Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran today told International Trade Minister Malik Samarwickrama the Army must be withdrawn from the North and replaced by an enhanced efficient Police force.
Wigneswaran said that during the past eight years there has not been any activity in the Northern Province which connotes a return to the war days.
“Some allegations by the armed forces have been exposed as actions taken by the Military to ensure their continued stay in the North and East. I have over and over again suggested the withdrawal of all Military from the North and East to be replaced by an enhanced efficient Police Force. A doubled efficient Police force with adequate Tamil speaking officers would suffice in place of the Armed Forces who are an anachronism in our areas and in our midst,” he said.
Malik Samarwickrama and Wigneswaran took part in a seminar on the National program to establish 2000 exporters held at the Jaffna District Secretariat auditorium today.
“Our people even now suffer from psycho somatic diseases. They are exposed to drugs. They seek justice for their loved ones who are missing after their loved ones had been taken into custody by discernible persons after a public call for them to surrender. Despite a consensus resolution the present Government has not shown its commitment for truth and justice. Our internally displaced still are unable to get back to their traditional places of residence. Our resources are surreptitiously whisked away even now. I could state so much more specially with regard to our youth in prison for number of years and the need to withdraw the PTA and so on,” he said.
Wigneswaran also said that the Office on Reconciliation (ONUR) operating under former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, has not had the desired effect.
“Reconciliation is not possible by doling out consumer articles, building conveniences and mouthing conciliatory words. There must be the will to solve the basic causes for the discontent of the discriminated sections of our people. Despite such shortcomings and poverty stricken background of our people we are desirous of joining up with the Minister in ushering in a different culture which will enhance our capacity and improve our economic base and structure,” he said.
Wigneswaran also said that the diaspora would be a powerful source of help entrepreneurs in the North.
“In fact many a person among our diaspora whom I met during my visits recently to US, UK and Canada are interested in collaborating with the locals in trade and commerce provided the Central Government gives them guarantees that obstacles and barricades would not be put on their path of progress,” he said.
He said that if the Tamils continue to suffer from a state security perspective every action on the part of the Tamil people would connote treasonable activity. (Colombo Gazette)