Govt should grant us right to self-govern – Wiggy
By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake
The Thamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani (TMTK) Parliamentarian C.V. Wigneswaran said that the Government should grant self-government to the Northern and Eastern Provinces in order to develop the two Provinces economically.
Participating in the second reading debate on the Appropriation Bill 2021, Wigneswaran said: “Even though 11 years have passed since the war ended, the war-affected Provinces still lag behind the rest of the country economically. So it is time you granted self-government to the North and East and allow us and our Diaspora to help you and us economically. The Northern and Eastern Provinces remain the regions with the highest poverty headcount ratio even now. While the country’s poverty headcount ratio was 4.1 per cent in 2016, the Northern and Eastern Provinces had poverty headcount ratios of 7.7% and 7.3%, respectively. According to data from the Department of Census and Statistics, all four Districts with double-digit poverty headcount ratios are in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.”
Furthermore, Wigneswaran said that all the Tamils want is the right to look after themselves in their traditional areas and to govern it the way they want.
“Acknowledge you have committed immense wrongs to the Tamil community and try to mend your differences with us. All we want is the right to look after ourselves in our traditional areas and govern it the way we want. That is not separation. That is devolution. That gives meaning to the theory of subsidiarity. According to this theory, political decisions must be taken at a local level rather than by a central authority. We do not want outsiders to expropriate our assets and resources. We do not want our lands to be grabbed by outsiders. We want to govern our areas in accordance with our traditions and conventions. We want to do our fishing by ourselves in our traditional areas. We contributed up to 43% of the fish needed in 1983. Now our fishermen are constricted and curtailed from going out to sea by the Navy as well as fishermen from elsewhere,” he said.