The Means Used By Ruling Coalition
To Win Over The Nation And Its High Buddhist Clergy, Contentious And
The means with which Sri Lanka's ruling coalition tries to win over
the country's influential Buddhist monks over the P-TOMS plan to share
tsunami aid with the Tamil Tiger rebels seems not only contentious but
also dangerous to the well being of the Nation being a huge gamble!
A crucial bid in the eyes of the Administration to win support which
has now taken on the air of win at any cost and one of very controversial
means has also threatened to bring down the Government as an aftermath
to the JVP pullout.
There are many who agree that it would be better for the Government
to be brought down ( nonetheless detrimental to the Nation and as questionable
as it sounds) rather than face the shameful ignominy of capitulating
to fully armed terrorists and power hungry opponents. The vision of
the ruling party seems blinkered towards the overall ramifications the
P-TOMS deal could have on Sri Lanka!
The urgency with which leading government ministers and lawmakers have
addressed hundreds of monks and the general public - in the capital
Colombo to explain it in detail suggests an air of desperation.
This appears to have permeated the resolve of those in favour of the
P-TOMS agreement at the helm of which the President of Sri Lanka in
all probabilities contemplates her political future over that of the
Nation which if prioritised in proper perspective would make her rationalise
that the interdependence of the two items could only point towards the
appeasement of the general populace.
Overall majority does not favour cutting any deals with the LTTE terrorists.
In fact many of have publicly rejected the deal knowing fully well why
they voted out the UNP and replaced it with the present Administration.
There are many in the audience of the general populace in Sri Lanka
who even favour granting legitimacy to Col Karuna the breakaway LTTE
leader as a viable alternative to the mainstream LTTE.
Karuna's whose authority over the Tamil Community, being more moderate
and willing to negotiate peaceful means towards resolution suggests
greater credibility than that of the mainstream LTTE. LTTE does not
even seem to have their former leader Pirapaharan for comment! who once
professed to hold overall authority and be the only representation of
the overall Tamil community which now seems a figure of speech no more
true beyond their own rhetoric unaligned to reality.
So what is the objective of the Government ? to go ahead with the P-TOMS
unconditionally, unilaterally and irrationaly when there are so many
objections to it from so many diverse camps who want it either restructured,
re vamped to accommodate all opinions or trashed and replaced with something
more tangible towards the Sovereignity and Territorial Integrity of
Sri Lanka, such as, the DART model recommended by SPUR, the Patriotic
Sri Lankan Group based in Australia, despite some of the lip service
from Government sources presently being aired to the public !
It seems exceedingly difficuly for an overwhelming proportion of the
Sinhala Nation to agree with President Chandrika Kumaratunga's proposal
to facilitate the creation of a joint group involving fully armed rebels
to ensure' fair' disbursement of Tsunami foreign aid to the Tamil inhabited
North and East of Sri Lanka.
Some of these areas are even inhabited by a Muslim majority albeit
controlled by the guerrillas whose control is not only illegal but also
unconstitutional yet continue under the provisions of the Peace Process
The term 'fair' disbursment as a result of the anomalies involved hence
becomes somewhat of a joke taking into consideration the national cognizance
of the LTTE's track record for fairness as opposed to deviousness and
the ruthless disregard to principle, integrity and the statutes of the
land which they flagrantly violate at every turn.
The question being asked by those in opposition to P-TOMS is, can Sri
Lanka afford to take this chance towards trusting a group of armed insurgents
who are unreluctant to officially lay down arms and join mainstream
It is common knowledge to the more discerning that the LTTE continue
to build up their resources while pretending to be empathetic towards
the President's proposals which they in all probabilities view as the
ultimate stepping stone towards their own separatist objectives.
They would end up not only being fully armed and fully manned but also
fully supplemented financially with the outpouring of foreign aid should
it come within their perusal despite Government assurances to the contrary.
As a direct consequence to how the P-TOMS the plan is being viewed
by the sources of opposition to Administrative resolve, it has triggered
a crisis within the ruling coalition where the key Marxist ally of the
Government the JVP have as refered to earlier, withdrawn their support
for the Administration over objections to the deal.
The vehement opposition led by the JVP and Buddhist Clergy representation
in parliament the JHU, argue that the P-TOMS will give the Tamil Tigers
(Wanni Branch!) international recognition and sufficient means towards
furthering their quest to create a separate state.
Countering this argument it has been broadcast by the Administration
that if the Government of Sri Lanka is not willing to take the Tigers
'on board', the international aid donors may fund them directly which
is not only speculative but high conjecture which suggests a clout the
LTTE are falsely projected as having within the International Community
by the irresponsible nature of this statement.
Speculation to the effect that non accommodation of the LTTE in the
P-TOMS agreement would only strengthen them, as suggested by River Basin
Development Minister Maithripala Sirisena, addressing influential High
Buddhist Clergy monks, appears to be more a part and parcel of the direction
being taken by the Administration to barnstorm their way towards an
unrealistic objective which could imperil the Nation purely on speculation
that it is a path to permanent peace!.
Rather than considering the reality of how the Nation and the entire
region would be affected should the LTTE stick to their normal modus
operandi of a terrorist nature, the Administration seems to prefer gambling
with many areas vulnerable to LTTE exploitation with the supplementations
towards their cause which their inclusion in the P-TOMS would surely
initiate and is perhaps even a foregone conclusion.
The offering therefore by Minister Sirisena as quoted that " As
the government, we promise you that this will only be a small administrative
structure not more than that" ending the Minister's quote sounds
somewhat puerile as these aren't apples and oranges being discussed
here but a vital part of the Nation's Sovereignity and TerritorialI
integrity being put at risk which seems to bypass the Minister's reasoning
much in the manner of the President of Sri Lanka!The greater implications
of being overly conciliatory to the terrorists consequently being shelved
With the latest indications that perhaps due to the immense pressure
of National Opinion in opposition to the P-TOMS and the JVP pullout,
a Parliamentary vote on the P-TOMS is pending, it may be a worthwhile
exercise also towards initiating a National Referendum given the climate
of unrest within the Nation over the issue.
A proposal put forward by the ever astute Ven.Dr.Omalpe Sobitha Thera
which seems to have its credibility with the masses who have rallied
to support its meritworthiness as the wisdom of the saying "Nothing
Ventured Nothing Gained" at this stage of proceedings in Sri Lanka
takes on great significance!