File Photograph: C. V. Wigneswaran
The leader of the Thamizh Makkal Thesiya Kootani (TMTK) and former Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C. V. Wigneswaran said that “Tamils and Muslims should work together” to resist the “Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism that has infiltrated the parliament.”
Wigneswaran, who was newly-elected as a parliamentarian in the Jaffna district, claimed that Tamils and Muslims face “Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism in a never seen before unparalleled level” in a press release issued by him last week.
He highlighted the TNA’s recent parliamentary election performance and controversial actions;
The TNA formed by the LTTE’s leader brother [Velupillai] Prabhakaran, should not be destroyed and the wrong people should be expelled and right people should be elected for the party. In the election carried out today the wrong people have been elected and right people expelled, which has created a concerning situation.
Following the elections, some of the ugly activities taking place for the seats are foreshadowing the future of the party.
Wigneswaran added that Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism awaits the Tamil and Muslim minorities on the island;
“We are in a dangerous situation where all the elected Tamil MPs need to ensure they act with utmost vigilance and responsibility to rescue the existence and identity of our people from being destroyed/demolished in this country.
In large, there is a danger our indigenous lands will be seized and the structural and cultural genocide will be further intensified.”
He emphasised that “The Tamil people and the Muslim people must work in unison to overcome this threat. It is imperative that we form general strategies among us. Unified action is essential.”
Read the full media release here.
In an interview conducted by the Tamil Guardian last month, Wigneswaran replied to questions of women representation in Tamil politics by saying that “the main reason behind women being unable to solve their problems themselves is the lack of power in their hands. One of the ways to equalise this imbalance is increasing the representation of women in politics. We will engage in pursuing solutions to problems socially encountered by women.”
He also responded to questions of Islamphobic sentiments by Tamil actors by stating, “we will pursue the path of reconciliation with the Muslims without giving up nor forfeiting our legitimate rights.”