The Chief Minister of the northern province, C V Wigneswaran releasing a statement on 29 July 2015 said he would remain neutral and non-partisan during the next month’s general election, despite being elected to his seat by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).
“In his message Wigneswaran states:
“It was when I left Sri Lanka on my visit abroad that Elections were fixed. I have now come back. There are those who ask me what I intend doing at the coming Election. There are ten persons contesting from the TNA for seven seats in the Jaffna Peninsula and nine persons contesting from the TNA in the Wanni for six seats. Naturally our present Electoral System will make persons belonging to the same Party conflicting among themselves for the Preference Votes.
I was brought in as a Common Chief Minister Candidate to contest the Provincial Council Election in 2013. After my election many constituent units of the TNA were critical of me for not maintaining a neutral and non partisan stance. They said I wasaligningmore towards the ITAK. They pointed out that the CM was common to all.
In fact this problem was faced by me when I was chosen as the President of the Law Students’ Union over fifty three years ago at the Law College, Colombo. One group elected me. The other group said, on election you become President of all Law Students. They expected me to be non partisan. My supporters felt since they had voted for me I was bound to look after their interests only. Even as a Law Student, I felt that I had to be non partisan after election, being cognizant of the duties, responsibilities and obligations cast upon me by the role assumed by me. I maintained that stance throughout my period of office much to the annoyance of some of my supporters.
A similar circumstance has dawned on me again. I feel it would be wrong for me to be seen at any political meeting of the TNA candidates though it was they who elected me. I am one who would be able to work with whomsoever our people are pleased to elect. Whatever the result may be it is hoped that whosoever is elected should workunited for the betterment and well being of our people. The welfare and wellbeing of our people takes precedence over Party considerations. I stated as follows in Tamil in my address to the audience in the UK at Harrow on 17th of July this year-
“It is my expectation that our people would elect in the coming Election those who would work for our people dedicatedly. As far as the Tamil representatives are concerned we need those who would conform to the norms set by Valluvar – honest in politics, strong in principles, dedicated in people’s service, far in sight and incorruptible in spirit. Such persons must stress the individuality of our community, they must confirm our right to self determination, they must be prepared to work ceaselessly to obtain the rights of our people and to obtain justice for them. Such are the Representatives to Parliament our region and people need.I shall be available to them in the performance of their historical and ethical functions.”
More than 6 years since the end of the war and almost 2 years since the election of NPC we face a post war future with three major challenges. Firstly the post war rehabilitation, resettlement and developmentremains a piece-meal exercise that is not in tune with the needs and priorities of ourPeople. Secondly, permanent political solution to the conflict remains elusive. Thirdly, Justice for the war affected remains distant.
It is in this backdrop you are once again being called upon to cast yourvotes. I fervently believe that the challenges infront of us demand the calibre of Tamil Representatives I referred to in the UK. And you the people have a paramount duty to send the best among us to tackle these challenges. You are duty bound to send those, who once the electoral battles subside, would work as a single united political force to take on the most difficult challenge we face, which is finding a political solution to the conflict.
Recently a South based politician asked me whether the TNA would accept Ministerships in the new Government if offered.I remembered what the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said to British PM Hon’Cameron on political coalition and cohabitations- “The little party always gets smashed!” I said my view was that under no circumstances should our Representatives accept portfolios until a political solution is found. Otherwise the demands of our people would get dissipated and we would be engulfedby the majority community. The Ministers would be stifled by Cabinet Responsibility. It would be the surest way to compromise our rights and aspirations.
My statement above sets a high watermark not only for the kind of political culture and ethos we should nurture in our own society but it also applies to this Country as a whole. Earlier this year the people of this Country expressed their yearning to write a new chapter, their desire to forge a new future that is based on the principles of good governance, justice, equality, fairness, peace and security to all. The politicians of all hues and colours, leaders of institutions, the media and the civil society have a mammoth task ahead to translate the yearning of the peoples of this Country into tangible reality. The upcoming election demands all democratic minded peoples to support forces which will govern this Country based on the highest ideals avoiding their deepest temptations to serve a group of citizens to the detriment of others.It demands that our election promises and manifestos be translated for the benefit of great many. Only then could we expect our future generations to look back at our contributions at this moment with the deepest gratitude.
Whatever the outcome we will look to our friends in the International Community to support our peoples as they attempt to shape a future that is built on strong democratic foundations. We urge the International Community to walk along with us as we strive to live up to the hopes and aspirations of our peoples.
May I call upon our brothers and sisters to choose the best candidates to represent us in Parliament – representatives who would stand the test of Valluvar!I call upon all of you to exercise your democratic right to the fullest and strengthen our political journey ahead. I also call upon each and every one of you to be ever vigilant and keep us accountable and at your service. We should cease to be seasonal tourists during election times!
“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people”(Henry Clay, American Statesman and Orator).”