English translation of the parliamentary speech made by Mr. Wimal Weerawansa
Let me thank you, first of all, for giving me this opportunity to make a statement on a matter that has arisen which is nationally important.
The third anniversary of the signing of the ceasefire agreement between the tiger organization and the UNP regime that was in power then was on the 23rd of this month. On behalf of this occasion the Director of Information of the Government issued to the media a state communiqué dated 22nd February, 2005 on 23rd February, 2005.
In the third paragraph of the statement it is stated that the Government, continues to be ready to reopen direct negotiations with the LTTE on the establishment of an interim authority to meet the urgent humanitarian and development needs of the people of the North and the East and to proceed thereafter to negotiating a final settlement of the ethnic conflict.
According to what is stated in this communiqué, establishment of an interim authority .and to proceed thereafter to negotiating a final settlement of the ethnic conflict.. has become the stand of the government.
We are not aware how this new stand of the government came into being. As a principal party of the United Peoples Freedom Alliance, none has discussed the need to arrive at such a stand nor any matters relating to that.
The stand that we have agreed upon according to the discussions we have had as the UPFA Government is not this. We all have agreed to a process of discussions which is aimed only at devising a final solution based on democracy. The discussions should be held based on arriving at a final solution. We have already agreed to a temporary administrative structure that is constrained with a final solution to be established in areas directly involved in the conflict. This should be done after an agreement is reached for a final solution and for a short period to implement it. Other than this, no agreement was reached between the parties of UPFA to establish an interim authority without any discussion of a final political solution.
We have before us a question as to where these new lines are hatched without even having any agreement reached after discussions! A government communiqué is an important announcement. It cannot be discarded as a speech made on a stage. Also the state policy announced by the communiqué too is an important one. We cannot ignore the relevant communiqué as the common stand of the government on the process of discussion has been conclusively changed so that it degrades to that of the tigers stand on it. Why dont those who instruct issuing of such communiqués realize the need to come to an agreement between the parties of the Government before issuing a communiqué on such a sensitive question? An Alliance Government is not a government of a dictatorship of a single party or an individual. Hence, the stubborn decisions of an individual cannot be the common stand of an Alliance Government. Also, these decisions need not be state decisions. There should be a possibility of having discussions among the parties of the Alliance to come to an agreement before announcing a stand different to one that had been accepted before. This is one of the most primary needs of democracy. When a decisive change is made to a sensitive stand that had been accepted and before it is announced as the stand of the government discussing it in the cabinet and with the group of Members of Parliament is vitally important. However, state policies are getting changed and being announced mysteriously. The present government has no right to take stubborn decisions such as the one that has been taken. For, this is a government of many parties and in the mandate received by this Government there is no authority given to establish an interim administrative authority and then pretend to have discussions for a final solution.
We dont oppose taking steps to fulfill the humanitarian needs of the people living in the North and the East. Also, we have no opposition for entering a process of discussion with the tiger organization to find a final solution based on democracy. What we oppose is the hazardous steps taken, on the pretext of meeting the urgent humanitarian and development needs of the people of the North and the East or to strengthen the process of peace to ensure that war would not occur again, that would give the tiger organization separate statehood. Talking about having discussions after establishing an interim authority becomes a joke as there would be nothing to talk about once the separatist terrorist force is given statehood.
It is for this reason we dont agree with the ceasefire agreement signed between former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghes regime and the tiger organization. It is admirable to have a ceasefire or a termination to the war. However, we cant agree to present statehood to a separatist, terrorist organization on the pretext of such a ceasefire. It is evident that many steps have been taken to give statehood or the position of a separate state to the tiger organization by the relevant ceasefire agreement. It is with this agreement the military power of the tiger organization was named as an Army. Only a sovereign state or an administrative structure resembling a state can have Armies from such agreements. Using the same term for the security forces of a sovereign state recognized internationally and for the armed gang of separatist terrorist is not a simple matter. It is in this agreement that the Government of Sri Lanka officially accepted, before the international community, the existence of new administrative areas called territories administered by tiger organization. For some this may seem hanging on to words! But the truth they cannot comprehend is, on a future day when the UNO takes a decision about our country they would consider these agreements and the words included in them.
Anyone can be happy saying lives and property have been saved by establishing a ceasefire agreement. However, this is not an absolute truth as the tiger organization continues to carry on, throughout the history of the ceasefire agreement, a war that is sheltered by the ceasefire agreement. The day commemorated by some as the third anniversary of the ceasefire agreement was celebrated by tiger organization by murdering a soldier of Sri Lanka Army. The prerogative right of the Government of Sri Lanka for its national defense and sovereignty has been restrained by this agreement called ceasefire agreement. Also the exercise of the tiger organization and the international partners which support it is to use the ceasefire agreement to mark time until the opportune time arrives for the birth of a separate state.
Demand by certain international powers to establish a machinery to distribute aid received by Sri Lanka to reconstruct the country devastated by tsunami tidal waves is to give more opportunity for the tiger organization to reach statehood. Attempts of all powers that have ganged together to divide Sri Lanka would do everything to get statehood to the tiger organization. By doing so, who ever likes it or not, the future aim of the said international powers is to get recognition for a Tamil Elam State.
We have comprehended this well though others may not. We have also recognized, though others may not have, the international scroungers, their NGO agents and political cronies who are craving to divide our beloved Motherland. We would like to emphasize that the existence of separatist terrorism depends not on its own strength but the strength of these alien powers who manipulate it. Though others may have intermediary agreements with them for various reasons, we dont. We would never have any halfway peace with wicked, immoral intentions of dividing the Motherland. Hence, whoever takes steps to grant statehood to the tiger organization will be opposed by us. We would like to emphasize that what should be established in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces is not fascist dictatorship of the tiger organization but democracy. We resolutely reject the latest stand announced in the government announcement mysteriously issued yesterday (23rd) of establishing an interim administration first and then discussing a final solution and if the present government arrives at such a step we would like to emphasize that we will discontinue to be a party to the Government.
We emphasize that we would never allow anyone to shatter the confidence the patriotic people have had in us in the General election of 2004.
Leader of the Group of Parliamentarians of the JVP.
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