The Lankaweb Weekly Editorial



JVP Finds World Bank Representative's Definition Of LTTE Rights In the North and North East Contentious And Rightfully So!

It comes as no surprise that the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna finds a statement made by a Mr. Peter Harold, representative of the World Bank in Sri Lanka published in ‘Sunday Times’ on the 6th March,somewhat contentious and an affront to Sri Lanka's integrity as it violates the sovereignty of Sri Lanka and has issued a scathing press release on the 6th March 2005 which speaks volumes for the direction in which certain bipartisan LTTE supporters seem to be headed where the likes of opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe and his merrie men seem also to be a party in support as suggested by reliable sources but unconfirmed!! Perhaps their relative silence on the issue speaks for itself as an overview of their suggested leanings towards the Harold opinion!

Mr.Harold is reported to have made the statement to the newspaper regarding Tsunami aid to 'un-liberated' areas and seems to have overstepped legitimate concepts of Sri Lanka's Sovereignity by his statement and appears to have gone beyond his scope of expected activity as the representative of the World Bank in Sri Lanka. There seems to be a ring of familiarity here towards an attitude the Norwegian Peace keepers have also acquired a reputation foras the discerning mind wonders whether Norway might indeed be an inspiration for Mr.Harold's unwelcome rhetoric?

He probably needs to be brought down a peg or two towards muzzling his verbal expressionism on the topic of LTTE rights which by definition are non existent! while also reminding him of the difference by the same definition between an armed terrorist group responsible for an internal armed insurrection within a Sovereign Nation and the Sovereign Nation itself whose sole rights to its overall territories are inalienable despite being squatted on by the insurgents until they are rermoved or discouraged from continuing what Sri Lanka views as a constitutional and legal violation. It has to be borne in mind that Sri Lanka has not granted any officialdome towards any territories allegedly annexed by the LTTE in the North and East of Sri Lanka and the Harold dialogue has to be interpreted as an indiscretion to which he had no right to and thereby the indignation of the JVP and others of similar acquiescence which needs to be put in perspective!.
By his statement to the press he has directly challenged the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka as many discerning minds spearheaded by those within the JVP question? The rights of a representative of the World Bank to be officious enough say that quote " The LTTE organization maintains an unofficial state within Sri Lanka? and has probably made this contentious statement based on his conceptions of the “ceasefire agreement” signed by Ranil Wickremasinghe and Velupillai Pirapaharan. The JVP has maintained all along that it was a treacherous agreement which attempts to give statehood to separatist terrorism which has neither legitimate cause for recognition within Sri Lanka or the World nor credence towards any granting of provisions for a pro-tem administration by the LTTE in this areas which is completely false and misleading towards the reality that the LTTE's sojourn in these areas will only last until they are competely eliminated as contestants through whatever means they choose to in the face of assertive undaunting legitimate opposition towards securing the complete sovereignity of Sri Lanka pursued by the Status Quo!.

To further compound the contentiousness of this individual it has been revealed that he in his capacity as a World Bank representative has even had the affront to make undiplomatic and indiscretionary comments on the handling of internal political matters by the Sri Lankan Administration where He has blatantly suggested that it would be naïve to think that anybody could carry out operations successfully in the North and the East without having a dialogue with the Tiger organization! perhaps true by hypothetical interpretation of a pre-Tsunami perspective but somewhat unrealistic as the depletions of the LTTE of today bear testimony to and a certain sense of capitulation and subservience seems to be forthcoming by the LTTE towards their own survival which many expert analysts foresee as an eventuality should all attempts by the LTTE to regroup are effectively thwarted and the powerful forces in quest of bringing in some of its criminal element to justice be made manifest and they are coralled into submission and consequently Mr. Howard and his Aides de Camp may have to acquire new thinking caps and tone down the dialogue!
Towards the process of educating the likes of Mr.Howard who has more than likely brought disrepute to the organization he represents and also taken liberties to make references to the Patriotic National Movement and its shortcomings it needs to be made pellucidly clear that by expressing his views in this self opinionated manner it seems as though a representative of the WB has taken over the function of an opposition politician in a role critical of the ruling parties and Administration rather than a representative of the World Bank. He seems to have forgotten a basic tenet of parliamentary democtracy that an elected Sovereign State with the mandate of the people has the right to execute functions regardless of whether or not a single individual representing the World Bank such as himself defines somewhat myopically as being 'naive'and that these functions are executed not according to the mindset of this World Bank representative, but according to the wishes of the people and the constitutionalised statutes of the land.

As a response to Peter Harold, the representative of the World Bank under reference and his statement, there has been a communique issued by the JVP that it vehemently opposes the content of Mr.Harold's dialogue defining the rights of the LTTE in the North and East of Sri Lanka as he sees them and demands that the relevant statement which undermines Sovereignty of Sri Lanka and challenges the authority of the State be withdrawn immediately. If not the JVP has recommended that the World Bank should take steps to withdraw their representative immediately as expressed in the JVP communique and exhorts all patriotic forces to come forward in order to defend the Motherland from the conspiracies of local and international forces.

( The Sunday Times article of 6th March 2005 is fully re-produced here with due credits, acknowledgements and permissions)

WB giving Rs. 6 b. for Tiger areas
Country director insists LTTE a key stakeholder

The World Bank will channel six billion rupees through State agencies for the rebuilding of houses in LTTE-controlled areas but will consult the LTTE on the disbursement of funds, a senior official said yesterday.
World Bank Country Director Peter Harrold told The Sunday Times the projects were for tsunami victims and those displaced in the two decades of war. He said the World Bank was considering the LTTE as a key stakeholder.
"I have often been roasted by sections of the media and the Patriotic National Movement because they considered our consultation with the LTTE inappropriate.
"Given the fact that there is an officially recognized LTTE-controlled area, a kind of unofficial state, and since it is a party to the ceasefire agreement with the Government, the LTTE has the status of a legitimate stakeholder," he said.
Mr. Harrold said it would be naïve for anybody, including the Government, to think that they could successfully carry out operations in the North and East without having a dialogue with the LTTE or without bringing it in as a stakeholder.
The World Bank grant to the LTTE-controlled area is part of an overall aid package to Sri Lanka for the tsunami-affected and internally displaced people. The overall aid will be about 22.5 billion rupees which will be partly a grant and partly a loan on soft terms.
Of this amount, about 15 billion rupees is for the tsunami-affected and more than 70 % of this will be spent for rehabilitation and building of houses in the North and East.
Mr. Harrold said this provisional support from the World Bank had to be driven by needs and not politics. "This is a human disaster and the fact of the matter is that the housing damage by the tsunami disproportionately hit the North-East."
Of the total, 7.5 billion rupees has been allocated for people displaced by the war. "A lot of it will be used in the Wanni and the Jaffna peninsula," Mr. Harrold said.
"If you accept the basic rationale as to why the World Bank is around -- to alleviate poverty -- you will have to accept that we will work in these areas where the largest numbers of poor exist. And if we are going to work in the North and East, then it is only right and proper to talk to the LTTE and engaging with it can only be good for the peace process in Sri Lanka," the World Bank Country Director said.



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