COLOMBO: C.V.Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, and S.Thavarajah, Leader of Opposition in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), have together asked the Lankan government to set up a “full-fledged” Commission of Inquiry to conduct an in-depth probe into last Saturday’s clash between Tamil and Sinhalese students in Jaffna University saying that the fracas was a manifestation of deeper problems faced by the Tamils of North Lanka.
In a joint letter released on Wednesday, Wigneswaran and Thavarajah said that the incidents in question should not be viewed from a purely criminal law standpoint.
“We must first try to understand the underlying causes that led to their violent behavior. Thereafter, we must determine ways and means of dealing with such underlying causes and implement them. This would ensure that such incidents will not be repeated,” they said.
Giving their understanding of the underlying causes, Wigneswaran and Thavarajah said that frustrations have been accumulating among Tamils, students as well as non-students, over certain developments in the Northern Province.
After the war, the demographic pattern of North and East Lanka is being consciously changed. The independent 'War Crimes' Inquiry is being dragged on indefinitely. Students from other Provinces are being admitted in large numbers in Jaffna University. Such entrants are bent on forcing their arts and cultural on Jaffna soil. There is reluctance and delay on the part of the powers in delivering a political solution that would allow the Tamils to look after their political affairs in their areas of historical habitation. There is a tendency to retain in the Province a military force far in excess of the need, seven years after the war.
“All these activities must be considered by such a Commission in consonance with the recent violence, to determine whether all such activities added fuel to the behavior of the students. The appointment of such a Commission would prevent the racialists in the South from trying to make political capital out of such incidents,” Wigneswaran and Thavarajah said.
“We both have come together to issue such a joint statement to show the world that the Northern Provincial Council views such incidents beyond the mundane political differences that usually engulf us,” they added.