Feb 03, 2017

Merely saying ‘we all are Sri Lankans’ cannot solve problems Featured

Northern province chief minister C.V. Vigneswaran says problems of his society will not be resolved by merely saying ‘we all are Sri Lankans’, instead of addressing issues of Tamils in the province.

He is commenting on a remark by minister Dayasiri Jayasekara.

Vigneswaran said, “Recently, my friend Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekara said that I should be driven away from the north. He is a good friend of mine. Even if I am driven away, they will lose just one person who speaks out about problems of the Tamils. Whoever says, the truth is the truth. Instead of solving our problems, saying we all are Sri Lankans at meetings and sports competitions will not do.”

“They always say federalism will divide the country. In the whole world, federalism is recognized as a good method to unite a country. But, politicians in the south say it is a dividing of the country.”

“This is why Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekara is saying that I should be driven away. I said that an inquiry is needed into problems at the war. I said that an inquiry is needed at least by us when the government does nothing. Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara is saying that I am dividing the communities. We should know what had happened.”

Noting the allegations that the NPC was not treating the Sinhalese well, he said the Tamils had no issue with the Sinhalese in the north.

“People who have been in this area for 50 to 60 years are people of our own. The problem is people from other areas are brought here to be settled, when our people want land for themselves. I would like to say that we do not have any illwill against the Sinhalese”.

He recalled that around 75 years ago, they had a Sinhalese by the name Appuhamy from Matara who sold bakery products for them, and also had teachers from the south teaching Sinhala language in the north between 1950 and 1956.

All the problems began due to the ‘Sinhala only’ policy of 1956, said Vigneswaran.

He added that the central government was not allowing him to fill the employment vacancies in the province.