Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has told Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran to show that he enjoys majority support in the council in the wake of a ‘No Confidence Motion’ against him signed by 21 NPC members. The Governor yesterday told the Daily News that he was in the process of verifying the affidavits and signatures of the petitioners who had submitted a motion of ‘no confidence’ against Mr. Wigneswaran.
On Thursday, the motion with signatures of 21 NPC members was handed over to the Governor.
“I will have to take my decision in accordance with the procedures stipulated in the Constitution.
A group of members came to me and handed over the petition saying that they have lost confidence in the Chief Minister,” Cooray told Daily News.
He added that once the veracity of the petition has been checked, he would send a letter to the NPC Chief Minister, asking that he prove his ability to command the confidence of the majority. Further action would be followed once that is done. The Governor however stated that he could not, “give a definite timetable’ as to when such a letter would be sent to the Chief Minister.Wigneswaran is to function as the Chief Minister until then.
The petition comes in the wake of the Chief Minister asking for the resignation of NPC Education Minister T. Kurukularaja and Agriculture Minister P.Aingaranesan by yesterday over charges of corruption. A three-member committee appointed to investigate into allegations of corruption of four ministers within the NPC has recommended that these two be removed as they had found evidence of corruption. This is not the first time that talk of a “no confidence “against the Chief Minister has cropped up.
In January of this year, former TNA MP Suresh Premachandra alleged that a party within the TNA were planning on submitting motion of no confidence against Wigneswaran after he formed the Tamil Peoples’ Council.
Hartal in support of Chief Minister
A hartal has been organised by the Tamil People’s Council in the north today demanding the withdrawal of the ‘No Confidence’ motion against Chief Minister C. V. Wigneswaran, political sources said.
Several political and civil society organisations and a group of university lecturers are also slated to support the hartal.
A large group of people held a demonstration in Jaffna yesterday as well demanding the withdrawal of the motion signed by 21 NPC councillors calling for the removal of the chief minister.