Visit to east cancelled

By Chirs Kamalendran

A scheduled trip by the visiting Indian parliamentary delegation to the Eastern Province was abruptly called off on Friday night apparently over a dispute between the Chief Minister and the Province’s Governor, Mohan Wijewickrema.

Dr. K. Vigneshwaran, Senior Advisor to Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, confirmed last night that the visit had been called off, but declined to elaborate.

On Thursday, the Governor’s Secretariat informed the Chief Minister by fax about the proposed visit by the ten-member Indian delegation to Vakarai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee.

The Sunday Times learns that the Chief Minister had raised objections to the itinerary in the east on the grounds that it had been prepared without consulting him.

He was also not happy that he had been given only half an hour to meet the Indian MPs at a welcome ceremony at Vakarai Tamil Maha Vidyalayam while the Governor had scheduled a three-hour dinner meeting with them.

Neither the chief minister nor any other provincial minister had been invited for the dinner. The Sunday Times learns that delegation was interested in visiting the IDP centres in Pulmoddai, Kiliveddi and Muttur, but no arrangements were made for these visits.

The delegation is due to visit Jaffna and IDP camps in Chettikulam today. Meanwhile, TNA leaders who held a two-hour meeting with the Indian MPs urged them to pressurize the government to release and resettle the IDPs soon.

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