3RD LEAD (UPDATE)

Time for Colombo to defeat LTTE with political solution: U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka

[TamilNet, Saturday, 25 October 2008, 10:16 GMT]
"The U.S. view is that the [Sri Lankan] government could further isolate and weaken the LTTE if it articulates now its vision for a political solution," said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake while addressing an interactive session at the University of Madras on Friday, The Hindu reported. While ruling out the military option, Mr. Blake has alluded that the U.S. position was to militarily weaken the LTTE to defeat it politically. The United States has been a key player of the Co-Chairs for the Sri Lankan process, which has been managed by the facilitation of Norway till Sri Lanka unilaterally withdrew from the ceasefire.

Commenting on the U.S. Ambassador's views, Tamil National Alliance MP and the leader of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) Selvam Adaikkalanathan told TamilNet Saturday that the U.S. policy was "fundementally flawed" on three aspects. First, the United States has approached one of the major national questions of the contemporary world as an 'LTTE-centric problem' to be defeated. Secondly, it has failed to grasp the reality of half a century old post-colonial lessons in Sri Lanka that Colombo would never be prepared to offer a viable solution to a weakened Tamil side, and thirdly, it contributed to weakening the diplomatic balance of power by isolating the LTTE and by hinting Sri Lanka and other countries to adopt a military solution.

"Approaching national questions solely on the basis of geo-poltical interests and overlooking crucial ideological and humanitarian quests of peoples is not a healthy approach to powers that seek to guide the world," Mr. Adaikkalanathan said. "The United States is reaping the economic results of its global policies."

The U.S. Ambassador has observed in Chennai that the U.S. ban on the LTTE, which was followed by several other countries, has cut the flow of money and weapons to the Tigers adding that the "result of which could be seen in their recent military defeats."

Refusing to comment on the rising voice in Tamil Nadu for Indian pressure on Sri Lanka, the U.S. Ambassador has said India and the United States could use their "strategic partnership to good effect in Sri Lanka," The Hindu reported.

"The greatest failure of the last 25 years has been the failure of the main Sinhalese parties to reach agreement," the paper quoted Mr. Blake as saying.

The Hindu report summarised the U.S. view expressed by Mr. Blake in following words: "Moving forward on a political solution would have three-fold benefits - to reassure 2,00,000 refugees in the Vanni region that they can move south and aspire to a better future; to disprove the LTTE's claim of being the sole representative of Sri Lanka's Tamils; and to persuade Tamils overseas to stop funding the LTTE."

However, the U.S. Ambassador, who admitted that his government earlier helped the Sri Lankan military, said the United States has recently effected a complete freeze on all military assistance to Sri Lanka.

 

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