Wiggy proposes regional councils at provincial level

hamil Makkal Thesiya Kuttani (TMTK) Leader and Jaffna District MP C.V. Wigneswaran said yesterday (26) that he had requested Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena to constitute Regional Councils for each province since every province has different issues.

Speaking to The Morning, Wigneswaran said that since the problems in the North are different to those in the South, he had therefore suggested to Gunawardena to establish regional councils in every province. “Our problems in the North are different to those of the South. I suggested that we have Regional Councils for each province,” he added.

When queried on his role if any in the newly established National Council, Wigneswaran stated that he had not consented to be a part of the National Council. However, following a meeting with Prime Minister Gunawardena, his name appeared in the list of members.

“Since Gunawardena wanted to see me with others in his office in Parliament, I went and met him. He wanted us to join the Council. I said that it would be difficult for me to attend meetings as I have to travel continuously for seven to eight hours from Jaffna, and because there is no point in me attending as the Council would deal with matters of importance to the South,” he added.

He also noted that he had suggested that Prime Minister Gunawardena visit the North to ascertain the problems there and seek solutions.

“The Prime Minister should visit us and find out about our problems and seek solutions to them,” he noted.

Wigneswaran stated that Gunawardena can also give a report of his observations in the North to President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“I suggested to the Premier to visit the North and examine the issues there. He could give a report to the President asking him to implement his proposals after having discussions with us. He agreed to discuss this suggestion with the President,” he added.

Wigneswaran noted that following the above conversations with the Prime Minister, he saw his name in the membership list of the National Council.

Commenting further on the National Council, he said: “So far, we have not been told anything in detail except to say that we should share our views on important political and economic matters that are coming up.”

Wigneswaran also said: “Let me wait until the Prime Minister informs us of the decision taken by the Government in relation to my suggestion. Our role as such would be advisory, I believe. The Government may not be obliged to accept our views.”