vignesThe chief ministerial candidate of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), C.V. Vigneswaran, fired his first ‘salvo’ yesterday, urging President Mahinda Rajapaksa to remove the military officials who are functioning as Governors of the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

No sooner the TNA announced that retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Vignesewaran, would be the chief ministerial candidate at the Northern Province polls, he addressed the media, and said the North and the East of the country should be brought totally under civilian administration. He also emphasized the retired military officers who are currently holding the posts of Governor of the two Provinces should be removed, forthwith. “A democratically elected administration should not be governed by officials with a military background. The people in the North and East have suffered immensely due to the ruthless war which had lasted for nearly three decades. As such, they do not want to be administered by military officials. The North and the East should have civilian governors,” he said.

He also said Provincial Councils have not been vested with adequate powers. “Even if we succeed at the forthcoming polls, we will find it difficult to run the administration unless we are vested with adequate powers.

A Northern Provincial Council cannot be a puppet of the government. There are so many obstacles placed on the path of the 13th Amendment, and the shortcomings should be addressed, and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution should be implemented,” Vigneswaran said. Commenting on UPFA Minister, Douglas Devananda, and Daya Master, Vigneswaran said that more than thinking of winning the NPC polls, the priority should be to address the grievances of the people in the North.

“The government is trying to prune the powers vested in the 13th Amendment.

Therefore the administration of the new NPC will have many problems to deal with. However, instead of facing those challenges politically, I would handle them legally, and do my best to serve the people in the North,” the retired Justice said.