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Amendment Needed

Single Ruler Policy Requires Change

Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran on Sunday made a fervent appeal to India to prevail upon his country to reverse the ongoing militarisation of the Tamil-majority region and stop what he called harassment and abuse of minorities there.

Mr. Wigneswaran, on his first visit since being elected, alleged that militarisation was taking place “not due to any real security threat, but to maintain a stranglehold over the populace; subjugate them and make them compliant; and to stifle any form of democratic or political dissent.”

Delivering the K.G. Kannabiran Memorial Lecture, organised by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) here, Mr. Wigneswaran, a former judge of Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court, said that in the last few weeks, the government was arresting and openly intimidating those trying to collect evidence for an U.N.-backed investigation into violations of human rights.

Arguing that India had a “fiduciary duty” towards Tamils in Sri Lanka, he wanted it to ensure that Tamil-speaking people realised their right to self-determination within a united Sri Lanka. His suggestion was a ‘13 Amendment Plus Plus’ to the Constitution.

Mr. Wigneswaran had a wish-list for the Indian government: hold Sri Lanka to its promises; lend support to international processes in furtherance of justice and truth and for the return of rule of law and democracy in the country; halt harassment of the minorities, and help the return to civilian life by reversing militarisation and demand the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

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