Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran today conceded to the wishes of TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan and stated that the two Ministers; Balasubramaniam Deniswaran and Dr. Pathmanathan Sathiyalingam who were to be subjected to a fresh probe, need not go on leave until the inquiry is complete.
“There was no punitive action taken against the two Ministers concerned. They are entitled to draw their salary and use their vehicles etc. It is in order to give protection to the Witnesses that it was said that they should take leave while the Inquiring Committee sat”, wrote Wigneswaran to Sampanthan.
“There are new charges too against them. I understand your inability to give guarantees with regard to the conduct of the two Ministers. But I am glad you have undertaken to advise them that they should not impede an independent legal inquiry. It is to ensure the independent legal inquiry and to commit the two Ministers that I designed the formula of taking leave for one month”, he further added.
The CM who then agreed to take Sampanthan’s word that he advised the two ministers not to interfere in any inquiry added that, “The two Religious Dignitaries have insisted that the two Ministers must co-operate by not interfering with the course of justice”.
Today, prominent religious leaders such as Srila Sri Somasundra Thesika Gnana Sambanda Paramachchariyar Swamy Peedathipathy of the Hindu Nallai Aatheenam and Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rev. Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam visited Wigneswaran to sort out the issue in an amicable manner.
Furthermore, Selvam Adaikalanathan, Dharmalingam Sidharthan and Suresh Premachandran, wrote the CM, had “undertaken last night in the best interests of the Tamils to speak to the Hon’ Ministers, to make sure they will not interfere with the course of justice nor interfere with nor threaten witnesses nor tamper with evidence etc. In the light of these undertakings, I will not insist on the conditions relating to leave”, concluded Wigneswaran.
A corruption probe on all four ministers of the NPC initiated last year had cleared the two ministers Deniswaran and Sathiyalingam while finding the other two; Thambyrajah Gurukularajah and Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan guilty of corruption. Wigenswaran thereafter had insisted that the former two ministers that a new committee would be appointed to investigate the exonerated ministers further. Until such time, he had asked the two ministers to go on compulsory leave.