals did not have anything to do with the party and neither did they have the party's support. The TNA will hold discussions and decide what action to take on them further," Premachandran said.

Sampanthan was also joined by TNA Legislator M.A. Sumanthiran who attended the event which was broadcast live on national television with commentators saying it goes well for the future of the country.

"The TNA is a democratic party and all its members are entitled to their own views. I attended the event as I felt it was necessary in the interest of all people in this country, especially the Tamils," Sampanthan told Xinhua.

"While the country is now heading towards new development, we must take a new positive approach. My attendance at the event will be appreciated by the Tamils," the TNA Leader added.

The TNA has boycotted national independence day celebrations in the island in the past on the basis that Tamils in Sri Lanka had yet to experience true independence.

However Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena in his Independence Day speech said that the objective of his government would be to reconcile the people of the north and south and ensure all communities live in freedom.

Editor: Xiang Bo
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