Sri Lankan Minister resigns

Sri Lanka’s lone Tamil woman Minister resigned on Thursday, after her remarks on the LTTE sparked an uproar in Parliament and a strong backlash in the Sinhala-majority south.

State Minister of Child Affairs Vijeyakala Maheswaran, lawmaker from the United National Party (UNP), was recently speaking at a public meeting in Jaffna, when she said that only the LTTE’s revival would ensure that the Tamil-majority north was crime-free. Local media reported that the Jaffna district MP said it in the context of increasing crimes and the recent murder of a six-year-old girl in Jaffna.

Ms. Maheswaran said she had been quoted out of context, but her party colleagues demanded that she resign immediately, prompting Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to seek an inquiry into her comments.

Northern Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran, according to local reports, defended the Minister, saying she was justified in voicing concern about the growing insecurity in the north. Ms. Maheswaran succeeded her husband, UNP parliamentarian and Minister T. Maheswaran, who was assassinated in Colombo in 2008.

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