"Was his visit to the North meant to serve our people or to seek support for him at the next Presidential elections?"
President Mahinda Rajapaksa should be careful in his choice of words when addressing at public rallies, Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran said on Wednesday.
He was responding to an alleged statement made by the President in Kilinochchi on Saturday, October 12, that the Northern Provincial Council was akin to a ‘dog in the manger.’ He also expressed his displeasure at Minister Douglas Devananda referring to the Chief Minister as ‘spineless’. Devananda, however, denies that he made such a reference.
“The President should not utter in an authoritarian manner whatever he feels is right as he wields executive power,” he said addressing a gathering at the Irrigation Department Auditorium in Thondaimanaru on Wednesday (15).
“The government was blaming the Northern Provincial Council for sweeping its dirt under the carpet. When I became the Chief Minister I disregarded the sentiments of our people and went to the President for the swearing-in- ceremony,” he said.
“I took that decision as our people should not be cornered and a peaceful atmosphere should prevail in the country. I placed some of our unresolved issues before the President. He gave an assurance to resolve them but he did not honour his word. His failure to address our issues was more than enough to boycott his visit to Jaffna,” he said.
“I cited many other reasons for our inability to participate and expressed our anguish. He disregarded the letter and compared us to a dog in the manger.
“He has called the people a manger and the NPC a dog. I wish to state that investigations were taking place in Geneva as a part of the manger was set on fire by a comrade,” he said.
“Similarly, one comrade was haggling for a price to maintain the manger. Under these circumstances, if we do not protect the manger will he or his family come forward to protect the manger or guard it like a dog? he queried.
“He, who cannot restore the Chief Secretary in a legal manner and is unable to replace the Governor should not utter a word irresponsibly. He is holding a Development Evaluation Meeting for the year 2012 in 2014 without consulting the NPC. “Was his visit to the North meant to serve our people or to seek support for him at the next Presidential elections?
“His mind must be filled with hopes that at least a single Tamil will vote for him. Whatever his expectations, we have told our people to take everything on offer. What was offered was just a fraction of what had to be given.
“If he was truly concerned of the people in the North, he would have definitely consulted the representatives elected by the people before his visit to Jaffna. If he had fulfilled at least part of the demands put forward by us we would have given him a gracious welcome. Let him beware of the dogs.
“Minister Douglas Devananda had made fun out of me. It would be better if my friend Douglas keeps in mind the quote that One can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” the Chief Minister said.