Refusal to hoist National Flag I have the same political reservations Wigneswaran

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By 2017-11-22

BY Thambithurai Pratheepan

Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran recently commenting on the Provincial Education Minister's refusal to hoist the National Flag said, "I do respect the feelings of the Education Minister. But I regret that his resentment has taken a form which is derisive to the people. The Minister could have shown his disappointment to Sinhala hegemony in some other way."

Wigneswaran added, "A National flag represents or symbolizes the people of a country. Citizens may have their own differences between themselves. Political parties may have their differences. But we must not use such differences of opinion to show disrespect to people. But I have to say that I also have the same political reservations or resentment as the Education Minister due to the hegemonic attitude of successive Sri Lankan Governments. "As Chief Minister, I have been hoisting the National Flag and showing my respect to people. I have also stood at attention when the National Anthem is sung. I openly welcomed the singing of the National Anthem in my mother tongue sometime ago. Therefore one should realize that our resentment to Sinhala domination from 1948 has taken different forms. The Education Minister has shown his resentment in one way and I have been showing mine in another way," he said. "Without giving adequate recognition to the original inhabitants of this Island and their religion our National Flag gives undue importance to the Sinhalese and to Buddhism. This is the reason for the resentment of the Education Minister. After all that is true. Tamil speaking people are the majority community in the North and East and they existed from pre-Buddhistic times. Thus the negative feelings of the Minister are understandable.

"Therefore, I would appeal to Education Minister Dr. Sarveswaran to show his resentment to Sinhala majoritarian hegemony in some other way rather than by such acts. But I do not think his conduct needs any further action on our part. This is an occasion, God sent, for our Sinhalese brethren to understand the hidden negative feelings among us Tamils embedded in our hearts for so long. We do not like to hurt our Sinhalese brethren. But our reservations are nevertheless true and real," he said.

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