Elections only after military victory: Ratwatte
[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister for Defence General Anuruddha Ratwatte told the Sinhala daily Lankadeepa, today that Provincial council elections to the northeast would be held only after the army succeeds in opening the main road to Jaffna from Vavuniya.
The elections to the provincial councils which were established under the provisions of the Indo-Lanka treaty in 1987 are due in April 1998. The Sri Lankan government dissolved the only provincial government which was imposed on the Tamils of the northeast region of Sri Lanka (their traditional homelands) in 1990.
Since then it has indefinitely postponed elections to the Northeastern P.C under various weak pretexts but has also withdrawn the meagre cosmetic powers granted to this council.
That the Deputy minister for Defence has stated this is a clear indication of the Sri Lankan government's inability to push to the north through the perfidious jungles of the Vanni.
Although some Tamil politicians and intellectuals have privately suggested it to the PA regime that an election to the Northeastern provincial council would create the conditions for weaning Tamil youth away from the Liberation Tigers, the Chandrika government is still suspicious of the ultimate motives of the ex-Tamil militant groups based in Colombo whose support is necessary now to have the Parliament function smoothly.
The 'General's reply is a classic example of a semi seasoned politician's delaying tactics said a military analyst based in Chennai, in South India.