New deadline for 'Jayasikirui'
[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 August 1998, 18:39 GMT]
Operation Jayasikirui, the Sri Lankan military's offensive to open the A9 highway to the Jaffna peninsula needs to completed within three to four months, said Mr. G. L. Peiris , Sri Lanka's minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
He said that five of Sri Lanka's eight provinces had originally planned to go to the polls on August 28, but the elections had to be postponed to accommodate the Sri Lankan military's Vanni requirements.
Mr. Peiris went on to say that due to the military operation, which has reached a 'critical stage', the Sri Lankan Army could not be called back to assist in the electoral process and hence the elections had had to put off.
When a question was put to him by a journalist, who said the 'a critical stage' was an euphemism for a 'stalled' in reality, as to what the government would do if the situation continued indefinitely, the Minister replied that the elections were the basis of democracy, so polls could not be delayed for ever.
Mr. Peiris stressed that the war situation was not a pretext for the postponement of the polls, but the opening of the highway would reduce the huge cost of delivering supplies to Jaffna, and take territory from the LTTE.