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G.LPieris and his statements of cooperation with the government with « buts » and « ifs ». A paradigm shift ? And the necessity to urgently strengthen and modernize the Sri Lanka Army

By Charles Perera

The LTTE puts forward conditions to commence peace negotiations, while UNP puts forward another before they would attend the Parliamentary leaders meeting called for by the President to discuss the question of negotiations. The condition , the UNP puts forward is absurd and incomprehensible.

“We (UNP) do not want to play politics with the national issue of resolving the ethnic crisis and are ready to support the minority government if it comes out with a clear policy framework on this national issue,” Prof Peiris, who headed the then UNF government’s peace negotiating team said.

The UNP asks the Government to explain its stand on the ISGA..

This is an absurd demand as the meeting of the party leaders called for by the President is to discuss this “ policy framework” on which the negotiations should begin and what stand it should take. This brings to mind the old adage” asking the way to a place one does not want to go”. UNP had been a stumbling block for many progressive work undertaken by any other government, other than their own. They did that to the PA government with regard to party leaders meeting the President called for to discuss the “Package” the PA government was preparing to propose to the LTTE.

Professor G.L.Pieris, either lacks maturity or blindly follows the UNP policy of “sabotage”. It would be , “ a paradigm shift “ for the Professor to drop ”buts” and “ifs” in his statements to the press. What people of this country would like to hear is, whether even at this late stage, the UNP would cooperate with the government with “ sincere intentions” on “ the policy framework” for which a meeting has been called for.

UNP has done enough damage in their so called peace negotiations for which they did not themselves have a clear “policy framework” The Professor and his party should at least now help this government to carry out the negotiations better than they did themselves. People will judge the UNP on their support and cooperation with the government. And if the government fails in its attempt to begin the peace negotiations and carry it to a successful end, the blame will come also to the UNP and JHU for their failure to cooperate with the government in its endeavour.

In the televised debates, UNP shows its complete inability to make any constructive criticism on any political issue. The UNP repeatedly asks what the Government did during the three months they were in power or hark back to what the JVP leaders had said in their press interviews, and question the JVP members of the government on their past activities . The people of this country will find it incomprehensible that a UNP which is willing to forget the past activities of the LTTE do not do the same with the JVP ! UNP seems to be determined to make a failure of the peace negations this government is preparing to resume.

The comic attempt of the UNP is enacted by its representatives when they begin manipulating numbers to prove that the UPFA did not get a majority vote either in the general election, or in the Provincial Elections, when it is evident even to a “village idiot” that the UPFA has out numbered the UNP in its popularity. The number of voters for the UPFA at the General Elections had increased at the Provincial Elections, the explanation for that increase is undoubtedly the “disappointed” UNP voters giving their votes to the Alliance and the others not voting to either party.

The People cannot be duped, the UNP wants the credit for itself for the settlement of the issue with the LTTE, and for that they think the best way would be to oust the government and take its place. If that is not possible their political jealousy will think out ways to destabilise the government, and sabotage its activities in every possible way.

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In the mean time Helgesen from Norway government is making himself heard. His voice is tempered and cautious. That is really not the voice we expect to hear from the SLMM. It is time they too make it clear that the LTTE is not making the maximum effort necessary to resume negotiations with a view to settle the decades long violence. It is meaningless there offering advice on middle path to both parties as undoubtedly the dastardly acts of violence come from the LTTE side.

It is not a pacifying and smooth talking Monitoring Mission we want , but one which can call a spade a spade. LTTE cannot justify that the recent suicide bomb was not one of their making. How demoralising it is for those who go on suicide missions for the LTTE, to see that the young woman who carried out a mission is not honoured and respected by their leadership. They have no moral right to call them selves the liberators of the Tamil people. Helgesen speaks of many playing with fire. They know very well that there are not many playing the dangerous game with fire, but hesitate to name the LTTE directly for reasons known only to themselves.

The Government should take note of the pronouncement of the Malwatte Mahanayaka Thero of the importance of having a strong army, and do all that is possible to modernize the army without any delay with all necessary military equipment, training and military advice on modern warfare, so that the LTTE will not dictate terms, threaten and coerce us to give into their deranged fanciful wishes.



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