Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran will deliver a lecture on civil liberties in South Asia at an event organised by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Chennai in November.
Speaking on the event in memory of eminent civil rights activist K.G. Kannabiran, PUCL’s national general secretary V. Suresh said the organisers had chosen Mr. Wigneswaran because of his stature as a “visionary intellectual who combines the best of jurisprudence with a keen understanding of democracy, politics and economics.”
“Greatest contemporary legal thinker”
Mr. Suresh said the Chief Minister, formerly a judge at Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, was one of the “greatest contemporary legal thinkers”, whose perspectives would be valuable in understanding civil liberties in the South Asian region.
In his first visit to India after assuming charge as Chief Minister of the Northern Province in 2013, Mr. Wigneswaran may also visit New Delhi though it is not confirmed if he will participate in official meetings there. In August, a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) – an amalgam of Tamil parties which is in power in the Northern Province — met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Mr. Wigneswaran was not on the delegation then but the visiting members discussed the possibility of the Chief Minister meeting Mr. Modi on a future date. The TNA and Mr. Wigneswaran have sought India’s intervention in ensuring that the Sri Lankan government implements the 13th Amendment and goes beyond, as was promised by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The Chief Minister has repeatedly expressed concerns over inadequate devolution of powers by the Sri Lankan government, increasing militarisation of the north and controversies over private land being taken over by the Sri Lankan army. (The Hindu)