Govt. funds plunge TNA into turmoil

Wigneswaran faults MPs for ‘bypassing’ NPC


By Shamindra Ferdinando

Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran is on a collision course with four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leadership for allowing some of its parliamentarians to receive government funding for projects in the NP, thus bypassing his administration.

The TNA secured 14 seats, including one on the National List at the last general election in April 2010. One of them subsequently, switched his allegiance to the SLFP-led UPFA.

Retired Supreme Court judge Wigneswaran has alleged that some members of the TNA parliamentary group had been receiving funds directly from the Maithripala Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration.

Well informed sources told The Island that Wigneswaran had called for an immediate end to the practice and for those who had received funds to admit their guilt publicly.

Sources said that the situation had deteriorated further since Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) leader Mavai S. Senathiraja, MP, seeking an explanation from CM Wigneswaran as regards his accusations.

The ITAK is the main constituent of the TNA, the third largest political party in parliament. In addition to the ITAK, the grouping includes the PLOTE, TELO and EPRLF.

The original TNA included the TULF as well.

Sources said CM Wigneswaran had pointed out that TNA Jaffna District member Suresh Premachandran (EPRLF) recently admitted to have received state funding for certain projects in the Northern Province. Now that MP Premachandran had publicly admitted having benefited from the new administration, the other recipients, too, should reveal their relationship with the government.

In the wake of the dispute among some members of the grouping, some Tamil political sources alleged that those who aligned with CM Wigneswaran believed an attempt was being made to divide the grouping ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary election. Sources said that vast majority of northerners had faith in the CM, though repeated attempts were being made to tarnish his image.

Political sources said that CM Wigneswaran shouldn’t find fault with members for receiving central government funds as all parliamentarians irrespective of their standing were entitled to state allocations. Both Jaffna based Uthayan and Valampuri reported the dispute this week.

However, authoritative sources said that CM Wigneswaran had adopted an extremely hostile approach towards the government. A recent editorial in Jaffna-based Valampuri strongly criticized CM Wigneswaran for flaying President Maithripala Sirisena for not addressing Tamils’ grievances. Pointing out that President Maithripala Sirisena had been in power for just a couple of months, Valampuri speculated whether CM Wigneswaran’s stand was influenced by his relationship with MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara engaged in a campaign to bring former President Mahinda Rajapaksa back into active politics.

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