The political conflict in Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, which escalated dangerously on Thursday, appeared to be heading for a workable compromise as the day wore on. But efforts to arrive at a compromise ran into trouble in the evening when the Jaffna unit of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) insisted that it would not budge an inch from its stand that Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran should quit.
Sources said that the matter is now left to the Chief Minister and the head of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and ITAK stalwart, R.Sampanthan. They are expected to talk it over on Friday.
Meanwhile, it has been decided that till the result of the leaders’ meeting is out, there will be no further moves to bring a no-confidence motion against the Chief Minister nor will there be a strike on Friday calledby the Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC).
The compromise solution worked out by intermediaries like D.Siddharthan of the Peoples’ Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) was that the Chief Minister would take back the two ministers who he had sent on a month’ leave pending a fresh inquiry into allegations against them. The two ministers would continue in their job, but will go through a fresh inquiry as desired by the Chief Minister.
The inquiry commission which had gone into charges against all four members of the Board of Ministers, had exonerated P.Sathiyaligam and B.Deniswaran while indicting the other two. But still, Chief Minister Wigneswaran wanted the exonerated ministers to be investigated further on fresh charges, and had asked them to go on a month’s leave at least. The TNA’s leadership saw this as victimization and took preliminary steps to move a No Trust Motion against the Chief Minister.
Incensed by the bid to move a no trust motion, Chief Minister Wigneswaran activated his own outfit, the Tamil People’s Council (TPC), which announced a hartal for Friday, June 16.
Alarmed by the nasty turn of events, which might wreck Tamil unity, intermediaries swung into action and tried to work out a compromise.