"SL President's duplicitous politics threatens peace"- MP
[TamilNet, Sunday, 20 June 2004, 03:08 GMT]
Delays in resumption of peace talks due to Sri Lanka President Ms Kumaratunge's continually shifting positions on the peace process, and suspected Sri Lanka Government's complicity in destabilizing the Batticaloa district, portend imminent danger to prevailing peace, said Joseph Pararajasingham, Senior Vice President of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Member of Parliament (MP), talking to TamilNet from Colombo, Sunday morning.
"When Ms Kumaratunge met the TNA parliamentarians on 10 June, on her own volition she told us at least three times that her Government is prepared to talk to the Liberation Tigers on the Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal. She said that although she wanted core issues to be discussed in parallel, since the LTTE was adamantly against a parallel discussion, she has changed her mind.
"But when she made a TV address to the Sri Lankan people on the 12 June, she changed her position again. In her address she only said Sri Lanka Government is now seeking 'a compromise' on the issue," said Mr.Pararajasingham.
The TNA MP said that Ms Kumaratunge has a tough task ahead in placating the marxist, Sinhala nationalist JVP members in her coalition who are anti-ISGA, and to play to the International community by making overtures to the LTTE to woo them to the negotiating table.
However, there is compulsion to find a way to claim much needed development funds which are tied to tangible progress in peace process, the MP said.
The parliamentarian said that Liberation Tigers cannot be expected to remain patient for very long. The need to improve living conditions of the NorthEast people is high on LTTE's list. The LTTE has to show some progress to the Tamil people soon. If this is not possible, the Tigers may react, and I fear the worst, said the MP.
The Tigers are also convinced of Sri Lanka Government's hand in encouraging elements of Security Forces trying to destabilize the east. There is some space in the east for the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) intelligence working with Tamil ex-militant groups to provoke the Tigers, Mr.Pararajasingham said.
When asked what he thought UPFA will do during the next several months, the Senior Vice President of TNA said: "The minority Government will continue in this ineffective mode at least till November when the Budget is due. There is bound to be hectic activity in buying off dissident MPs from Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) or Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) till November.
"If the Government fails to gain a majority and is defeated a second time during Budget then it has to resign according to the constitution," the MP said.
"Although one tries to be optimisitc, the opportunistic politics of the UPFA is likely to move Sri Lanka in an uncertain and dangerous path," Mr.Pararajasingham said in conclusion.