Wigneswaran seeks extra-constitutional approach to resolve Tamil national question
[TamilNet, Saturday, 14 March 2015, 16:03 GMT]
NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran on Saturday urged the visiting Indian PM to support a negotiation process without succumbing to the constraints of the Sri Lankan Constitution and the associated protocols. Such a negotiation process should involve the Indian Government, Sri Lankan Government and the Provincial Councils of North and East in the island to resolve the national question. The current 13th Amendment Framework and the existing Sri Lankan constitutional architecture had evolved since the first Republican Constitution of 1972 without the consent and participation of Tamils of North and East of our Country, he said adding that both of them pose formidable challenges and hindrances in realizing the quantum of devolution required to fulfill the needs and aspirations of the Tamil Speaking People of North and East of Sri Lanka.
Mr Narendra Modi visits NPC Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran
Mr Wigneswaran was speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Jaffna Cultural Centre, held at the Public Library in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi.
Further extracts from the speech by Mr Wigneswaran follow:
Mr Narendra Modi and Mr C.V. Wigneswaran at the foundation stone laying ceremony for Jaffna Cultural Centre at the Jaffna Public Library
“Indian Constitution provides for the facilitation of sustainable development, internal security, law and order, policing and protection pertaining to lands and so on within the State. Our inability to function in our Province to the extent you were able to help Gujarat under the Indian Constitution needs to be understood.
“Especially the inadequacies of the Thirteenth Amendment. Even when the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 was signed there was a historic communication by our leaders to the then Indian Prime Minister, late Shri Rajiv Gandhi on 28 October 1987, pointing out hollow and inadequate the 13th Amendment had been. They sought the then Indian Government’s intervention on behalf of the Tamils of North East Province of Sri Lanka. When Indo Lanka Accord was negotiated ostensibly as a solution to the Tamil Question, India whilst addressing Indian Security and Strategic concerns, stood as a guarantor on behalf of the Tamils of North-East. That situation prevails in North-East Provinces in Sri Lanka even today. We need the services of a guarantor and it is our considered view that the Government of India under your stewardship is best suited for this role!.
“The emaciated Thirteenth Amendment has not brought the required and expected devolution to the North and East. Even today parallel administrative structures exist one directed by the Centre and the other by the Province despite the appointment of an amiable Governor!
“Our former President in May 2009 released a joint statement with the UN Secretary General during latter’s visit to Sri Lanka relating to the core issues and post war context and the causes of the conflict. Later in January 2010 he promised Mr.Manmohan Singh, your predecessor, that he will go beyond the Thirteenth Amendment. Hence, it is time that we take note of the commitment expressed by the then Sri Lankan Head of State, consider our post war context, needs, priorities and concerns and move forward with the active support of your friendly Country under your leadership.
“We seek positive action to be taken to resolve our problems. May I suggest Sir, that there be talks among the Indian Government, Sri Lankan Government and the NPC and the EPC without taking refuge under the current constitutional provisions and protocols to find ways of resolving the central problem of the Tamil speaking people in an innovative and creative manner bearing in mind the root causes of our ethnic conflict and post war needs and priorities of the people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces? We seek justice and fair play to be established in the political arena and the constitutional framework in Sri Lanka to live with equity, equality and dignity.
“We have many requests to make. But it is not appropriate for me to present our want list when we are happily welcoming you into our midst. Suffice to say a concerted effort on the part of the Central and Provincial Administrations of our Country with yours would no doubt bring alleviation to the vast numbers of War affected families and individuals in our part of this Country. Even though security concerns should be left to the Central Administration in any Country it should not transgress the limits of protection of the Country to a protracted pursuit of purposeful military occupation with political undertones in place. I could give statistics of such purposeful occupations. But we are here to welcome you Sir, not to burden you with a testament of our trials and tribulations. Let us hand over to you today separately our humble requests to rebuild our post war Province.”