All party backing sought for war

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 May 2000, 16:56 GMT]
"The government doesn't intend stopping the war. The Tigers wont be allowed to advance any further in Jaffna" said Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga addressing an all party meeting convened today to discuss the military crisis in the north. A proposal that all parties should unanimously resolve to defeat the Liberation Tigers was objected to by the Tamil United Liberation Front although the President was in agreement with this suggestion of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna and the Sinhala Mahasammata Bhoomiputra party.

The President asserted that the Sri Lankan army will not allow the Liberation Tigers to advance any further in the Jaffna peninsula. She claimed that all efforts by her government to start negotiations with the Liberation Tigers, including mediation by Norway, have come to nought.

She is prepared to negotiate with the Tigers only if they give up violence, the President said; and she called on all the parties present to extend their co-operation to win the war against the Tigers and to resolve the ethnic conflict.

The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, a Sinhala nationalist party, proposed that all the parties present at the meeting should unanimously resolve to lend all their support to condemn and to defeat the Liberation Tigers.

The Sinhala Mahasammata Bhoomiputra party, another Sinhala nationalist group, supported the MEP's proposal. The President was also in agreement with the move when the Vice President of the TULF, Mr. Aanandasangari raised an objection, saying that the LTTE cannot be called terrorist and that the meeting could instead resolve to support a federal system as a solution to the Tamil problem.

The MEP proposal was dropped in the face of objections from the Tamils.

The Deputy Minister for Defence, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte explained the military situation in the north with the aid of a map of Jaffna. He said that reinforcements are being sent by the army to Jaffna. The minister explained how the Tigers are using the 122 m.m howitzers and the 152 m.m. artillery gun in their current offensive into Jaffna.

The representative of the TELO questioned as to why the government had not sought India's help to mediate in the conflict. He was told that there was no official communication on the matter from the Indian government. The ex-chief minister of the ill fated northeastern province, Mr. A. Varatharajaperumal interjected to quip that it is the patient who should seek the doctor and not vice versa.

He said that the Tamil people will continue to support the Tigers as long a solution is not found for the Tamil problem. The Tigers are getting millions of rupees from Tamils abroad after the fall of the Elephant Pass base Mr. Perumal pointed out.

The Sinhala Bhoomiputra party said that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist nation but there are Tamil terrorists all over the country and that the government should destroy Tamil terrorism.

EPDP MP Mr.S.Sivathsan said that his party completely backs the government's war against the Liberation Tigers. He said that everyone is blaming the government alone but that the Tigers have displaced people. Therefore, the war against the Tigers should be carried on with, according to Mr. Sivathasan.

The Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), the People's Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), the Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), the Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF - Both Perumal and Suresh factions), and the Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) took part in the meeting today. The United National Party, the Sri Lanka Muslim and many other parties took part.

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna walked out, objecting to the two hour delay in commencing the meeting which was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Participants had to wait until the President arrived around 12 noon.

 

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