The chief minister of the Northern Province rejected assertions that the call for federalism was racist and aimed at secession, stating that it was “madness” to suggest so.
In an interview with the Tamil newspaper, Virakesari this week, Mr Wigneswaran said,
“For many years politicians have been ceaselessly saying federalism would secede the nation. That makes you also believe in those lines. You have become accustomed to such remarks. Read newspapers and books to understand about federalism. Federalism is in vogue in India. It is followed in Canada and Switzerland also. A country will never be divided because of federalism.”
Asked why only the Northern Provincial Council has demanded a federal solution, he replied:
We have made proposals in such a way that all provincial councils would be able to get self-governing authority. In case the people of the Central Province raise demands for self-governing authority, they would also benefit through our proposals.
Asked if he was demanding a separate state for the Tamils, Mr Wigneswaran answered:
“Not for Tamil people. The Sinhala Only Act was passed in the year 1956.That snowballed in to this issue. Now we need to find a solution. It can be resolved only when the Tamiil people are able to carry out their activities in Tamil language. Plans should be devised to achieve this. The Sinhala people should take initiatives to do this. The constitution needs to be amended to this effect.”
The Northern Provincial Council’s resolution calling for a federal system has caused Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court to summon the chief minister together with the ITAK leader and the NPC’s chairman. (Tamil Guardian)