Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray is expected to “officially” inform Northern chief minister C. V. Wigneswaran that he has lost the confidence of the majority of Northern province councillors in general and those elected from the majority of Councillors elected from the Tamil National Alliance(TNA) in particular.
The Governor has officially requested the Northern chief minister C.V.Wigneswaran to come and see him in person and be appraised of the current situation where a number of Northern Provincial councillors are opposed to Wigneswaran continuing as Northern chief minister.
22 Northern councillors have submitted affidavits and/or letters to the Governor saying they have no confidence in CV Wigneswaran as chief minister and asking the Governor to remove him.
The TNA obtained 30 of the 38 NPC seats at the 2013 Provincial poll.
Fifteen Northern provincial councillors from the Ilankai Thamil Arasuk Katchi(ITAK) which is the chief constituent of the TNA. Other constituents of the TNA are the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization(TELO), Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Liberation Front(EPRLF) and Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam(PLOTE)
Apart from the fifteen ITAK members, seven members from parties in the opposition have also informed the Hovernor that they are opposed to Wigneswaran remaining as chief minister. These include two from the All Ceylon Makkal Katchi, Two from the United Peoples Freedom Alliance, Two from the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party(EPDP) and one from the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. In terms of ethnicity Seventeen tamils, Three Muslims and Two Sinhalese have unitedly called for Wigneswaran’s removal.
Among the Northern councillors who are opposed to Wigneswaran remaining as chief minister are NPC Chairman CVK Sivagnanam, NPC Leader of the Opposition S. Thavarajah, Provincial Education minister T. Gurulularajah, Provincial Health minister P. Sathiyalingam and provincial Transport minister B. Deneeswaran.
Though the ITAK councillors with the exception of Ms. Ananthy Sasitharan are unanimous in their opposition to Wigneswaran, most members of other constituent parties such as PLOTE,TELO and EPRLF are supportive of Wigneswaran so far.
This has led to speculation that Wigneswaran may defy the ITAK councillors opposed to him and fight it out with the help of the non – ITAK parties. Elements opposed to the Sampanthan-Senathirajah leadership including the TNPF, TPC, sections of the Tamil media, sections of Tamil civil society, sections of the Catholic clergy and the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora are expected to lend support to Wigneswaran
Meanwhile it is expected that Governor Cooray is likely to inform Wigneswaran about the lack of confidence among NPC councillors and request him to step down voluntaily. If however Wignrswaran declines to do so and claims tat he has majority support then the Governor would ask the chief minister to prove his majority on the floor of the council.
This may lead to sharp divisions with the ITAK on one side and the other three TNA parties on the other. Since both sides are near equally represented the opposition councillors will determine who has majority support and who lacks it.
It is very likely that at least three members of the non _ITAK parties may switch loyalties soon and oppose Wigneswaran
If Wigneswaran steps down or is remobed from office the NPC chaurman CVK Sivagnanam is likely to be appointed chief minister.
ITAK Secretary-General and Eastern provincial minister S. Thurairajasingham has arrived in Jaffna to officially facilitate the appointment of a new chief minister.