( November 10, 2014, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The chief minister of Sri Lanka's Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, on Sunday accused the Rajapaksa regime of arresting and intimidating those trying to collect evidence for the United Nations' investigation into the violations of humanitarian and human rights laws.

"The basis appears to be that the evidence is false — is that not a decision to be made at the stage of evaluation? If we had proof that evidence was false, is it not the best course of action to forward proof of such falsity to the office of the high commissioner of human rights?" he said while delivering the KG Kannabiran memorial lecture on safeguarding security and sovereignty here on Sunday.

Wigneswaran became the CM of the Northern Province last year after a long and distinguished legal career which culminated in his becoming the judge of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court in 2001.

"The state does not want to allow the evidence to leave the country;just as in the incarceration of 3.5 lakh Tamils, the primary aim was to let no evidence leave the shores," he said.

Coming down heavily on the Lankan government for its attempts to canvass global opinion against UNHRC resolutions, Wigneswaran said that if Sri Lanka thought that such a procedure undermined its sovereignty and was illegal, it could request the UN General Assembly or the Security Council to refer the matter to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion.

"It could even withdraw from the UN, even though there are no formal provisions in the UN charter for withdrawal," he said, adding that the militarisation of northern Sri Lanka was not due to a real security threat, but to maintain a stranglehold over the populace.

Thanking India on whose insistence the elections were held in the Northern Province, Wigneswaran said New Delhi had legal and moral obligations to ensure the welfare of Sri Lankan citizens.

He said the Tamils were not the only ones affected by violence in Sri Lanka, and added that other minorities like Muslims and Christians are also targeted. The judiciary has failed to prevent a culture of impunity and has contributed directly to the executive's authoritarian rise, he said. The judiciary also played a major role in foisting a second class citizenship on the Tamil speaking people, he added.

He said the Army continues to destroy whatever is left of the buildings, homes, holy places or hallowed school premises inside the high security zones.

When he, as a chief minister, tried to visit such places of vandalism, he was told by the army personnel to obtain permission from the secretary of defence, the brother of President Rajapaksa. "Such is the sorry state of our sovereign state's security concerns," he said.

Full text of the speech is follows;





Part 01 - VIDEO



Part 02 - VIDEO



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