Tamil leader for Muslim autonomy in merged north and east

Chief minister of Sri Lanka's Tamil majority north invited Muslims in the east to join hands for the unification of the two provinces in a federal setup where the latter would enjoy autonomy.

Addressing thousands attending the 'Tamils Arise' mass rally, Friday (10), in the eastern town of Batticaloa with a significant Muslim population, Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran emphasised that it is an irrefutable part of the Tamil nation to guarantee the inalienable rights of Muslims.

In a conciliatory move to restore strained relationships between the two communities, Wigneswaran met with Kattankudy Mosque Federation.

Kattankudy Meera Grand Jumma Masjid mosque was the place where 103 Muslims were massacred in August 1990. The attack was widely attributed to the LTTE though the group denied any responsibility.

CM Wigneswaran addressing the rally admitted that “some unfortunate incidents” of the past had damaged Tamil-Muslim relationships.

Sinhalese rights

The declaration by the Tamil People's Council (TPC ) that organised the 'Tamils Arise' mass gathering called for the guarantee of Tamil and Muslim political rights in a future united north and east while assuring the individual rights and liberties of the Sinhalese.

“While this rally resolutely demands that inalienable political rights of the Tamil people be fully guaranteed, it is no less resolute in advocating for inalienable rights to be guaranteed of an irrefutable part of the Tamil nation—our Muslim brethren. This rally would also wish to make it clear that individual rights and liberties of the numerical minority within the Tamil nation, the Sinhalese, should never be forfeited,” the declaration announced.

Participants for the rally TPC marched from the Kallady bridge to the Vivekananda school grounds.

War victims in large numbers with a significant women presence carrying photographs of their missing loved ones called for an international justice process to address accountability in war crimes.