The Chief Minister Tamil-dominated Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has assured India that the differences in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will be ironed out and that unity will be maintained to enable the Tamils to secure their rights in Sri Lanka. This assurance was given to the Indian High Commissioner in Lanka, Y.K.Sinha, when he had a two-hour meeting Chief Minister Wigneswaran in Jaffna. The New Indian Express reported today.
Sinha was on a three-day tour of the Northern Province which ended on Saturday.
Briefing the media on his talks with the High Commissioner, Wigneswaran said that the envoy expressed concern over internal dissensions in the TNA and said that such dissensions could be used by the majority community to deny the Tamils their rights at a time when chances of finding a political solution to the Tamil question are brightening.
Sinha urged the Chief Minister to get along with the TNA leadership comprising R.Sampanthan, M.A.Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah.
Wigneswaran admitted that there are ideological differences between the Jaffna-based leaders and the Colombo-based leaders of the TNA. His case was that the Tamil question looks different when viewed from different places.
As a Jaffna-based leader, he has a perspective which is different from that of the Colombo-based leaders like Sumanthiran, Wigneswaran said. However, he assured that he is all for the unity of the TNA and that any internal differences will be ironed out through discussions. Wigneswaran recalled that Sumanthiran was his student in the Sri Lanka Law College and that there should be no difficulty in making up with his student.
In his meeting with the Indian High Commissioner, Wigneswaran requested India to secure the release of the 217 LTTE cadres still in detention. The Tamils consider these to be political prisoners but the government sees them as hardcore terrorists. Indian aid was also sought to rehabilitate about 12,000 released LTTE cadres who are finding it difficult to survive in post-war society. When the High Commissioner spoke about the paucity of funds, the Chief Minister said that the Tamils are looking up to India for help because they have no one else to turn to. (NIE)