TNA to join Presidential Task Force against C.V's wishes

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has ignored a request by Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran to boycott the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces and would participate in a meeting of the task force scheduled for today (27).

The Northern Chief Minister had made the above request claiming
that the government was attempting to undermine the long-awaited political solution to the ethnic problem by increasing economic activities in the region.

It would not affect the Tamils in any manner if the TNA joins the Presidential Task Force, PLOTE Leader cum Parliamentarian Dharmalingam Siddarthan said.

He said that the TNA had decided to join the Presidential Task Force with the consent of the Tamils as well as with the goal of fulfilling the needs of the Tamils.

"There would be no harm caused to the impending political settlement nor other matters that pertain to the Tamils by being part of the task force mooted by the government. This is not a decision taken to oppose the NPC Chief Minister either," the PLOTE Leader re-iterated.

He said that when the Parliamentary committee meeting of the TNA was held recently, the view expressed by Wigneswaran to the effect that the TNA should not join the Presidential Task Force was discussed at length. Thereafter, the TNA decided to take part in the process for the sake of the people.

"The decision was made jointly by the constituent parties of the TNA, namely, TELO, PLOTE and the ITAK. Although I was absent, our party members were present," he said.

Mr. Siddharthan said that it was decided that there was no point keeping away from the development work that had started but to forge ahead with the political settlement whilst taking part in the activities of the task force.

"By not attending the meeting of the task force there is not going to be an immediate political solution and hence it was decided to take part in it while fulfilling many projects as much as possible. This decision was not made for personal wealth or influence, but with the desire for development," he said. (S. Nitharshan)