Councilors boycott swearing-in ceremony as cracks appear in TNA’s House

Councilors boycott swearing-in ceremony as cracks appear in TNA’s House

October 11, 2013   12:30 pm

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which secured a thumping mandate in northern provincial council polls last month, is facing an internal crisis following the selection of provincial ministers.

A dispute had initially surfaced within Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party when former Supreme Court Judge C.V. Vigneswaran, who was elected as the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, had taken oaths before the President on October 7.

However, the party gathered yesterday to announce the names of the four Councilors appointed as Ministers of the Northern Provincial Council.

Accordingly P. Ayngaranesan was appointed as the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Irrigation and Environment, T. Kurukularajah as Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports, Dr. P. Sathiyalingam as the Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine while Deniswaran was named as the Minister of Fisheries, Transport, Trade and Rural Development.

Hours after the announcement, however, TNA Spokesman MP Suresh Premachandran, held a press conference in Jaffna and declared that the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) is assuming an authoritarian role within the Tamil alliance.

Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) and ITAK comprise the five-party alliance of the TNA. 

Premachandran objected to the appointing of the ministers, claiming that it was an arbitrary decision of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi which had failed to consult the parties representing the alliance on the matter.

The four appointed Ministers were sworn in today (11) before the Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Vigneswaran, however it has been reported that 8 of the 30 TNA Councilors elected to the Northern Provincial Council had boycotted the ceremony.

It is said that two including Siddharthan from PLOTE, five councilors from EPRLF and TELO’s M.K. Sivajilingam had decided to boycott the ceremony held this morning.

P. Ayngaranesan, who was named as one of the four Ministers, was the only elected councilor from Suresh Premachandran’s EPRLF to participate in the swearing-in ceremony.

The TNA, contesting under the ‘house’ symbol of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi, won a landslide victory in the northern provincial council election, winning 30 out of 38 seats on September 21.

Chief Minister-elect C.V. Vigneswaran took the oath of office on Monday (7) at Temple Trees.

Premachandran stated the decisions for Vigneswaran to take oaths before the President, after declaring on the election stage that the Sri Lankan government was responsible for crimes, was a joke.

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