North Elections Were Held Thanks To India: Wigneswaran
Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says India played an instrumental role in ensuring the holding of polls in the Northern Province and it must now assist in rebuilding the war-ravaged region.
“Thanks to India, the Northern Provincial Council elections were held. I am here because India almost had a hand in the elections being held when the (Sri Lankan) government as saying we are not going to have it or we are going to crap the 13th amendment and so on,” he told the Indian media in Jaffna, one day after he was sworn in as the country’s first elected northern chief minister.
“Not that India brought me in but India, in an indirect way, was instrumental in allowing the provincial council elections to take place after 25 years,” said Wigneswaran, who won a a massive number of preferential votes in last month’s election.
Wigneswaran said the Government had held elections and because they were held, he was able to win.
Ahead of his meeting with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, he called on India to follow up by helping the development of the region.
“How best India can help us is a technical matter, but India’s help in the war-torn society is absolutely essential. We are looking forward to it,” he told Indian reporters in Jaffna.
Asked about his impression of the Sri Lankan government’s commitment to fully implement the 13th amendment for devolving powers to provinces, Wigneswaran said, “Its lip service is commitment, I do accept that.”
Referring to the government’s move to ask a Parliamentary Select Committee to decide on implementing the 13th amendment, Wigneswaran said the parameters for discussion need to be laid down. “Where these parameters take us need to be laid down,” he said.
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