Colombo, August 30 (NIA): The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province C.V.Wigneswaran has said that Tamils need not feel “grateful” to the armed forces for their post-war good deeds because these are only “reparations” for damage inflicted during the war.
Wigneswaran was commenting on Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s statement in Keerimalai in Jaffna last weekend, that the Tamils of the Northern Province should not only speak about the bad deeds of the Sri Lankan armed forces during the war, but also about their good deeds after the war, such as building houses and giving up lands which they had seized.
“People should be grateful for what the armed forces are doing now,” Samaraweera said.
But Wigneswaran told the media on Sunday that the Tamils should accept what the armed forces are now giving them, but they need not feel grateful because these are only due “reparations” for the damage inflicted on the Tamils over a period of 30 years.
“There is no need to praise the army for what they are doing now.”
Commenting on the demand to encourage civil-military joint efforts to develop the Tamil areas, Wigneswaran said that civil-military cooperation in development activity is not only unnecessary but unhealthy too.
“Like the judiciary, the armed forces should keep away from civilians,” he said.
The Chief Minister further said that if the civilians mix with armed forces personnel, the former will get into undesirable ways. Wigneswaran and many Tamil politicians blame the army and the police for rising drink and drug addiction among Tamil youth in the post-war era. They also allege that the Security Forces are behind the rising crime in the North.The army ,of course, denies this stoutly.
Asked to comment on Wigneswaran’s strident statements which could re-ignite ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, an unfazed Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Monday: “Wigneswaran is quite reasonable in private. His public utterances have more to do with the conflict with his rivals in the party.”