By Shamindra Ferdinando
The Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray has denied allegations that he was planning to construct two Buddhist temples in one-time LTTE stronghold Kilinochchi soon after the dissolution of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) run Northern Provincial Council later this year.
Cooray, a former MP said so in response to Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran’s recent declaration in Jaffna print media that the Governor’s Office was making arrangements to build two temples.
Northern Governor Cooray has challenged retired Supreme Court Judge Wigneswaran to reveal the locations where the alleged constructions were to take place.
Presidential nominee Cooray recently clashed with Wigneswaran over the appointment of a provincial minister in addition to the stipulated number. Cooray has asked Wigneswaran to appoint a new board of ministers.
The existing provincial council board of ministers has more members than the constitutionally prescribed number. The Constitution says the number of ministers must be limited to five, including the Chief Minister but there are six ministers in the NPC currently.
Cooray recalled the circumstances under which Wigneswaran in August 2016 alleged that rehabilitated LTTE cadres were injected with chemicals by the military. Subsequently, such unsubstantiated allegations were proved baseless.
The Northern Provincial Council in August 2916 unanimously passed a resolution demanding an international inquiry into what Wigneswaran called deaths of ex-LTTE cadres during and after post-war rehabilitation. The resolution adopted at Kaithady, Jaffna, was primarily based on a statement given by an ex-LTTE cadre at a meeting of government appointed reconciliation committee at Oddusudan.
The NPC was told that over 100 ex-LTTE cadres had died during and after rehabilitation due to poisoning.
A spokesperson for the Northern Governor’s Office told The Island that deliberate attempts were being made to incite people at the expense of post-war national reconciliation.