Former Sri Lankan Attorney General and constitutional expert, Shiva Pasupathy, has “rejected outright” Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran’s invitation to join the Tamil Makkal Peravai (TMP) as his personal representative on the sub-committee on constitutional reform, sources close to Pasupathy told Express on Monday.
Australia-based Pasupathy, who had gone to Jaffna on a private visit last week, was contacted by Wigneswaran over the phone and requested to be his representative on the sub-committee. But Pasupathy told him bluntly that he did not think that forming a separate outfit like the TMP was “appropriate” at a time when serious attempts were being made to find a solution to the Tamil question within Lanka and Tamil unity was the need of the hour. Wigneswaran doggedly persisted, but Pasupathy was unyielding. Finally, Wigneswaran hung up in a huff, sources said.
The Northern Province Chief Minister was hoping to get Pasupathy to draft a radical set of proposals based on the Thimpu principles of 1985 with the Tamils’ right to full self determination as its core. The idea was to politically neutralize the moderate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with which he has been at odds despite being its elected representative in the Northern Provincial Council.
On the face of it, Pasupathy had the right background to draw up radical proposals given the fact that he had drafted the October 2003 proposal for an Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) which was submitted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). If the Lankan government had accepted the ISGA, the Northern and Eastern Provinces would have been virtually independent of Colombo.
However, Wigneswaran found to his dismay, that Pasupathy had traveled a long way from the Eelamist position of 2003.
When Pasupathy planned his trip to Lanka three months ago, he had intended it to be a purely private and non-political visit, meant only to go down memory lane.