COLOMBO: The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has managed to get a separate meeting with the visiting UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, after being clubbed together with other leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for a full-scale official session with the UN chief when he comes to Jaffna on September 2.
Sources in the TNA said that on his way out after a full-scale meeting with the TNA leaders led by party chief R.Sampanthan, Ban will have a brieftete-a-tete with Wigneswaran.
Earlier, in an effort to sideline him for his non-cooperative attitude, the powers-that-be who drew up Ban’s itinerary did not schedule a separate meeting with Wigneswaran, even though there was a separate meeting with the provincial Governor Reginold Cooray.
Complaining about this publicly on Sunday, Wigneswaran said that the invitation to join the TNA delegation to meet the UN Secretary General was given half heartedly by the TNA chief Sampanthan. Sampanthan had telephoned him to say that he could join the TNA delegation if he wished to. Wigneswaran told the media that given that kind of invitation, he was not sure if he would go for the meeting.
Wigneswaran is at odds with the TNA’s leadership over the question of the TNA’s relationship with the Sri Lankan government. They differed on the political solution to the Tamil question; ethnic reconciliation and the economic development of the Northern Province. While Wigneswaran is for a confrontation with the Center, the TNA’s leadership is for engagement and cooperation. While Wigneswaran thinks that going for economic development in the Northern Province before a political settlement is reached, is putting the cart before the horse, the TNA’s leadership believes that economic development and the movement for a political solution can and should take place simultaneously.
The UN, the Sri Lankan government ,US, EU, UK and India all want economic development to take place even as efforts are made to address issues of war time accountability and ethnic reconciliation through concrete measures spelt out in the UN Human Rights Council resolution of October 1, 2015