Colombo: Sri Lanka’s main Tamil minority party – the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) on Sunday elected Sivagnanam Sritharan its new leader through a secret ballot held at the eastern port district of Trincomalee.
Sritharan, a member of the national parliament representing the northern district of Jaffna, defeated his rival Abraham Sumanthiran from the same district by 184 votes to 137 in the ballot.
Sritharan, a former teacher and a hardline Tamil, defeated the lawyer and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) international face Sumanthiran.
The TNA in 2004 became the configuration of ITAK with five parties joining it. Currently, the TNA, which contested under the ITAK symbol in the last parliamentary election in 2020, holds 10 seats in the 225-member national parliament.
TNA was accused as the proxy of the then dominant LTTE which ran a parallel administration in the parts of North and East until they were crushed by the government troops in 2009 after a three decades-old campaign to carve out a separate Tamil state.
The leadership of ITAK had fallen vacant after the two-year term of its senior Mavai Senathirajah ended.
The TNA has participated in reconciliation talks with President Ranil Wickremesinghe since January 2022.