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South Africa process is complementary not alternative to UN probe - Wigneswaran

The South African delegation, led by the Special Envoy Cyril Ramaphosa, assured Tamil politicians that their work is complementary to the UN inquiry, not an alternative, said the Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran in an interview to Ceylon Today on Sunday.

"The delegation has assured us that their involvement is complementary to the UN efforts and not an alternative," said Justice Wigneswaran.

Asked if the South African model of reconciliation could work for Sri Lanka, Justice Wigneswaran said,

"In as much as there are always lessons to be learnt from the experiences of others, one must yet realize that different factual scenarios require differentiated approaches. However, I note that in your question you only refer to reconciliation and not 'truth', which was an essential part of the 'South African Model'. There can be no reconciliation without acknowledgement of truth. There can be no reconciliation that is foisted by the force of military might. That is not reconciliation but bondage. In my view, the prerequisites for reconciliation are truth, respect and common ground. I do not see these prerequisites existing at present."

Critiquing the reporter's use of the word "minorities" in reference to the Tamils during the interview, Justice Wigneswaran said,

"Let me state that the categorization as 'minorities' is sometimes misleading. Yes, the Tamil speaking people are numerically less than the Sinhalese, if you take the whole island, but in their areas of historical habitation, where they were living for centuries and are even now despite all the government sponsored colonization by the majority they are not the minority."

See full interview here.