Why The Peace Process Is Doomed To Failure Relative To The Dynamics Of Opposition Perspective And The Mood Of The Sinhala Nation As Expressed By The Hon. Anura Bandaranaike
Periscope-Globala Sinhala Village For LankaWeb
There are ominous signs that the Peace Process and the Memorandum of understanding are already showing signs that it may be doomed to failure. One of the major forces in Parliament the SLFP has pledged that, it will not offer any support to the ongoing Peace Process if the UNF government continues with their high flown rhetoric to move in their attempts to reduce the powers of the President which in reality seems unlikey as a two third Parliamentary Majority is need to accomplish it which the UNF Government very definitely does not have at the present time and neither are they likely to in the near future. Speaking publicly in the Hill Country recently, Former Speaker of the House and Gampaha district P.A. MP Mr. Anura Bandaranaike emphasized that regardless of the threats, taunts and speculations of some who woul like to see her displaced to suit their own ends ,the President is still the executor of Powers enshrined in the Constitution introduced by former President J. R. Jayewardene and reiterated that should the UNF Government resorts to "unconstitutional activities", the SLFP and the Powerful Opposition Coalition which has gathered great momentum will not back the Peace Initiative. Mr. Bandaranaike was addressing a public rally at Bogambara last Friday attended by a huge audience. The Gathering held under the patronage of the National Organisation Against the Division of the Country, was presided by Ven. Kalawellegoda Chandaloka Thera of the Buddhist Clergy.
Quoting Mr Bandaranaike who said "The Government receives the support of the SLFP in its endeavour to resolve national issues including the search for peace. but our support will not be forthcoming if the President's powers are axed. At present, the President is the Head of State, Head of Cabinet and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces" he said end quote. He reminded the gathering bringing to bear the implications of the Opposition response to the moves being initiated by the likes of MP's John Amaratunge, S.B Dissanayake, Rajitha Senaratne and Prof.G.L Peiris who have been openly proclaiming and campaigning the need to clip Presidential Authority as it obviously stands in the way of their manouverings relative to the Peace Process as well as many other ambits which are in no way directed towards the well being of the Nation. He said that Interior Minister John Amaratunga had sought to slash the President's security by 50 per cent. "If this happens, I must tell Minister Amaratunga, that his house will be surrounded by people and he won't be able to remain indoors," Mr. Bandaranaike further warned in a manner indicative of the mood of the more circumspect of the Sinhala Nation who are beginning to become more than aware of the realities of the subterfuge of the Ranil Wickremasinghe Administration paying homage to the LTTE and the dangers outlined in their Peace Process of ill repute to an undiscerning Nation.
Also expressing that United National Party (UNP) showed concernes over his liasing with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) in the campaign against the attempt by the Government to hand over the country to the LTTE as an analogy to the inconsistencies of the UNP he cited accusations that the JVP was allegedly responsible for assassinating Vijaya Kumaratunga and remarked rather sardonically that the Commission appointed to probe the killing of the late Mr. Vijaya Kumaratunga had not said in its report that the JVP was responsible for his death. There is no evidence against the JVP having connections with this killing", he claimed which also has far reaching suspicions implicating a very prominent UNP figure now deceased, though never proven.
Reminding the gathering that Ranil Wickremasinghe has become moderate towards the LTTE and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with them, the entity responsible for assassinating former UNP President R. Premadasa and very prominent VIP's such as Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali, Ranjan Wijeratne and many other stalwarts of his party the message delivered was loud and clear about the notoriety and infamy of the terrorist group Wickremasinghe was apparently consorting with and emphatically stated that despite the empathy of the Government towards the LTTE India has not forgotten the assassination of her leader Rajiv Gandhi. Campaigning in fact has begun in earnest by the Indian authorities for the LTTE leader Prabhakaran 's arrest and extradition.
The JVP and several other groups, including NUA led by Mrs. Ferial Ashroff joining a common platform against the move by Ranil Wickremesinghe to divide the country in connivance with the LTTE in the name of peace was also highlighted by Mr. Bandaranaikea as a reminder that the climate indeed was changing from being speculative in favour of the MoU to one of suspicion which left the credibilities of the UNF with much to be desired.
Citing Defence Minister Tilak Marapana reference in Parliament to alternatives in the event of the Peace Process failing! that the Government would resort to a millitary solutionMr. Bandaranaike questioned" Will this be possible?" illucidating the likelihood that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces were probably discouraged now while the LTTE has warmed up during the ceasefire. The Forces may have lost the spirit to fight, he asserted although there are indications that regardless of restriction through directives from the 'Top' the Forces are on high alert and continuing a strong recruitment drive to which the LTTE have objected.
Ridiculing the continued speculations of the Prime Minister who maintains faith that America would come to the rescue of Sri Lanka should the LTTE wage war once again against the Government, Mr.Bandaranaike refered to it as madness!. "America repulses only when America is attacked. America does not come forward to save any other Nation", he said which in a relative and pragnmatic sense is very true.
"Norwegian peace-makers are supporters of the LTTE and the LTTE is carrying on according to its wishes in the North and East." was another truism expressed by the Hon.member of Parliament for Gampaha who seemingly dissected the scenario involving Anton Balasingham who willfully violated all accepted air-route laws and norms. "Even President Kumaratunga has no liberty to change an air-route but Balasingham had the liberty to violate the country's laws. We believe we have one President and one Prime Minister in Sri Lanka. And they are Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe," he said.
In an almost lyrical expression of passionate recollection of the events which unfolded in1956, Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and S. J. V. Chelvanayagam on behalf of the Tamils, agreed upon a pact as a solution to the issues at that time he reminded the audience. This was opposed by the UNP and J. R. Jayewardene.They led a demonstration against it and the march was attacked on the way. The UNP was critical of making Sinhalese the official language of Sri Lanka. In India there are over 1200 languages, but only one official language and that is Hindi," Mr. Bandaranaike observed.He further said: "We need peace. Peace for the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities. But we need an honourable peace. No community should be subjugated by another."
Mrs. Feril Ashroff, Leader of the NUA, M.P. Wimal Weerawanse JVP Propaganda Secretary and M.P. Dinesh Gunawardena, Leader of the MEP were among the speakers who contributed to a forum which asserted a strong will towards their objectives also supported by MPs N.S.de Silva, Managala Samaraweera, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Tilina Bandara Tennakoon and former cricketing great Arjuna Ranatunge who were part of the dignitaries present.
The campaign by all opposition parties against the Peace Process and the MoU which in principle seems to be one which has begun championing the realities of adversity which could cast a dark shadow over Sri Lanka is a just cause if it conveys to the Nation the gross insincerities of the two parties involved, in pretense of heading towards a lasting peace where Norways rather dubious involvement does not embellish the chances of real success.
Furthermore threats against Presidential Authority and the undermining of her High Office to assure the continuance of the rather shaky trajectory of the Wickremasinghe Administration towards what it envisions as a lasting peace has apparently brought about greater dissent within the Sinhala Nation as expressed in the address of Mr. Bandaranaike whose bounden duty it is as a patriotic Son of Lanka to defend his Motherland against all oppression and a welcome gesture by the Sinhala Nation.
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