"We will fight, but sometimes we come together. The next door neighbour must not come and say ‘you must divorce’... That is not your business”

Tamil Nadu politicians use the Sri Lankan Tamils’ issue for their own gains, much to the detriment of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, said Justice C.V. Wigneswaran, the chief ministerial candidate of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the upcoming Northern Provincial Council elections.

Speaking to The Hindu in the midst of his campaign here, Mr. Wigneswaran said: “In Tamil Nadu, our problems have been taken to be the ball to be played in the tennis court between the two or three parties. They [Tamil Nadu politicians] start hitting the ball from one side to the other and it is we who get hit by that.”

When politicians in Tamil Nadu say separation is the only solution, the Sinhalese masses – many sections of which fear that Tamils would collaborate with India and form a separate State – get very annoyed.

“We get affected by what is being said there,” said Justice Wigneswaran, a former Supreme Court judge, emphasising that the emotional rhetoric only made Tamils here more vulnerable.

Comparing the Sri Lankan situation to a home where the husband and wife are having a fight, he said: “We will fight, but sometimes we come together. The next door neighbour must not come and say ‘you must divorce, you must divorce’. That is not your business.”

Tamil Nadu’s efforts, he said, must be to see that there was greater responsiveness on the part of different communities in Sri Lanka rather than promoting antipathy towards each other.

He was quick to add that the TNA was very impressed with the support and sympathy of those in Tamil Nadu, but added “the solution is really in our hands”.

The TNA, an amalgam of five parties, has fielded Mr. Wigneswaran despite some internal differences over the choice of the candidate. The alliance, which has done well in elections in recent years, is a front-runner in the September 21 poll.