De-proscribe all Tamil Diaspora organisations, scrutinize only individuals, Wigneswaran tells govt

Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera and deputy foreign minister Dr.Harsha de Silva were present at the occasion.

Published: 26th January 2017 06:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th January 2017 06:54 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

COLOMBO: The chief minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has appealed to the government to de-proscribe all the Tamil Diaspora organisations and stringently scrutinize only select individuals.

Wigneswaran was speaking at a function in Jaffna on Thursday to inaugurate a consular section of the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry there.   

“Let me suggest not to embark on selective de-proscription but to de-proscribe all organizations and have a process of very stringent vetting of individuals coming over,” he said.

“Having been a lawyer for over 50 years and half that period as a Judge, I am quite conscious of the security concerns of the State. But we must stop looking at our people through a terrorist mindset. We must wean the diaspora to help our government which is cash strapped, grant them dual citizenship, and make use of their talents and wealth for our betterment,” the chief minister added.

Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera and deputy foreign minister Dr.Harsha de Silva were present at the occasion.

Pointing to the selective de-proscription of persons and organisations, on the advice of certain interest groups, Wigneswaran said: “It would have been better if an independent official investigation had been conducted with prior criteria in place. Many feel that some of the proscribed persons and organisations still unreleased are victims of political bias and prejudice.”

Wigneswaran further said that during his recent visits to the UK, US and recently Canada, he met the Tamil Diaspora and found that they were all keen to involve themselves in capacity development, investment promotion and cultural exchanges in Sri Lanka.

“Most of them wish to do so within the integrity of the island. But they are reluctant to embark on a visit to Sri Lanka on account of  the lingering concerns the government and its officials have regarding the Tamil Diaspora,” the chief minister pointed out.

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