Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran has said that he has no problems with the Parliamentary Group Leader of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), R. Sampanthan.
In an interview to the Nation, Wigneswaran stated that he had met with Sampanthan and added that the TNA Leader was categorical in saying that people from grass root level should state their point of view regarding the type of political settlement that needed to be reached.
Following is the full text of the interview:
Q. Are you caught between the TNA and the Diaspora in the current political scenario in the North?
A. No. Both are complementary. The TNA has always been a Centrist party upholding certain basic principles in our political outlook such as the right of self determination based on the traditional continued occupation by the Tamil speaking people of defined regions in the North and East, speaking a common language and having a common cultural outlook. We maintain the Centrist stance. Left of that stance would be pursuance of the idea of separation and right of that stance would be a compromise on the basics. The Diaspora too are interested in the maintenance of the Centrist attitude without compromise on the basics.
Q. Your recent moves had irked the TNA leadership. Do you think that you would be able to proceed further as a Chief Minister without the support of the TNA or Mr. Sampanthan?
A. I have no problem with the TNA or Mr. Sampanthan. I met him recently. He was quite categorical in saying that people from grass root level must state their point of view regarding the type of political settlement they should have. He said that would be the Democratic way. He commented on certain individuals who had lent support to the Tamil People’s Council (TPC). The Tamil People’s Council is a people’s movement and the fact that certain persons are not liked by certain others need not deter us in moving forward. May be there is misunderstanding in certain quarters. That could be overcome. I must say the Press has been fanning the process of misunderstanding! The fact that you do not like someone who supports me does not mean that I have become a prisoner of my supporter. It only means that the other person whom you do not like supports me.
Q. With the formation of the TPC, don’t you think that you are bringing the Tamil people back to square one in terms of moving towards a durable solution?
A. As you rightly refer, a solution must be durable. It must not be opportunistic nor expedient. I do not share your view regarding the TPC. On the contrary for the first time Tamils are consciously going to discuss the solution that is appropriate to them. The TPC too is complementing the efforts of the TNA in that they are opposed to any compromise on the basic principles.
Q. The TPC has appointed a subcommittee to draft a set of proposals for the national issue. Would these proposals be in line with those of the TNA?
A. It will be in consonance with the Manifesto put out by TNA during our Provincial Council election in 2013 which we pursue. That manifesto reflects the basics that I referred to earlier.
Q. Could you spell out a few of these proposals?
A. They are still to be articulated. But I have mentioned earlier what our expectations are.