'Onward with the war' say Sinhala nationalists

[TamilNet, Saturday, 26 May 2001, 16:45 GMT]
"The need of the hour is not peace negotiations but to prosecute the war correctly. We should not think about how to negotiate peace but only about conducting the war victoriously. Sri Lanka is the homeland of the Sinhala people. No part of it can be the homeland of a minority. Autonomy and self-determination should not be granted or recognised", resolved a conference of Buddhist monks, leading Sinhala Buddhist businessmen, intellectuals and retired senior officers of the Sri Lankan security forces in Colombo Saturday. The conference was organised, according to a spokesman, to "consider the implications of the forthcoming peace talks and the constitutional proposals on the country". Meanwhile, Colombo stated categorically Saturday that it will not lift the proscription of the Liberation Tigers as a pre-requisite for starting talks.

madhuluwawe_sobitha.jpgThe conference was held in the main hall of the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress in Colombo this afternoon. The Ven. Madhuluwawe Sobitha, the outspoken Sinhala nationalist Buddhist monk was the chief guest.

The National Sangha Council, the National Joint Committee, Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya (The Organisation of the Sinhala Race) and the Moubima Surakeema Sanvidanaya (The Movement to save the Motherland) were the main organisations involved in the conference today.

The Sinhala Jathika Sangamaya is one of the oldest Sinhala nationalist organisations in Sri Lanka. The National Sangha Council is the main body that represents the Buddhist clergy in the island.

The conference said that the Provincial Council system should be abolished. The provincial councils were established under a treaty between India and Sri Lanka in 1987. Tamils say that it offers only a semblance of regional autonomy as no legislative or executive power can be devolved to a regional body under the unitary state as defined by Sri Lanka's present constitution.

The conference said that the Sri Lankan government cannot and should not treat the Liberation Tigers as equals in negotiations. If it is so it would be tantamount to negotiating with them as rulers of a separate country.

The conference resolved to meet again.

Related Feature:

05.09.1999: TamilNet:

Monks and soldiers trod war road together


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