Sampanthan named new opposition leader

Sampanthan-60000-1Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R Sampanthan, was today named as the new opposition leader in Parliament by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

Jayasuriya said that the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) had given him a letter saying it will not be nominating anyone as opposition leader.

As a result he said that Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) leader and TNA leader R. Sampanthan will be the new opposition leader.

However UPFA member and National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa said that the UPFA had given UPFA chairman and President Maithripala Sirisena a letter proposing UPFA member Kumara Welgama as the opposition leader.

This led to a heated argument with UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella saying the Speaker had already made his decision and it should not be challenged.

Weerawansa said that he was not challenging the appointment of Sampanthan but was questioning the statement made by the Speaker that the UPFA had not proposed anyone for the post of Speaker.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe then spoke saying the UPFA must raise its concerns over the letter sent to the Speaker with the President and not in Parliament.

Some members of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) yesterday raised concerns over attempts to make TNA the main opposition in Parliament.

Fourteen UPFA members including former President Mahinda Rajapakse now sit in the opposition benches opposing the National Government while the TNA has 16 seats.

The TNA this week claimed that R. Sampanthan must be recognized as the leader of the opposition in accordance with parliamentary practice and convention as they have now emerged as the largest political party in the opposition in Parliament, after the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and United National Party (UNP) decided to work together in the new parliament. (Colombo Gazette)


  1. There have been articles asking when a Minority Person could be the leader of this country. Now, for the second time we have a Tamil Leader of the Opposition. It’s probably going to be a tiny opposition, with almost two thirds ranged against them.

    I have heard hot heads, carefully making veiled comments about how “the Tamils are going to get this important position again”. I’ve usually managed to silence them. There are some very decent people in the TNA, but, alas, the Sinhalese have been conditioned to think in terms of stereotypes. I’m glad we have taken this little step forward. Please, everybody who prays for reconcilliation, let’s tone down our own rhetoric. There will be attempts to stoke the fires of communalism; tread carefully TNA, but may you succeed in helping us all by being a vigilant opposition.

  2. I am a Tamil Sri Lankan. I live in the hill country. I drank the same water as any other sri lankan and went to same type of schools and got education as same as other Sri Lankans.
    Yes, bad things happened along the way in this country and Tamils were subjected to untold sufferings…
    This is the Past.
    Where are we at today as a society and multi ethnic community and one country?
    Where are we heading as a nation into the future?
    We must forgive and forget the past. Unite and be one country with multi ethnic composition. Drawing strengths from diversity in societies and its values. Hone the skills and win the world and make a better place for all future sri lankans..
    JR, SWRD, Amirthalingham Pirapaharan did not do any good to this country but, brought this nation to its knees…!
    If Sambandham is the Opposition Leader, why federal system? You are given what you ought to have.
    I live among the sinhalese and muslims..I have no issues. Its how you live and interact with others make your social standing.
    For me, Sinhala buddhists are passive, tolerating people who were under immense subjugation by the Colonial powers for over 500 years. So its natural that they too want to become equally well employed and well to do after independence. Yes they were mislead by some politicians who played the race card to come to power.
    This elections clearly shows that Sinhala majority is over with racial card being used to grab their votes..
    So, its upto Tamils and muslims to not define themselves in racial lines, but come together as one nation with multi ethnic composition and make a country that stands out for prosperity , education, health and economic well being of its populace in the world…


    Please listen to this interview in its entirety and I give me your reaction my friends. He has not given me anything new to change my impression of him or his style of leadership. May be I am missing something and desperately want to believe in the man. I was one of the first people to talk in defence of him waving the Sri Lankan flag. I so want to believe in him like I did with our spiritual leader Thanthai Selva and Amarar Amirthalingam. There are certain things that are not negotiable like:

    1) “A Credible Independent International Investigation into War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.”

    2) Our right to self-determination under a Federal system of governance with clearly defined separation of powers within a unitary state.

    3) All post war issues like the matters of the political prisoners, missing combatants and land issues.

    4) An understanding to be reached about the presence of the armed forces in the North and East of of country baring mind the “National Security”

    Too many Sinhalese and Tamil heroes have perished for this matter to be treated lightly. Mother Lanka is hemorrhaging badly and it seems to me the people concerned want to give her a cosmetic surgery. This is cowardice, laughable in the extreme and outright stupidity.

    Albert Einstein made the following observations about stupidity;

    1) Only two things are infinite; the universe and the human stupidity and he was certain about the former – meaning universe itself infinite and stupidity is beyond that. This is what I am seeing in Sri Lanka since that stupid idiot SWRD Bandaranaike.

    2) We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Again infinitely stupid to say the least.

    3) Fear or Stupidity has always been the basis of most human actions. Surely we the Tamil speaking people must be immune to fear by now. So it must be stupidity.

    I beg you Mr. Sampanthan be a leader our Last Thaecia Thalivar the coward gave every one of our young boys and girls cyanide capsules for freedom.

    You sir, seem to be leading us to the edge of the cliff singing that song from an old Tamil Movie “Varaiy Nee Varaiy, pogum idam vegu thuram illaiy nee varaiy!

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