The Tamil People’s Council, a forum of political and non-political actors, has been formed in Jaffna with Northern Province’s Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran as the head.
Two reasons have been adduced for the establishment of the Council. A scheme will be formulated to address the Tamil question, apart from monitoring the status of implementation of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s resolution adopted in October on accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Wigneswaran, who along with 27 others attended a four-hour-long meeting on Saturday evening to launch the Council, says the new body is not a political platform.
It does not even intend to take part in politics, he asserts.
P. Lakshman, a Jaffna-based cardiologist and co-chair of the Council, says that of 28 persons who took part in the Saturday meeting, five were political figures including Mr Wigneswaran.
“Also, the Council is not a rival organisation to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA),” Suresh Premachandran, leader of the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), clarifies, adding that his party is very much part of the TNA. Dr. Lakshman says “We will try to help the TNA to strengthen the latter’s position.”
The differences between Mr. Wigneswaran, who was elected to the Northern Provincial Council on the TNA ticket in September 2013, and the TNA leadership are well-known. Mr. Premachandran, a key leader of the TNA, could not make it to Parliament in the August general elections and there were reports about his being accommodated by the Alliance through the national list but he did not figure in the list.