Kumaratunga critisises media, opposition
[TamilNet, Monday, 03 January 2000, 22:42 GMT]
Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike said that she will bring the war to an end this year in her first interview cum speech for 2000 in the state run TV tonight. She spoke for more than three hours, from 8.30 p.m to 11.45 p.m. The President harshly criticized sections of the independent media in Sri Lanka for working against her.
She said that several media proprietors were the relatives of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the opposition and described some media persons as the poisonous creatures of society.
The President also named some of the journalists whom she bitterly excoriated during the speech.
Kumaratunga said that she was the only woman in the world who has been unjustly denigrated and disgraced by the media.
The program was patently conceived as an interview with the President. The interviewer, however, asked a few questions and receded into the background as she began to talk at length. The program was interrupted briefly when the President coughed and said that it causing pain in her head.
Commenting on the results of the Presidential elections, she argued that it was natural for a government that had been in power for four years to lose some of its popularity at an election. It was due to a conspiracy by the United National Party and the Liberation Tigers that she failed to get the majority of the votes in the north and east the President charged.
Kumaratunga spent more than half her time on TV talking about her personal and political life- about her father, husband, her childhood, student days, people whom she met in politics etc.,
She accused the Liberation Tigers, the UNP and the JVP (People's Liberation Front) of sabotaging her plans and said that the LTTE has been trying to kill her during the last five years of her twenty two years in politics. The President described the leader of the Liberation Tigers as a very evil person but claimed that she is nevertheless prepared to negotiate with him to bring about peace. She iterated that she will bring the war to an end by this year.