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Tiger Rebels are either black or white but not both

By Eric Fernando A.T.F.A., A.C.M.A.


It is pleasing to note that JVP will ensure the cancellation of the Norwegian brokered cease fire agreement with the Tamil Tiger Rebels once they win the elections.

It was also pleasing to note that JVP is opposed to devolution of power and even the concept of provincial councils established in line with the Indo-Lanka peace accord of July 1987.

The essence of devolution is transfer of power from a central authority or government to a government in a local region. Devolution of power would recognise that two countries did exist in the past and pave the basis for official recognition of Eelam with powers including tax raising and legal procedures. It would be the first step to the establishment of Eelam.

It is further pleasing to hear JVP's commitment to chase the Norwegians as they were always biassed in favour of LTTE.

While the JVP deserves credit up to that point, one wonders, the necessity to negotiate "peace" with LTTE while describing them as Tiger Rebels.

It is one thing to discuss the just grievances of Tamil people (if any) with the authentic representatives but the JVP must understand that a Tiger Rebel is a Tiger Ribel.

You cant paint the Tiger Rebels black and white at the same time.

Colombo, February 15
Sri Lanka's main Marxist party, JVP, which entered into an electoral pact with president Chandrika Kumaratunga's party on Sunday vowed to scrap the ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels if they won the April general elections.

The radical JVP, or the People's Liberation Front said they were totally opposed to the Norwegian-brokered truce that went into effect from February 2002 and would insist on replacing it with a new one negotiated by them.

"The ceasefire agreement Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe secretly signed with the Tamil Tigers is clearly a threat to national security. We have always said we will totally reject it," JVP leader Wimal Weerawansa said.

He was quoted as saying in the pro-JVP Sinhalese language weekly paper 'Lanka' that their new ally, Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) will have to come to an understanding with them on the ceasefire issue.

Weerawansa said they were already working on an alternate memorandum of understanding to be reached with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ensuring that national security was not endangered.

He said they were willing to negotiate peace with the LTTE based on "reasonable demands" but insisted that the party was opposed to devolution of power and even the concept of provincial councils established in line with the Indo-Lanka peace accord of July 1987.
Weerawansa said the JVP was also opposed to political devolution of power and wanted the decentralisation of the administration instead.

The JVP and the SLFP inked an agreement on January 20 to contest snap elections hoping to oust the government of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a rival of the president.
Wickremesinghe, who came to power in December 2001 elections by defeating Kumaratunga's party, entered into a truce with the Tigers and opened peace negotiations which were supported internationally.

However, the sacking of his government by Kumaratunga last week, nearly four years ahead of schedule has cast doubts over the peace process and Tiger rebels have warned that the dissolution of parliament was a "grave setback."

The Tigers have also described the JVP as "Taliban of Sri Lanka," a reference to the leftist party's recent stance to distance themselves from their Marxist origins and take a more nationalistic line.
The president and the prime minister have been at logger heads over the handling of the Norwegian-backed peace process aimed at ending three decades of ethnic bloodshed that has claimed over 60,000 lives.

Peace broker Norway suspended its role here in November, shortly after the president sacked three ministers and took over the defence, interior and information portfolios. JVP's Weerawansa said if elected, they will also curtail imports of "non-essential" and would encourage local production.


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