Sri Lankan President Breaks Ice With Wigneswaran - The New Indian Express

Sri Lankan President Breaks Ice With Wigneswaran

Published: 04th January 2014 09:14 AM

Last Updated: 04th January 2014 09:32 AM

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken the initiative to mend fences with the Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran. On Thursday, he held talks with Wigneswaran, at his initiative, on a gamut of issues relating to the administration of the Tamil-majority province.

However, the statement issued by Wigneswaran after the talks significantly left out controversial issues such as the demand for replacing Governor Maj Gen G A Chandrasiri by a non-military person, and for changing Chief Secretary R Vijayalakshmi, who Wigneswaran sees as a stooge of the Governor. The TNA has been demanding the replacement of the military man (albeit retired) by a civilian as part of the process of demilitarising the administration of the war-affected province.

However, sources close to President Rajapaksa told Express that he had indicated that Chief Secretary Vijayalakshmi would be replaced. As for the Governor, the  President had indicated to Democratic People’s Front leader Mano Ganesan earlier, that Gen Chandrasiri might be replaced at the end of his term. It is not clear as to when the term will end. Gen Chandrasiri was appointed Governor four years ago in July 2009.

On his part, Gen Chandrasiri has asked civil servants in the province to cooperate with the CM and other ministers. In his New Year message, he said that he is prepared to cooperate with the CM. He also said that TNA is giving the Northern Province a good administration.

TNA Skeptical

But the TNA is skeptical. “Being a military man, Gen Chandrasiri is used to issuing commands and he will continue to do so. Changing the Chief Secretary is not going to make a difference as the new person will be sandwiched between the Governor and the CM. The only solution to the current impasse is the replacement of the Governor by a civilian,” said E Saravanapavan, TNA  MP for the Jaffna district.

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