Northern Province Chief Minister, retired judge, CV Wigneswaran in a brief email interview with the Nation stated that the tense situation which prevailed within the Northern Provincial Council is ‘somewhat’ settled.
The no-confidence motion against Wigneswaran was also withdrawn by 21 members of the Council after he agreed to revoke the decision of sending two provincial ministers on leave till investigations were complete.
Wigneswaran refuted claims that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was split over the issue and added that there was no need for the people to be worried about the situation.
Tensions prevailed in the NPC after the Chief Minister urged two ministers to resign voluntarily over charges of corruption and abuse of power while the other two were asked to go on compulsory leave pending investigations.
Following is the interview:
Q. After last week, have things settled in terms of the functions of the Council?
Yes. Somewhat. I was sworn in as Minister of Agriculture and Education pending new appointments. The Vote of No Confidence document given to Governor Reginald Cooray was withdrawn by two Members of the NPC.
We had a Board of Ministers’ Meeting on June 21. The Health and Fisheries’ Ministers attended same.
Routine work attended to.
We had NPC Meeting on June 23. The meeting was conducted quite orderly with none of the disturbances we had earlier.
Q. There was a sense of confusion among the Tamils due to last week’s development as they sensed a split in the TNA. Is there a split? Should the people be concerned?
No. There is no split. We have come up more strong.Our people are backing us 100%. I am meeting Mavai today.
Q. Who will be replacing the ministers who have resigned? When will they be appointed sir?
We have not decided yet. We will consider all aspects including party representation plus Districtwise interests as well as suitability to the posts when deciding on the likely candidates.
Q. What is the fate of the investigations on the other two ministers?
We like to have a Review of the findings in the light of submissions made by the Ministers. I shall decide soon.
Q. Have you taken steps to ensure no corruption? What are the steps?
Considering ways and means. Any suggestions?
Q. There were criticisms leveled against some politicians who referred to you as a ‘Thesiya Thalaivar’ or national leader. What is your response to it?
I am unaware of anyone calling me so. If anyone called me so, you must ask him the reason.