Representatives of Civil Society Organizations in the North met the Minister of Fisheries at the Ministry on 26-06-2023 and discussed the current political situation in the Northern Province.
At the meeting, the representatives pointed out that the 13th Amendment should be implemented properly, and if the representatives who were elected to the Northern Provincial Council, implemented the powers of the Provincial Council properly, a federal status for the North could have been achieved by now. They further stated that they would like to remind the Minister that the LTTE and the Northern Politicians who have worked in cooperation with the “Yahapalaya” government, are responsible for the current state of the people in the North and they believe that as a powerful cabinet minister of the Government, the minister could bring out solutions to the prevailing issues of the people in the North.
Expressing views at the discussion the minister stated that he has been telling for more than 30 years that the implementation of the 13th Amendment is the only solution to solve the ethnic issue, but the LTTE and other Tamil Political Organizations didn’t accept it. Now all of a sudden, they ask the government to implement the 13th Amendment. This action proved his stand many years ago. The minister asked the representatives to spread their view among the whole people and the politicians in the North, that the former Chief Ministers of the Northern Provincial Council Varadarajaperumal and C.V. Vigneshwaran have not used the opportunity in a proper manner to serve the Tamil people. The Minister stated that it is the government’s objective to conduct elections for all the provincial councils in the country including Northern Provincial Council, in one day.
At the same time, President Ranil Wickremasinghe too is in a firm stand to solve the ethnic issue in the North.
Expressing further views the minister stated that the Indian Fishermen are of the view that they are at a great loss since the Sri Lankan Navy doesn’t allow them to engage in fishing. But the reality is not that. Local fishermen’s income has dropped and their fishing equipments are damaged due to the illegal fishing activities of Indian fishermen. As such, the politicians and the Tamil Organizations in the North should provide true information to Indian Politicians, especially to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mr. Stalin. The minister requested the representatives to make the Politicians in the North aware of this fact since it is their responsibility.
A group of higher officials of the Ministry of Fisheries including the secretary to the Ministry Mrs. Indu Rathnayake attended this event.