Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran said that the hartal held on Thursday (27) was the people’s reaction to the ‘lethargy and indifference’ on the part of the authorities in dealing with people’s problems.
The hartal was staged by the people of the Northern Province mainly demanding a solution to the issue of those who have been reported missing.
He said that the hartal was as a result of days of protest by families of the disappeared.
“Those people (the demonstrators) have been demonstrating for over fifty days and there was no response from the Government. Out of sheer frustration they have asked the public to support them by staging a hartal,” Wigneswaran told the Nation.
However, Wigneswaran clarified that the hartal was not politically motivated and was staged only by the people. “But certain quarters in Colombo are looking at it completely distortedly thinking it is against the Government politically. That is not true,” he added.
“It is a reaction to the lethargy and indifference on the part of the powers that be in dealing with the people’s problems.”
He further added that he had written to President Maithripala Sirisena on the issue, which the latter had aclnowledged.
“I have sent a letter to the President which he has acknowledged where in I have annexed photographs of missing children found in his presence during his election times. The demonstrators are not protesting emptily,” he said
“There is reason to believe that many a missing are somewhere ascertainable. Unless positive response in this direction is exhibited by the Government durable solution for the ethnic question would be a mirage.”