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Wigneswaran says NPC minister's refusal to hoist flag 'understandable'

The chief minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran said it was "understandable" the NPC's education minister refused to hoist the Sri Lankan flag due to the Sinhala Buddhist supremacist ideology of successive governments. 

Stating that he would not have refused to hoist the flag himself, Mr Wigneswaran said however that he expressed his resistance against Sinhala hegemony in other ways. 

"I would appeal to Hon’ Dr.Sarveswaran to show his resentment to Sinhala majoritarian hegemony in some other way rather than by such refusal to unfurl the National flag. But I do not think his conduct needs any further action on our part. This is an occasion, God sent, for our Sinhalese brethren to understand the hidden negative feelings among us Tamils embedded in our hearts for so long. We do not like to hurt our Sinhalese bretheren. But our reservations are nevertheless true and are real," Mr Wigneswaran said on Tuesday in response to a question by a journalist on the incident. 

Mr Sarveswaran refused to hoist the flag during a ceremony at a school in Vavuniya on November 16 where he had been invited as the chief guest.

See full response by Mr Wigneswaran here. Extract below:

"Since I participated as a Senior Cadet at Royal in late 1950s at the Independence Day’ Parade at Galle Face I did not thereafter attend any Independence Day Celebrations up to date. Though invited every year while I was a Judge I did not participate. My resentment centred around the fact that though the Country received its Independence from the British in 1948 we the Tamils have not received freedom from Sinhala hegemony which was set up post - Independence after the Britishers left.

In 2015 when Hon’ Sambandan preferred to show his good will to the Sinhalese by attending that year’s Independence Day celebrations I excused myself. Rightly Hon’ Mano Ganesan has asked what benefits has Hon’ Sambandan achieved due to his goodwill, from the Good Governance Government. I have thus shown my resentment to Sinhala hegemony in my own way. 

Nevertheless as Chief Minister I have been hoisting the National Flag and showing my respect to the people. I have also stood at attention when the National Anthem is sung. I openly welcomed the singing of the National Anthem in my mother tongue sometime ago. 

Therefore one should realize that our resentment to Sinhala domination from 1948 has taken different forms. Hon’ Education Minister has shown his resentment in one way and I have been showing mine in another way."