Let reconciliation begin from NPC

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2017-06-19

The turmoil in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) has raised a pertinent question as to how far the Tamil political scene is reconciled to fulfil the political aspirations of the Northerners in the backdrop of reconciliation at national level, which is much spoken of.

Until the problematic situation emerged in the NPC, the Tamil National Alliance focused on solving political issues and finding solutions to humanitarian problems, by seeking justice for alleged atrocities committed during the final phase of the three decades of armed conflict in the North and the East.

Despite playing an effective role in convincing the international community in bringing the Geneva Resolution along with making the Government to cosponsor it to find solutions to the post-war political and humanitarian issues, the Tamil National Alliance is now faced with its own problem of existing as a stable political outfit of the people in the North and the East.

The conflict situation which has snowballed within the TNA following the NPC Election of 2013 and the Parliamentary Election in 2015, has now reached an avalanche about to come down destroying everything in its path in the Tamil political scene.

The disciplinary action mooted by Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran against his four ministers in the NPC has stirred a 'hornet's nest' trashing the expectations of the Northerners of being ruled by a regional body elected by them to resolve all their problems and live in peace.

The Southerners also equally rejoiced with the Northerners in bringing back a democratic atmosphere in the North by establishing the Northern Provincial Council.

However, the latest situation has not only led Northerners to wonder what has really gone wrong with the NPC and also to worry about the stability of the Tamil National Alliance in the future.

Even much earlier than the present crisis situation in the NPC, misunderstandings surfaced within the TNA with Sri Lankan Tamil expatriates abroad becoming a key factor in making their manipulation in local politics.

The Leader of the Opposition and the TNA, R. Sampanthan showing his political maturity has corresponded with Chief Minister Wigneswaran to extend his cooperation to settle the latest crisis amicably.

In the meantime, Chief Minister Wigneswaran has met religious leaders in Jaffna and explained his stance on the present crisis in the NPC. The Chief Minster has told Hindu and Catholic religious dignitaries in Jaffna that the No Confidence Motion brought against him by the fifteen Illankai Tamil Arasu Katchchi (ITAK) Provincial Councillors should be withdrawn to end the problematic situation in the NPC.

On the other hand, another fifteen Provincial Councillors, led by M.K. Sivajilingam, have extended their support to the Chief Minister. To deal with the present situation in the NPC, Northern Governor Reginald Cooray has sought legal advice in Colombo on how best he could deal with the situation.

Leaders of the constituent parties (EPRLF, PLOTE and TELO) in the Tamil National Alliance have also met the Chief Minister and explored possibilities of coming out of the present crisis situation. They have also warned that ITAK should refrain from any form of action against the Chief Minister.

Past history of the Tamil political scene has clearly outlined whether the moderates or the militants had never been united in fulfilling the political aspirations of the people in the North and the East.

Therefore, history repeats itself even in the present crisis in the NPC.

As there is a long way to go on the path to rebuild the war-torn Northern Province with political stability, any attempt to stabilize reconciliation at national level between the North and South will turn into a mockery until healthy reconciliation prevails in the Northern political front.

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