Written by Bella Dalima
13 Feb, 2014 | 9:28 pm
Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran says that the TNA could join the Parliamentary Select Committee if a proper agenda is presented to them.
The Chief Minister made this statement addressing the national conference on Post war socio economic development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka held in Colombo on Thursday.
The conference, which was graced by many intellectuals, saw Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran delivering the keynote address on The top of accelerated provincial development, the way forward .
Chief Minister of Northern Province shared these views;
“As mandated we are now being forced to carry on with the government’s agenda for development along national policies. How can the development agenda that was prepared without the participation of the people of the Northern Province, without the conducting of a comprehensive post-war needs assessment and without regard to the ground realities of military occupation and the post war context contribute towards development, leave alone accelerated development.”
He added; “At the discussions I had with His Excellency the President, on the 2nd of January 2014, when I raised the above issues I was advised, the above approach is what the government does in all provinces and we need to comply with it. In other words, the government did not demonstrate interest in adopting a participative and consultative approach baring in the mandate received to us to address the specific post war needs of the people of the northern province. There is a critical need to transform the central government’s counter-terrorism mindset. Focussed on state security to post war need for human security. Steps must be taken immediately to confine military to barracks and to formulate a plan for a phased withdrawal from the Northern Province.”
Meanwhile, addressing a question and answer session following his speech, the Chief Minister shared these views;
“Personally, I do not know what Mr. Sampanthan has to say, I had the occasion to tell somebody who asked me, why not? We could join up with the group of the Parliamentary Select Committee, but we must have an agenda in front of us. Because the President himself has got Mr. Tissa Vitharana and others to come up with solutions, to come up with various things, and for the last fifteen to twenty years we have been working on this, our academics have been working on it and the basics for a settlement is already there. Only thing is there is no how you can tally it out. Put that forward and say that this shall be the basics for a settlement and please come around lets discuss it.”
“In a Parliamentary Select Committee, I don’t see why my party should refuse such a thing. There is one important thing that should be kept in mind. That is “a bad law with good people can still work well. A good law with bad people will not work well.” Because this is very important. So, it is not the amount of things that are in black and white which is important but a change of our attitudes with regard to what we are doing and what we should do.”
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