COLOMBO: The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has denied that he is relying on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa to solve the Tamil problem in his country.
“When did I call upon her to find a solution to our problems? I congratulated her and called for closer collaboration. She responded positively. So what about it? If anyone is giving hidden meanings to mere courtesies, what I am supposed to do?” Wigneswaran asked in an interview to Lanka’s state-owned Sunday Observer.
“We rely on ourselves not on others to solve our problems. But the globe is now shrunk, everything and everybody are inter-related,” he said and pointed out that the present Lankan rulers had “relied on foreign powers to get rid of the Rajapaksas and are trying to get round the UN too.”
Denying the allegation that he is pitching for a separate Tamil Eelam, Wigneswaran said: “ Our manifesto was specific in stating that a solution is to be arrived at within the integrity of the island. We have not supported separation.”
“But the government must recognize the Tamils’ individuality and not be going around wearing the hegemonic headgear. They should recognize our people as equals and talks to us in that manner and not condescend to throw crumbs at us.”
Need For Strength
Asked why he could not shed his confrontationist approach and secure a solution to the Tamil question on the basis of negotiations done in a spirit of give and take as S.Thondaman did to solve the problems of the Indian Origin Tamils, Wigneswaran said: “ Thondaman did not get anything on a platter. It was his strength as leader of a powerful trade union that made him progress in this regard. You cannot negotiate from a position of weakness. He had the strength of his trade unon.”