Colombo: Sri Lanka’s lone Tamil woman minister has resigned from her post, days after her controversial remarks seeking the revival of the separatist outfit LTTE led to an uproar in Parliament.
Vijeyakala Maheswaran, 45, was working as a State Minister of Child Affairs from the northern Tamil region representing the ruling United National Party (UNP) led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“I offered my resignation at 5pm yesterday following my meeting with the Prime Minister,” she told reporters.
“My resignation was because I need to allow for the investigation to be done by the Attorney General,” she said, adding that no one could remove her until the investigation was over.
Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had referred her remarks to the Attorney General for legal action to determine if she had violated the Constitution.
The Opposition had sought her resignation for violating the Constitution by espousing the LTTE’s separatist cause.
In a public gathering in Jaffna on Monday, Maheswaran said that due to the deteriorating law and order situation coupled with rising crime graph, people in the Northern province were wishing for the LTTE’s revival and return.
“Now we remember how we lived before May 18, 2009. In the present conditions our main intention is to bring back the LTTE if we want to live, if we want to walk freely, if we need our children to attend schools and return,” she was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror.
Maheswaran said that she was quoted out of context.
Wickremesinghe had sought an inquiry into her comments which led to an uproar in Parliament as well as in the Sinhala-majority south. The UNP leaders also called for her sacking.
The LTTE had run a military campaign for a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern provinces of the island nation for nearly 30 years before its collapse in 2009 after the Sri Lankan Army killed its supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.