ITAK announces NPC ministers, EPRLF challenges

A press note coming from the ITAK, the main party in the TNA, on Thursday, has announced the list of chairperson and deputy chairperson of the council and the provincial ministers to function under Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. But EPRLF, the party next in line in terms of number of seats in the council, challenged the list, saying that it was highhandedly decided by a few in the ITAK. In a hastily convened press conference in Jaffna on Thursday, Mr. Suresh Premachandran of the EPRLF, denouncing the list, blamed Mr R. Sampanthan for creating internal dissension within TNA. He also condemned the act of C.V. Wigneswaran taking his oath before Mahinda Rajapaksa.

PDF: Press statement by ITAK

There are no provisions in the SL constitution, forcing the Chief Minister of any province to take oath in front of the SL president. We boycotted taking part at the event as we found it morally wrong to do that after campaigning against the war-crime accused Rajapaksas, Suresh Premachandran said.

The ITAK list has announced the names of Mr. P. Ainkaranesan of the EPRLF from Jaffna district for the portfolio of agriculture, animal husbandry, irrigation and environment; Mr. T. Kurukularajah of the ITAK from Ki’linochchi district for education and culture; Dr. P. Sathiyalingam of the ITAK from the Vavuniyaa district for health and Mr Deneesvaran of TELO from the Mannaar district for fisheries, transport and village development.

Mr. C.V.K. Sivagnanam of the ITAK and Mr. Anton Jeyanathan of the ITAK were announced as chair and deputy chair of the council.

Mr. C.V. Wigneswaran, the Chief Minister is taken as party-less ‘general candidate’ from the Jaffna district

Condemning the way the list was made, an irate Suresh Premachandran said at the press meet, “This is a unilateral decision by the ITAK and we, as constituting parties of the TNA, were not informed or consulted on the appointment of ministerial positions.”

He particularly blamed Mr Sampanthan for creating internal divisions among the constituting parties of the TNA.

The final list seems to have been decided singlehandedly by the ITAK, at a meeting held on Wednesday evening by R Sampanthan, CV Wigneswaran, Mavai Senathiraja, MA Sumanthiran and E Saravanapavan.

“We were not invited to the meet. I have talked to both Sivajilingam and Sitharthan and their parties too were neither invited nor consulted on this crucial matter,” Suresh Premachandran told the journalists in Jaffna. The press statement issued by the ITAK states that a portfolio had been assigned to one EPRLF member in Jaffna. Even this has not been consulted with the EPRLF party, Mr Premachandran told journalists.

“I was not informed or consulted on the appointment of one EPRLF member as minister. It is not a EPRLF decision. Next to ITAK, we are the party having large number of seats,” he said.

6 EPRLF members have been elected in the provincil council, two in Jaffna, two in Mullaiththeevu and two in Vavuniyaa, while the ITAK has secured 14.

The ITAK list has no minister coming from the Mullaiththeevu district.

Tamil national political activists in the island were sad at the way the TNA was bickering on the shallow and hollow NPC, while there are important fundamental issues to address at the detractors of Eezham Tamil cause inside and especially outside of the island.

Ms. Ananthi Sasitharan, who had secured the largest number of votes next to the CM candidate, has announced that she would not aspire for any position of power in the NPC.

[Full Coverage]

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