Slamming the central government and Supreme Court in his country, visiting Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province C V Wigneswaran today claimed “state violence” in the island continued and the judiciary too played a role in foisting a second-class citizenship on Tamils.
On his first foreign visit after taking over as Chief Minister of the Tamil-populated Northern Province, he also stressed that India had legal and moral obligations to ensure the welfare of Sri Lankan citizens.
“State violence in Sri Lanka continues. Tamils, though the worst affected by far, are not the only ones… other minorities such as Muslims and Christians have been targeted with a view to project a government that is representative only of Sinhala Buddhists and to portray new enemies and targets,” he said.
Delivering a lecture organised by People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), he contended that the Lankan executive was emboldened by the series of decisions made by the Supreme Court in supporting bills and constitutional amendments and holding with the executive in the fundamental rights’ case.
“The Sri Lankan judiciary has fostered a culture of impunity in many ways; sometimes very insidiously… it has failed in preventing a culture of impunity and has contributed directly to the executive’s authoritarian rise,” said the former judge of Lankan Supreme Court.
Thanking the Indian Government for insisting on elections in the Northern Province, he said, “India has legal and moral obligations to ensure the welfare of Sri Lankan citizens.
“It should do so by holding the Lankan government to its promises and to its obligations under international law. It should lend support to international processes that were in furtherance of justice and truth.
“It should do so by ensuring that the right of self determination of the Tamil speaking peoples of Lanka is realised within a united Sri Lanka,” he said.
Recalling his earlier contentions that militarisation of North in Lanka took place to “maintain a stranglehold” over Tamils, he said despite cases pending before the apex court, “Army continues to destroy whatever is left of the buildings, homes, holy places or hallowed school premises inside the High Security Zone.”
The first to be elected Chief Minister of the province after the fall of LTTE in the 2009 war, Wigneswaran said he did not even have the right to visit a place in his areas, which army had reportedly vandalised.