En route to another betrayal

By S. L. Gunasekara - President, Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya

. "I must add in parentheses that the LTTE led by Prabhakaran is not likely to give up the demand for Eelam whatever interim tactical negotiating postures are adopted by the LTTE to cope with the pressures under which they are operating". - J.N.Dixit -"Assignment Colombo".

A ceasefire is now in operation: checkpoints have been removed: roads which were closed for security reasons have been opened, and the Prime Minister has announced that all restrictions on the movement of goods to 'uncleared' areas will be removed on the 15th January. With all these bounteous gifts being given to Prabhakaran, one is constrained to wonder whether the ship with a cargo of arms for Prabhakaran which was recently reported to be heading for Sri Lanka in international waters will be allowed to berth at the Port of Colombo or Trincomalee and the LTTE allowed to 'clear' their 'goods' es another 'gesture of goodwill' !!!

When President Premadasa removed restrictions on the transport of goods to 'unclreared' areas, large quantities of penlite batteries and cement were promptly transported to those parts of the Country, and when the charade of 'Peace' Talks which were then going on were predictably abrogated by the LTTE, well over a thousand members of our security forces and poor residents of Sinhalese and Moor villages within and around the boundaries of the Northern and Eastern Provinces lost their limbs to the small but deadly home-made anti-personnel mines called 'Johnny Mines' which were manufactured with those penlite batteries and liberally planted by the LTTE during those talks. The cement, of course, was used to build bunkers to protect the Tiger Terrorists from our troops.

Will our governments never learn ? President Jayawardene and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi were betrayed by the LTTE in 1987: President Premadasa did not learn from that betrayal and trusted the LTTE soon after assuming power in 1989 and was, in turn, betrayed by the LTTE in 1990: President Kumaratunga did not learn from the betrayals of President Jayawardene, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President Premadasa and trusted the LTTE once more upon assuming power in 1994: she was betrayed by the LTTE in 1994, and now Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has chosen to ignore the successive betrayals of President Jayawardene, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, President Premadasa and President Kumaratunga and has reposed childlike trust in the LTTE again!!

It is truly difficult to believe how the supposedly responsible and mature set of citizens who constitute our Government can be so wholly naive and ignore the overwhelming evidence beginning with the so called "Thimphu principles" which not only the Tigers but also their lickspittle lackeys now called the Tamil National Alliance projected and continue to project as being "non-negotiable principles", and the conduct and utterances of the LTTE and their lackeys after the enunciation of those so called 'principles' in 1985, which make patently evident the fact that neither the LTTE nor their lackeys will settle for anything less than a separate state or what they term 'a viable alternative to a separate state', which in simple language means a separate state in all but name for a start, and a totally separate state thereafter.

This suicidal conduct of the UNF is irreconcilable with some of its recent policy statements and declarations of intent. At the opening of Parliament, the Prime Minister announced that the Government was committed to strengthening the powers of Parliament. If that was a truthful statement how can the Government even dream of engaging in an exercise of the further devolution of legislative and executive power? - for such devolution must necessarily erode such powers as Parliament now has. The Government has also announced that it will bring to book the murderers of Udathalawinna and that the conduct of the only survivor of the murderous Politburo of the JVP, Somawansa Amarasinghe, would be probed to level charges against him for the atrocities committed by the JVP during their reign of terror in the 1988-1990 period. Horrendous though the murders at Udathalawinna and the crimes of the JVP were, they are as nothing when compared to the atrocities committed by the LTTE which include the wholesale slaughter of over 600 policemen who surrendered to them and the inhuman butchery of even sleeping infants at Gonagala. Indeed when compared to Prabhakaran and the LTTE, the murderers of Udathalawinna and Somawansa Amarasinghe would be as pure and as clean as Mother Theresa!! What then is the basis on which the Government is intent on prosecuting lesser criminals while negotiating with the vilest of criminals this Country has ever seen with a view to vesting political power in them??

The vast majority of those who voted for the UNF did not do so because of the contents of its manifesto but simply because they were so sick, tired and disgusted with the unprecedented incompetence, bungling, corruption, dishonesty and destruction of all standards under the Government of the People's Alliance [for which state of affairs, the 'born again' devotees of Ranil Wickremesinghe like S.B.Dissanaike and G.L.Peiris are as much to blame as Chandrika Kumaratunge, Anuruddha Ratwatte and Mangala Samaraweera] that they simply desired to rid the Country of the pestilence that that Government had become. They voted for the UNF despite the PA propaganda that the UNF had a pact with the LTTE because they believed that while the UNF may divide the Country if elected to power, there would be no Country left to divide if the People's Alliance was re-elected to power. Thus, on no account can the victory of the UNF be deemed to be a mandate to follow a course of action which would lead to National suicide.

The Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya appeals to the Government to draw back from the path to National suicide upon which it has now begun to tread. If the Government stubbornly insists on following that path, the questions that arise for consideration will not be whether the proposed talks will fail; or whether the LTTE will break the ceasefire; or whether there will be a bloodbath; but when the talks will fail; when the LTTE will break the ceasefire; when the bloodbath will follow; and how many will pay with their lives and limbs for the folly of the Government.


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