Sept 20, Colombo: The Chief Ministerial candidate of Sri Lanka's main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) former Supreme Court judge C. V. Wigneswaran has compared a national hero to the slain Tamil Tiger terrorist leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.
Reiterating his statement that Prabhakaran is a freedom fighter, Wigneswaran has told the Indian daily Times of India that a national hero of Sri Lanka Keppetipola Disawe was once considered by the British as a dangerous criminal but now has roads named after him and statues built for him.
"Prabhakaran was a freedom fighter. He may have been brutal, but so is the government," he has said in an exclusive interview to TOI when asked about the allegations that he has glorified the LTTE and its leader as a 'Maveeran' in his election campaign.
"It is all perception. If you are going to call him a terrorist, should I also not address those who are being now hauled up in the international forum for war crimes as terrorists?" the TNA candidate has asked.
Speaking of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo in November Wigneswaran has said that India should attend the summit and not boycott as political parties in Tamil Nadu demand.
"We must have the courage of conviction to tell the Sri Lankan government that it has done this and this and what does it got to say... It is better you say it at the CHOGM rather than keep away," he has said.
Wigneswaran has accused the Tamil Nadu politicians of playing with the Tamils' issue by treating it "like a tennis ball".
According to the CM candidate, India owed it to the Lankan Tamil community to help revive democratic institutions, especially the support of south India.
He has called the government's development projects in the North as "mere propaganda" that benefits the army to control the people in the electorate.
"Roads and other infrastructure projects are just showpieces. The roads have been put up with the help of foreign collaborations and donations. They have been most beneficial for the army to keep the electorate under control," the TNA Chief Ministerial candidate has said.
The Sri Lankan government says that massive development projects in the war torn in the Northern Province were carried out at a cost of Rs.393 billion.
Wigneswaran has expressed confidence that the TNA, once considered as a proxy party of the defeated terrorist organization, would get a majority in the Northern Provincial Council at Saturday's elections.