Accusing Minister Douglas Devananda’s conduct at Jaffna District Coordinating Committee (DCC) meeting held on 15 December, as violent and anti-democratic undermining the democratic process, the Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister Justice C.V. Wigneswaran has urged the President Mahinda Rajapaksha to investigate the incident and suspend the sittings of DCC process and enable the Northern Provincial Council to chair and direct the DCC process until the investigation is complete.
“It is indeed unfortunate for Your Excellency’s Minister to have indulged in such unnecessary violent and anti-democratic activities undermining the democratic process and Your Excellency’s position in the North, particularly at a critical time. lt demonstrates a clear disregard for the sensitivities of the Northern population and their elected representatives, in addition to the rule of law” the Chief Minister said in the letter sent to him today.
Below we publish the full letter of the Chief Minister.
I write to intimate directly to Your Excellency the most indecorous conduct of Hon Douglas Devananda, Cabinet Minister and Co-Chair of the DCC process at the DCC meeting held on Tuesday 15th December 2014 and urge Your Excellency to take appropriate action befitting the premeditated assault on elected officials of the Northern Province.
My participation in DCC meetings was pursuant to Your Excellency’s letter of 18th November, 2013. I agreed to do so in good faith, notwithstanding the fact that the Northern Province had categorically rejected the non-participatory development agenda set by Your Excellency’s government which was the basis of such DCC meetings, and notwithstanding the fact that a democratic process would have required the DCC meetings to be carried out under the stewardship of the Provincial Council instead of a joint stewardship of Your Excellency’s nominee as well. The basis of my participation was clearly articulated at the very outset in April 2014. Even though we had reservations about the substance of the meetings we never expected that the meetings would be the forum for premeditated violent attacks on the Hon. Members of the Provincial Council.
The revolting conduct of Your Excellency’s Minister and his henchmen on Tuesday, 16 December 2014 is in breach of the law and all norms of decency and decorum expected of elected representatives, especially members of the Cabinet.
Several miscreants had been surreptitiously brought into the Meeting Hall by the Hon. Minister, without any justification for their presence, and they jumped over chairs and tables to go over and assault our Hon Members. We have identified some of those who had been smuggled in by the Hon. Minister from photographs taken by the Press, and they include Dayananda, the Minister’s own brother, Nehru, who is an employee of the Minister at the Sreedhar Theatre Office in Jaffna, Kumar from the Vadamaratchy Fisherman’s Society, Niyas alias Siththiran, Robinson alias Rajkumar and others.
It is indeed unfortunate for Your Excellency’s Minister to have indulged in such unnecessary violent and anti-democratic activities undermining the democratic process and Your Excellency’s position in the North, particularly at a critical time. lt demonstrates a clear disregard for the sensitivities of the Northern population and their elected representatives, in addition to the rule of law. lt could also be considered to be intimidation of the Northern voters in the context of the upcoming Presidential Elections.
Considering the above, I respectfully urge Your Excellency to immediately investigate the above incident perpetrated by Your Excellency’s Minister and his associates with a view to demonstrating a commitment to the rule of law and due process.
Until the conclusion of the investigations and administration of justice proportionate to the conduct and violence perpetrated, l. urge Your Excellency to suspend the sittings of DCC process and enable the Northern Provincial Council to chair and direct the said process to continue to serve the citizens of NP. I trust Your Excellency will initiate appropriate disciplinary action against Your Excellency’s Minister. I await your kind acknowledgement.