COLOMBO:C V Wigneswaran, who became Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province in 2013 thanks to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), appears to be drifting away from the party which propped him up. Sources in the TNA told Express that the rift, which is being kept under wraps in view of the August 17 parliamentary elections, could surface after the polls.
The TNA, which is playing a key role in Lankan politics in the post-Rajapaksa era, is inching towards a more moderate and accommodative line on the Tamil question, in keeping with domestic compulsions and its international commitments. But Wigneswaran has veered towards a more radical line, inviting censure in Lanka as well as the international community. The once apolitical former SC judge has now developed independent political ambitions. Apparently, he no longer wants to be a lackey of the old war horses of the TNA. After he agreed to get the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) to pass the controversial “genocide resolution” initiated by a radical member, Wigneswaran won accolades from extremists in the Tamil Diaspora. Locally, he is said to be under the influence of the radical Tamil National Peoples’ Front.
According to sources, his recent US trip was arranged by a radical group. Recently, Wigneswaran issued a statement saying that he would be “neutral” in the run up to the parliamentary elections thus distancing himself from the TNA. Differences with top TNA leaders came to light when he fought with Mavai Senathirajah over money allocated to MPs by the Central government.