JVP demands UPFA Government to withdraw statement on interim administration

[TamilNet, Thursday, 24 February 2005, 12:53 GMT]
The radical Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a major coalition partner of the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) on Thursday demanded the government to withdraw immediately its statement - that it was ready to resume peace talks with the LTTE firstly to set up an interim administrative structure in the NorthEast region - as it goes against the stance of the coalition government. The government Information Department said in a statement on Wednesday that the government was prepared to resume talks to set up first an interim arrangement to handle the urgent humanitarian needs of the people and then proceed to discuss the final solution to the prolonged ethnic crisis.

Vimal WeerawansaAt a press conference in Colombo on Thursday afternoon, Propaganda Secretary of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), Wimal Weerawansa said that the statement of the government was totally on contrary to the policy of the UPFA and was made without the knowledge of Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, its close confidante Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar or any other senior minister of the government.

"This statement by the government information department has been made without the knowledge of the JVP, which is a major partner of the government. We have received the mandate from the people not to resume talks based on the interim administration. Therefore it should be withdrawn as soon as possible," Mr. Weerawansa said.

Although he said that the JVP would oppose strongly any move to resume talks to set up an interim structure in the North-East, he did not answer a question from the media as to what the JVP's future cause of action would be if the government‚s statement was not withdrawn.

He too did not want to set a time frame for their demand for the withdrawal of the statement.

Earlier, in a hard-hitting statement made in parliament, Mr. Weerawansa said on Thursday that there was no way that the UPFA government could resume talks to set up first the interim administration in the North-East.

"If the government attempts to first set up an interim administration according to the whims and fancies of the LTTE, we will pull out of the government with immediate effect," he said in parliament.

JVP's statement clearly comes as a face saving retaliatory move to counter President Kumaratunga‚s statement at a public rally in Nittambuwa last week, where she challenged the rhetoric JVP to quit if wanted without making empty threats.

Direct peace talks between the government and the LTTE came to a halt exactly two years ago. Both sides are now focused on rebuilding coastal communities ravaged by the Indian Ocean tsunami in December.

The JVP spokesman also said at the press conference that the party was totally against the proposed joint mechanism involving the LTTE for post-tsunami relief distribution effort.

"We are totally against the theory of a joint mechanism for the post-tsunami relief supply. The LTTE can help it, but relief supply should be handled by the government alone," said another JVP leader and, MP Nandana Gunatillaka at the press conference held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.

 

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