The special committee appointed by Tamil People’s Council to discuss on a political solution for the national question will meet in Jaffna this afternoon.
The 15-member committee was established by the TPC when it met at the Jaffna library last weekend. The TPC is led by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran.
Several political leaders in the north are members of the council. Its establishment is seen by many as a result of the increasing differences between Wigneswaran and TNA leader R. Sampanthan.
Wiggy chairs two different councils
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is unique in chairing two different councils in the province. As Chief Minister Wigneswaran remains head of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) which is an official body elected democratically with an overwhelming support of the people in the North in 2013.
The Tamil People’s Council (TPC) which was formed a week ago by a group of TNA dissidents and some of the civil society members from the North and East was the second body to be chaired by Wigneswaran despite the negative and positive responses to it.
A couple of days after the formation of the TPC a one to one meeting between the TNA Chief R.Sampanthan and the Chief Minister Wigneswaran was held at the residence of President’s Counsel Kanageswaran , the son of the late Senator S. R. Kanaganayagam. The meeting was held in Colombo where Sampanthan and Wigneswaran were given an opportunity to discuss openly their differences.
The meeting was arranged mainly by the pro-TNA Tamil legal fraternity in Colombo which was instrumental in pushing Wigneswaran into politics. The meeting was cordial where Wigneswaran had even reiterated that the TPC would not work against the TNA and it has been created in the best interest of the people in the North and East. During the discussion Wigneswaran has also pointed out to Sampanthan on the attitude of the TNA Parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran against him recently.
To sir with love
In 2013, when the TNA was working out on its candidates for the Northern Provincial Council election, Sampanthan and Sumanthiran backed by the Tamil legal fraternity had to face a tussle in pacifying the TNA members from the grass root level in the North and East in announcing Wigneswaran as the NPC Chief Ministerial candidate.
Majority of the people in the Northern Province considered the Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Leader and Parliamentarian Mavai S. Senathirajah could be the suitable candidate to become the Chief Minister. One of his diehard supporters had even threatened that he would self immolate if Senathirajah was not announced as the Chief Ministerial candidate.
However, Sampanthan and Sumanthiran along with other TNA Parliamentarians succeeded in convincing Senathirajah and paved the way for Wigneswaran to become the Chief Ministerial candidate.
Being a one time student of Wigneswsaran at the Sri Lanka Law College it was “To Sir with love” from Sumanthiran and he played his part well in making his teacher becoming the Chief Minister of North. However, Sumanthiran and Wigneswaran are now at loggerheads with the latest developments in the Northern political scene.
Sumanthiran’s entry into Northern politics had never been a cake walk. His close association with the TNA Leader Sampanthan was seen as a threat for their political career by some of the members of the constituent parties in the TNA. Certain radicals in the ITAK even expressed their views against Sumanthiran who had his roots in Vadamarachchi, though he studied at Colombo Royal College.
Effigies of Sumanthiran and Sampanthan were burnt in the North and abroad for their participation in the last year’s Independence Day celebrations in Colombo. However, Sumanthiran in his first parliamentary poll in August last year was victorious in Jaffna against all his rivals within the TNA and outside.
Chief Minister Wigneswaran responding to one of the recent comments made against him by Sumanthiran said he was not going to be carried away by the Parliamentarian’s comments and branded his one-time student as a ‘brat.’
Compared to the seniority of the TNA Leader Sampanthan, ITAK Leader Senathirajah and other TNA members, both Wigneswaran and Sumanthiran are ‘brats’ in the Tamil political scene and it was the recent entry of those two Colombo-based men have provoked the Tamil radicals and certain TNA constituent party members to fall apart with regard to their political stances.
Soon after the one to one meeting with the TNA Leader Sampanthan in Colombo, Chief Minister Wigneswaran a couple of days ago attended the first meeting of the Tamil People’s Council (TPC) in Jaffna where the council has formed its first committee to prepare its proposals for the intended new Constitution by the government.
In the early days of the TNA-led Northern Provincial Council, the TNA Leader Sampanthan expressing his views on the NPC activities said the Provincial Council being a regional body it should focus more on the regional affairs and the alliance’s parliamentary body would deal with important national and International issues.
TNA meeting with SLMC
Being the Chief Minister of the NPC, Wigneswaran’s supportive role in TPC preparing its proposals for the Constitution would definitely be a challenge to the TNA which would come out with its own proposals and suggestions.
The TNA Leader Sampanthan, along with other TNA strongmen Senathirajah and Sumanthiran had a special meeting with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leadership on Wednesday (30) in Colombo and both parties have agreed to propose maximum devolution powers for the North and East in the new Constitution.
Being a key figure in the Northern politics, Wigneswaran seems to have been entangled in a trap laid by the TPC and his new role as its chairman has led to the confusion how far he would be loyal to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC).
Being an elected Chief Minister of the NPC with the popular support of the Northerners, Wigneswaran as the TPC chairman is expected to be influenced by the decisions of the new body and he is also likely to be manipulated by those who are against the TNA hierarchy.
Though Wigneswaran has claimed that the TPC was not a political party and it was also not an alternative to the TNA, the latest moves of the TPC soon after its formation clearly indicate that it is going to be an unofficial provincial body parallel to the NPC allowing a bunch of clowns to make merry.