Feature Article

NPC plunges into crisis as external agenda-backed forces challenge Wigneswaran

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 14 June 2017, 23:35 GMT]
Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK), which is the main constituent party of the TNA, engineered a move of no-confidence against NPC Chief Minister Justice C.V.Wigneswaran on Wednesday. A considerable number of councillors submitted the request, just a few hours after Justice Wigneswaran instructed two of his ministers, subjected to investigations to resign, and asked two other ministers to go on compulsory leave until the investigation on them is completed. Bringing the four ministries under Chief Minister's purview, the NPC CM said he was answerable to the people who had entrusted him with the task of leading the NPC. TNA parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran has been involved in creating, managing and finally deploying the move as an opportunity to force Wignewaran and his genre to retire from politics. However, Wigneswaran remains calm and restraint, news sources in Jaffna said.

The dissident councillors, led by C.V.K Sivagnanam who is also the Chairman (Speaker) of the NPC, said that they had handed over a written no-confidence letter against NPC Chief Minister on Wednesday evening to Reginald Cooray, the SL Governor to Northern Province.

Although C.V.K Sivagnanam claimed that there were 22 councillors out of the total 38, backing the no-confidence motion, one of the dissidents was already withdrawing from the move, informed sources said.

The move comes after Mr Sumanthiran was hectically involved in convincing the ITAK group of councillors to back his line. He was communicating with the SL President and SL Prime Minister, who in turn instructed the opposition Sinhala and Muslim NPC councillors of the UPFA to back the move of no-confidence. Promises were made on ministerial positions and even possibilities of appointments in the next parliamentary elections on ITAK ticket.

A senior journalist in Jaffna who talked to Chief Minister Wednesday night cited Justice Wigneswaran reiterating his response to the alleged no-confidence move that had already been clearly articulated in his Tamil address to the Council earlier on that day.

* * *

Justice Wigneswaran said the following in Tamil while addressing the Council:

“மற்றையவர்கள் போனால் முதலமைச்சரும் வெளியேற வேண்டும் என்ற கோரிக்கை இப்பொழுது சிலர் மத்தியில் நடைமுறைச் செல்வாக்குப் பெற்று வருகின்றது. ஒரு முதலமைச்சரை மக்கள் நேரடியாகத் தேர்ந்தெடுக்கின்றார்கள். அமைச்சர்களை முதலமைச்சரே கட்சி வரையறைகளைப் பேணி மாவட்ட நலவுரித்துக்களைச் சிந்தையில் நிறுத்தி தேர்ந்தெடுக்கின்றார். அதற்கு சட்ட வலுவை ஆளுநர் அளிக்கின்றார். ஆளுநரால் தான்தோன்றித்தனமாக அமைச்சர்களை நியமிக்க முடியாது. எனவே மக்களால் தேர்ந்தெடுக்கப்படும் முதலமைச்சர், தான் சிபார்சு செய்த அமைச்சர்களை நீக்கி புதிய அமைச்சர்களை நியமிக்கக் கோரும் பொறுப்பை உடையவர் என்பதை இங்கு கூறி வைக்கின்றேன்.”

* * *

There is no difference between the genocidal Sinhala military that occupies the country of Eezham Tamils and the ‘development military’ orchestrated among civilian Eezham Tamils inside and outside, commented Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island.

Just as the Sinhala military is earnestly needed as ‘Lascarines’ for the regional and global agendas of the ultimate culprits of Tamil genocide, the ‘development Lascarines’ currently orchestrated among Eezham Tamils, especially in the diaspora, is also needed by the same culprits to consolidate their position in the island without conceding anything to Tamils, the activists said.

The process taking place in the NPC, even though mainly spearheaded by an extra-South Asian bandwagon, has to be compared with the process currently taking place in Tamil Nadu, engineered by New Delhi in tandem.

Eezham Tamils have to realize that without seeing anything substantial, endorsing anything orchestrated through the diaspora or the agents inside the island is nothing but endorsing the occupying Sinhala military and the genocidal State in the island.

For more than 200 years, the external forces have not changed in their fundamental outlook towards State in the island that has led to all the miseries and ultimately the genocide to follow. But they have the audacity to tell Eezham Tamils that it is ‘out-dated’ to cling to the fundamentals of Tamil aspirations, the activists further said.

Eezham Tamils and their diaspora were always demanding righteous ground realities and justice before entering into any dialogue, facilitating the overlapping interests of them and the agenda of the global forces.

However, the only ground reality that could be facilitated by the external forces was luring a class in the diaspora with ‘200% tax exemption’ for investments in the North, ultimately to facilitate the ‘Army and Development’ counter-insurgency. This is the ‘Social Anthropology’ facilitation to follow the ‘Peace Facilitation’ of 2001.

The diaspora members who were caught in the trap have the responsibility to explain to the masses whether their participation precipitating the current NPC crisis was a result of their premeditation or gullibility, the activists commented.

* * *

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) comprises of four parties. Mavai Senathirajah symbolically leads the main constituent langkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi (ITAK). But, the ITAK is under the tight control of M.A. Sumanthiran and R. Sampanthan.

The other three parties are ex-militant organisations. Suresh Premachandran leads Eelam Peoples’ Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF). Selvam Adaikkalanathan leads Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and Tharmalingam Sitharthan leads Peoples’ Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE).

All the TNA candidates during the NPC elections were fielded under the ITAK list.

Former Supreme Court Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, who doesn't belong to any political party or organisation, was approached by the TNA on behalf of the entire alliance to be the common candidate for the position of Chief Minister in the NPC elections held in 2013. He was featured as the number 1 candidate in the TNA (ITAK) list for the administrative district of Jaffna. There were 19 candidates in the TNA list for Jaffna district. He was projected as the Chief Minister for NPC for the people to have confidence on the NPC deception and vote.

In the elections held on 21 September 2013, Justice Wigneswran polled the highest number of preference votes, polling a total of 132,255 votes. Next to him, Ananthy Sasitharan, the only female candidate on the TNA list for Jaffna, polled 87,870 votes while C.V.K Sivagnanam managed to secure 26,747 votes. P. Sathiyalingam, a physician from Vavuniyaa, polled 19,656 votes from his electorate on behalf of the ITAK.

Following the victory, TNA secured 30 seats in the 38-member council.

Justice Wigneswaran appointed Mr Sathiyalingam, considering his medical background, as Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine.

P. Ayngaranesan who got his placement in the TNA list through the EPRLF, was appointed as Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Irrigation and Environment.

T. Kurukularajah, elected from Ki'linochchi district representing the TNA was introduced as a candidate by S. Shritharan MP, who had defected to the ITAK after entering electoral politics through the EPRLF. Justice Wigneswaran appointed Kurukularajah, a former Director of Education, as Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports.

Attorney-at-Law Mr Deniswaran, representing TELO (TNA) from Mannaar was appointed as Minister of Fisheries, Inland Fisheries, Trade and Commerce.

Mr Sivagnanam became the chairman of the Council.

Ananthy Sasitharan, who polled second largest number of votes in the entire council and a survivor of genocidal onslaught on Vanni, was tasked by the Chief Minister to represent human rights issues in the Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.

However, Mr Sumanthiran, who didn't wish Ms Ananthy to articulate her position on Tamil genocide, was trying to contain her role in Geneva. This was in tandem with the genocide-denial of the ultimate culprits.

Later, the NPC council adopted a unanimous resolution demanding international investigations on Tamil genocide under the leadership of C.V. Wigneswaran. This resolution process was taken forward while being sharply opposed by Mr Sumanthiran, who was using ITAK hierarchy against the NPC position.

* * *

The hostile discourse of Sumanthiran was shaped by the interests of outside powers that have been using the plight of Eezham Tamils to seek geo-political entry into the island. He became a genocide denier and was collaborating with the UNP and the SLFP. He was opposing and ridiculing the Genocide Resolution even after it was democratically passed with unanimous support in the NPC.

Sumanthiran has been engineering divisions within the NPC, using C.V.K Sivgnanam and lately P.Sathiyalingam. Both the Speaker C.V.K Sivagnanam and Health Minister P. Sathiyalingam were being repeatedly encouraged by Sumanthiran with the ‘prospects’ of becoming the next Chief Minister if they helped him to defeat Justice C.V. Wigneswaran.

In March 2016, sixteen members of the NPC came with a written plea to the Chief Minister to consider reshuffling NPC ministries. The allegations of abuse of power or corruption by the ministers were also mounting. The restraint action by the Chief Minister came only a few weeks ago when he appointed a committee to investigate the allegations. The charges were against four ministers.

It was easy to find faults with two of them. The charges against the other two, including an agent of Sumanthiran, were yet to be proven, as witnesses against them were either pulling out due to outside influence or were reluctant to appear before the investigators. On Wednesday, Justice Wigneswaran openly requested two of the ministers to file their resignations. The other two on whom investigations were yet to focus, were asked to go on compulsory leave, initially for one month with the possibility of extending the leave until the investigations are fully concluded.

Using the opportunity, Attorney-at-Law Sumanthiran, who has always lost in his tricks against Justice Wigneswran in the NPC politics, engineered the move of no-confidence motion using the ITAK hierarchy. The SLFP led by SL President Maithiripala Sirisena and the UNP led by SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe were working behind the scene to arrange the opposition politicians from Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil opposition councillors to back the move.

* * *

All the ITAK members, except Ananthy Sasitharan (she acts independent of ITAK membership), look upon Sumanthiran and Sampanthan or the forces behind them, for their survival in the electoral politics. Minister of Fisheries Deniswaran (TELO) joined them. The dissident group of councillors want P. Sathiyalingam to be appointed as Chief Minister.

However, three parties of the TNA alliance, EPRLF, TELO (except one councillor) and PLOTE and independent councillor Ananthy Sasitharan are fully backing the Chief Minister.

Mavai Senthirajah, the leader of the ITAK, who was once aspiring for the portfolio of the Chief Minister, lacks self-confidence and independency. M.A. Sumanthiran and R. Sampanthan, who have taken a pro Establishment and pro agent-State position, are handling him and he simply toes the line.

Sumanthiran and Sampanthan are also aware that Justice C.V. Wigneswaran has gained overwhelming confidence and trust among the people in the North.

* * *

Justice Wignesswaran's popularity has steadily grown since becoming the chief minister. Although he doesn't have prior administrative or political leadership experience, his capacity to understand and grasp the discourses of the global, regional and Colombo Establishments and his independent ability to learn the realities on the ground through his background as a prominent Justice, have placed him as the de-facto symbolic leader of Eezham Tamils in the vacuum of political leadership after May 2009.

The current crisis of the NPC engineered by Sumanthiran, by external powers that operate him and by the agent-State in Colombo, could also end up as a blessing in disguise, bringing the symbolic leader and his genre currently serving a useless provincial council into broader political leadership to shape the future political discourse of Eezham Tamils in the island and elsewhere, commented Tamil political observers in Jaffna on Wednesday.



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