The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has opted out of the Presidential Task Force on economic development of the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces, saying that the Tamils need a political solution for their long-standing problems before they embark on economic development.
In a letter to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena dated July 9, Wigneswaran said that the Task Force is useless also because it does not include the elected representative of the people or ministers of the Provincial Administration barring the Chief Minister.
Putting economic development before a political settlement is like putting the cart before the horse, and so, the development plan will be non-starter, Wigneswaran said.
He added that with the government in Colombo being wedded to the ‘top down’ approach to development work, his participation in the Task Force is meaningless. He hoped that by year end, political power will be devolved to the provinces and that he and the President can sit around a table to discuss development as equals.