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Lanka's first elected Tamil CM to be sworn in tomorrow

C V Wigneswaran, 73, will take the oath of office at the residence of Mahinda Rajapaksa

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Sri Lanka's first elected Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran will be sworn in by the President tomorrow after his party secured an emphatic victory in the historic provincial polls in the former LTTE stronghold last month.

Wigneswaran, 73, will take the oath of office at the residence of here, despite the pressure from his National Alliance (TNA) to boycott the ceremony.

Many TNA members and supporters of the newly-elected chief minister of Lanka's Tamil-dominated northern province are against his being sworn in before the President.

However, in a sign of goodwill, Wigneswaran will recieve the oath from the President, a TNA leader said today.

In the run up to the September 21 Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls, the campaign was marred by claims that the President deployed troops to intimidate minority supporters and candidates and scare off voters on polling day.

The TNA won 30 out of 38 seats in the elections, which was the first in the war-torn northern region since the councils were formed 25 years ago.

The Tamil party leaders earlier met Rajapaksa and expressed their unhappiness over the prospect of NPC councillors being sworn in by the northern governor.

Wigneswaran, who has been a magistrate and a judge of the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, is expected to meet External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who will arrive in tomorrow on a two-day visit.

Khurshid is scheduled to meet President Rajapaksa, his counterpart G L Peiris, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and newly-elected members of the council, officials said.

Rajapaksa, whose party has denied allegations of voter intimidation, has accused Wigneswaran of raising hopes of a separate Tamil state before and after the election victory.

During Khurshid's visit, India's continuous demand of full implementation of the 13th amendment, a byproduct of the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord, is expected to feature in discussions with the Sri Lankan leadership.

First Published: Sun, October 06 2013. 17:10 IST