Saturday, 14 December 2013 00:22
Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has hit out against massive bureaucratic blockades on his provincial administration by the region’s military Governor, in his maiden budget speech after taking office.
Wigneswaran, who made a major policy statement as he presented the annual financial statement and appropriation statute to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) on Tuesday, said he was unable to make a single appointment within the Province without the approval of Governor Chandrasiri.
Bemoaning the impediments placed on his provincial administration, Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says the Province’s Military Governor was calling all the shots despite constitutional provisions guaranteeing the Chief Minister the right to concur on major provincial appointments.
“From the secretary to the minor employees, it is the Governor who holds the whip hand. Even though the law says the appointment of the Chief Secretary shall be by the President with the concurrence of the Chief Minister, the present Chief Secretary was not appointed in conformity with the Law. She did not consider it necessary to resign when the new administration came in,” the Chief Minister said.
He explained in his speech that in the Northern Province, it was a former Jaffna Commander of the armed forces who had now taken on the mantle of the Governor. “He naturally goes on unhindered as if the Army is administering the Northern Province. The officials of the Provincial Council therefore fear to cooperate with the peoples’ representatives. They shudder to think of the consequences of displeasing a former Northern Commander of the Army and the present Governor,” Wigneswaran said.
Explaining the bureaucratic stumbling blocks against his administration in the newly constituted council, Wigneswaran said that the NPC had been unable to present a single statute because his administration was lacking the required high level human resources and institutional arrangements. “There is no system by which we can induct high level human resources,” the Chief Minister complained.
The former Supreme Court Judge charged that 20 years of military rule had trained provincial officers to act parrot-like and to do things as they are told to do only. “But I do not criticise them. I feel aggrieved. There is a gap in the capacity for governance and development inside and outside the administration,” Wigneswaran said.
The Chief Minister said that unless there is immense pressure from the international community the Government will not grant any form of power sharing to the Tamil-speaking people of the north and east.
He said that the international community should ensure that aid given the north reaches the province. “The Government should not be an obstacle to our receiving such aid. We must receive directly the largesse extended to us. Sometimes projects under taken in the provinces grind to a halt prematurely since aid money gets stagnated at Central Government level,” he charged.
Wigneswaran said that there could be no reconciliation in the Northern Province as long as the region was under military rule.