away with the powers of the provincial councils was shelved. Before thatthey had in roles, complimentary to the Japanese, ensured that PresidentRajapakse actually went ahead and held a credible election in the North, forthe first ever post war Northern Provincial Council (NPC).Prior to the NPC polls, the Rajapakse Administration could play variouspolitical games, claiming that its regional allies like the EPDP were credible Tamil political interlocutors and that the governing UPFA’s own support inthe North was reasonable, a plurality if not a majority. Well the electoralreality is a matter of record, TNA with almost 80% of the vote and theRajapakse Administration’s UPFA, barely 18%. It really doesn’t get morelopsided than that, in favor of an opposition party ever. The TNA has a twothird majority in the Northern Provincial Council and swore in the firstopposition controlled provincial administration led by Chief Minister, Justice(rtd) CV Wigneswaran.
The choices before the Rajapakse Administration
The Rajapakse Administration faces a rather stark choice with regard to the TNA controlled Northern Provincial Council. The desired and preferredoption would be, for the Government to be generous and cooperative withthe NPC and provide it with the space and facilitation required to addressthe effects of the war on the Northern civilians as the former principletheatre of the conflict. This requires basically an attitude similar to that of the victorious allies in the Second World War, who had both the Marshalplan for Europe and very generous political arrangements for the defeated Japanese including retaining their Emperor in whose name the war hadbeen fought. Initial indications are that the Rajapakse Administration isopen to this possibility, once it gets over its own ideological hang-ups. Theadvantages of an effective TNA controlled provincial administration in theNorth are obvious.1.A strong, moderate and pragmatic TNA is the best antidote for a moreextreme and alienated Tamil Diaspora. The TNA and the Diaspora are notallies, the Diaspora is actually the opposition element in Tamil politics,opposed to the TNA for being too moderate and seeking to replace the TNAas the representatives and the voice of the Tamil people. The elements inthe Diaspora that are supporting the TNA, such as the London based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) are essentially sections of the Diaspora who realizedquite early on, that without a presence on the ground in Sri Lanka, theirlong term relevance, except for nuisance value to and political pressure ontheir host governments, would be questionable.2.An effective TNA political leadership in the North through the provincialcouncil is also containment on more extreme political elements in the minorpolitical parties of Tamil Nadu; the general TNA desire to be robustly Sri