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Normal life in the Northern Province came to a standstill as hundreds protested against the no-confidence motion against the Northern Province Chief Minister, Justice C.V. Wigneswaran.

Shops and institutions were closed down owing to a harthal which was organized by the Tamil People’s Forum (TPC) which is chaired by Wigneswaran himself.

The motion comes following an order by Wigneswaran where he had asked two ministers to resign and another two to go on compulsory leave for a month over corruption charges.

Wigneswaran made the decision following a report by a three-member committee which had probed into the issue and had found two ministers, P. Ayngaranesan and T. Kurukularajah, guilty.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had criticized the Chief Minister’s move of taking action against all four ministers instead of only the two ministers.

Twenty-one members of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) handed over a no-confidence motion against Wigneswaran to Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray. Cooray had asked the Chief Minister to show majority.

Amidst growing turmoil in the NPC TNA is presently conducting internal discussions within the Party with regard to nominating a member of the NPC to succeed the firebrand retired Supreme Court Judge.

TNA MP President’s Counsel (PC) M.A. Sumanthiran also added although in his opinion the matter regarding the no-confidence motion need not be put for a vote, the Governor could decide to do so if he so wished. “The no confidence motion comes in the form of affidavits from the said members, a group forming a majority within the Council.
Therefore, a vote is not necessary. It is up to the Governor to appoint a new Chief Minister and in doing so he must consult the ruling Party regarding the nominee and the TNA in turn have to nominate one of our members of the NPC who holds the confidence of the majority.”

Recounting the events that had led up to the present situation, Sumanthiran PC explained that “the matter all started with allegations against one Minister. The Council passed a resolution calling for an inquiry to be conducted into the allegations against the said Minister.

“Wigneswaran didn’t do it at the time and instead appointed a commission of inquiry to look into corruption allegations against all the Ministers even though there were no allegations against the other three. He picked the inquiry panel members. He then published advertisements in the newspapers calling on the public to make allegations against the Ministers,” he said.

Wigneswaran meanwhile speaking to the media last Thursday stated that he believed in the people and said that he was confident in the people as they were affectionate towards him.

“I have not earned any friends through politics. But I have earned people and their affection. We will wait and see what unfolds,” he had reportedly said.