C. V. Vigneswaran

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Hon Justice
C. V. Vigneswaran
க. வி. விக்னேஸ்வரன்
C. V. Vigneswaran.jpg
1st Chief Minister of the Northern Province
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Governor G. A. Chandrasiri
Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka
In office
Member of the Northern Provincial Council for Jaffna District
Assumed office
7 October 2013
Personal details
Born (1939-10-23) 23 October 1939 (age 78)
Hulftsdorp, Colombo, Ceylon
Nationality Sri Lankan
Political party Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi
Other political
Tamil National Alliance
Relations Ponnambalam Ramanathan, Ponnambalam Arunachalam
Residence Colombo, Sri Lanka
Alma mater Christchurch College
Holy Family Convent
Royal College, Colombo
University of Ceylon
Ceylon Law College
Profession Lawyer
Ethnicity Sri Lankan Tamil

Justice Canagasabapathy Visuvalingam Vigneswaran, PC (Tamil: கனகசபாபதி விசுவலிங்கம் விக்னேஸ்வரன் Kaṉakacapāpati Vicuvaliṅkam Vikṉēsvaraṉ; born 23 October 1939) is a Sri Lankan Tamil lawyer, judge and politician. He was a magistrate and a judge of the District Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is the current Chief Minister of the Northern Province. He is also the head of the Tamil People's Council.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Vigneswaran was born on 23 October 1939 in Hulftsdorp, Colombo, the capital of Ceylon.[2] His parents were born in Manipay in northern Ceylon and he had two sisters.[2] His father Canagasabapathy was a public official who worked in several parts of the country.[2] Vigneswaran's grandfather was a cousin of statesmen P. Ramanathan and P. Arunachalam.[2]

Vigneswaran's father's work meant that the family moved often. Vigneswaran spent the first nine years of his life in Kurunegala and studied at Christchurch College.[2] The family then moved to Anuradhapura where Vigneswaran attended Holy Family Convent.[2] Vigneswaran joined Royal College, Colombo aged 11.[2][3][4] After school Vigneswaran obtained BA from the University of London and LLB from the University of Ceylon.[2] He then joined Ceylon Law College, qualifying as a proctor and an advocate.[2] He was president of the Law Students’ Union at the college in 1962.[2]

One of Vigneswaran's sons is married to the daughter of former government minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara.[5][6] His other son is married to the niece of former MP Keseralal Gunasekera.[2]

Vigneswaran is also a follower of Swami Premananda whom he has compared to Jesus and has requested that Narendra Modi release three Premananda followers convicted of raping 13 girls, including minors, and conspiracy to murder.[7][8]

Legal career[edit]

Vigneswaran joined the Judicial Service on 7 May 1979.[4][9] He served as a magistrate and District Judge in Batticaloa, Chavakachcheri and Mallakam.[4][9] He became District Judge for Colombo in January 1987.[4][9] He was appointed to the High Court in 1988, serving in Northern, Eastern, North Central, Uva and Western provinces.[4] He was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 1995.[4]

Vigneswaran was appointed to the Supreme Court in March 2001.[10] He retired in October 2004.[11]

Political career[edit]

In April 2013 it was reported that Vigneswaran had been chosen by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to be its chief ministerial candidate in the upcoming election to Northern Provincial Council (NPC).[12][13] The reports were denied by the TNA.[6] However, in July 2013, after nominations were called for the provincial council election, the TNA announced that Vigneswaran would be its chief ministerial candidate in the Northern Province.[14][15][16] He contested the provincial council election as one of the TNA's candidates in Jaffna District and was elected to the NPC.[17][18] Vigneswaran received his chief ministerial appointment letter from Governor G. A. Chandrasiri on 1 October 2013.[19][20][21] He took his oath as chief minister and provincial councillor in front of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat on 7 October 2013.[22][23][24] On 15 November 2013, he received the Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, in Jaffna. It was the first time the political head of another country had visited Jaffna since independence from colonial rule in 1948.

In 2015 he lashed out at the concentration of power within the TNA and has been reported to be in conflict with the TNA's leaders R.Sampanthan, M.A.Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah. In the run up to the August 17 parliamentary elections Vigneswaran appealed to the Tamils to vote for genuine Tamil nationalists. the statement was seen as an endorsement of the radical Tamil National Peoples’ Front (TNPF).[25] There were reports that TNA which was taking a much more moderate and accommodative line on the Tamil question is heading for a split with Wigneswaran who was taking more radical stance. TNA leaders have also been complaining about Vigneswaran’s administrative incompetence due in part to his failure to interact with Ministers, Departmental Secretaries and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.[26]


  1. ^ "Tamil Peoples Council (TPC) Launched in Jaffna as Political Alternative to Tamil National Alliance (TNA) with Northern Chief Minister Wigneswaran at the Helm". 2015-12-20. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wijedasa, Namini (21 July 2013). "'I'm not a politician, I only wish to serve my suffering people'". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 
  3. ^ Bastians, Dharisha (31 October 2004). "Justice on a razor's edge". The Sunday Leader. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Fernando, Susitha R. (20 October 2004). "Top Judge Hits Out at Judicial Process". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)/ Jana Sammathaya (Asian Human Rights Commission). 
  5. ^ Hoole, Ratnajeevan (23 April 2013). "Mischief By Asian Tribune: The Northern Province Chief Minister Candidature". Colombo Telegraph. 
  6. ^ a b Rajasingham, K. T. (28 April 2013). "Simmering discontent within TNA threatens to explode". Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka). 
  7. ^ "C.V.Wigneswaran hurts Christian sentiments". Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Lanka province CM seeks release of 3 convicts in Premananda case". Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Maniccavasagar, Chelvatamby (2 November 2004). "Justice Wigneswaran - a multi-faceted personality". Daily News (Sri Lanka). 
  10. ^ "S.C Judge says Tamil rights were snatched away". TamilNet. 8 March 2001. 
  11. ^ "Veteran Supreme Court Judge retires". TamilNet. 20 October 2004. 
  12. ^ Rajasingham, K. T. (19 April 2013). "Retd. Justice C.V. Wigneswaran: Chief Minister Candidate of Tamil National Alliance?". Asian Tribune. 
  13. ^ Peiris, Harim (1 May 2013). "TNA vs LTTE – The Northern Provincial Council stakes". The Island (Sri Lanka). 
  14. ^ Palakidnar, Ananth (15 July 2013). "ustice Vigneswaran TNA's CM choice". Ceylon Today. 
  15. ^ "Justice Wigneswaran TNA CM candidate". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 15 July 2013. 
  16. ^ "Elections to the Northern Provincial Council". Tamil National Alliance. 15 July 2013. 
  17. ^ "PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL Government Notifications PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS ACT, No. 2 OF 1988 Northern Province Provincial Council" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1829/33. 25 September 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-28. 
  18. ^ "PROVINCIAL COUNCIL ELECTIONS 2013 – Results and preferential votes: Northern Province". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 26 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "New Chief Minister appointed to Northern Provincial Council – 01 October 2013". Northern Provincial Council. 1 October 2013. 
  20. ^ "PART IV (A) — PROVINCIAL COUNCILS Appointments &c., by the Governors NORTHERN PROVINCE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL Appointment made by the Governor of the Northern Province" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1831/01. 7 October 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "C.V. Vigneswaran receives appointment letter". Ceylon Today. 1 October 2013. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Wigneswaran takes oath as Northern Province CM". The Hindu/Indo-Asian News Service. 9 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Wigneswaran sworn-in as NPC CM". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 7 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "Sri Lanka poll: Tamil minister Wigneswaran says 'peace possible'". BBC News. 7 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Wigneswaran Lashes Out at Concentration of Power in his Party". 
  26. ^ "TNA And Wigneswaran May Be Heading For A Split". 

External links[edit]