| by N.S.Venkataraman

( January 13, 2014, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) C.V.Wigneswaran, Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s northern province was voted to power with overwhelming majority. Obviously, large segment of the people who voted for him have great expectations and would like him to move fast with dynamism and constructive approach and policies. Any blame game would not help the cause of the people of northern province who have suffered enough and are desperately looking for relief.

Wigneswaran should realise that rarely one gets an opportunity to govern a region with such overwhelming popularity and with good will and support from several parts of the world , wishing him to do well in his job. So far, the report card of Wigneswaran shows that he is yet to meet the expectations of the people. While it is true that big achievements can not be made in a short period, particularly in a region like northern province where infra structure are lacking and with long period of neglect, what people expect is signs of significant improvements that will give hope for the common man.

Speaking at a conference titled “Democratising the north” at Jaffna, Wigneswaran has been speaking about the intimidation of army rather than dwelling more on his development plans. Ofcourse, he has recently met the Sri Lankan President which may produce some positive results in the immediate future. Wigneswaran needs cooperation from everyone including the army and Sri Lankan President to give good governance and there is no need to focus more on issues than solutions. With proper approach and mind set and with quality of statesmanship, one can win over adversaries and turn even difficult situations into positive advantages.

It is good to hear from Wigneswaran about the need to avoid brain drain from the north and efforts needed in this regard. He should focus on building educational and technological institutions and development of infra structure facilities, which would certainly create job opportunities and give a sense of direction to the region.

At the same time, it causes concern to read the criticisms from the members of the ruling Tamil National alliance (TNA) about the style of functioning of Wigneswaran. The accusations that the Chief Minister is not accessible may be true or may not be true but Wigneswaran may well take note of these views and respond with care and understanding.

Further, it is necessary that Wigneswaran should not only perform well but should also take the people into confidence about his plans and initiatives with transparency. He has to publicise his priorities and his action plans adequately well. By raising the standards of public debate and constantly talking about the development plans and initiating consultative process with scientists , technologists and economists on devising the strategies for growth, Wigneswaran can well build a positive climate which is highly needed by northern province at this stage.

Wigneswaran still enjoys enormous good will from all over the world and he must be well aware of his strength. What is required is that he has to move ahead with vision and determination, without allowing himself to be detracted by some irritants which is unavoidable in today’s conditions in northern province. If Wigneswaran succeeds in achieving semblance of economic and industrial growth, his critics will be silenced and his support base will get considerably strengthened. This will enable him to move even faster and carve out a place for himself in the progress story of north eastern province.