CM appointed in Sri Lanka's north

Colombo, Oct 7 (IANS) Former Supreme Court judge C.V. Wigneswaran was Monday sworn-in the first chief minister of Sri Lanka's northern province, most of which was under rebel control for nearly 30 years.

Wigneswaran took oath before President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the chief minister after his party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), won the provincial council elections held Sep 21, Xinhua reported.

At the northern provincial council elections, Wigneswaran secured 132,255 votes in Jaffna to come first in the TNA list followed by the wife of a former rebel, Anandi Sasithran, who got 87,870 votes.

TNA leader R. Sampanthan said the decision for Wigneswaran to take oath before the president was made in consonance with the commitment of the TNA to ensure that the Tamil people are able to live in security, safeguard their self respect and dignity.

He said the Tamils will look to fulfilling their legitimate, political, economic, social and cultural aspirations within the framework of a united and undivided country, as overwhelmingly demonstrated in their electoral verdict.

"The Tamil National Alliance expresses the wish that the Government of Sri Lanka would meaningfully reciprocate the positive step on the part of the Tamil National Alliance," the TNA leader said.

The move to have Wigneswaran take oath in front of the president had drawn criticism from within and outside the party.

The TNA, which contested the elections as the Illangai Tamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK) under the house symbol, swept to victory securing 67.52 percent of the votes.

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