Ranil's India visit worries PA

[TamilNet, Friday, 10 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The leader of the UNP Mr.Ranil Wickremesinghe will make an official visit to India on Oct.13. He is scheduled to meet with the Indian Prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral and top officials of India's foreign ministry during the visit.

PA circles in Colombo say that the visit is timed to help the UNP leader avoid the Parliamentary Select Committee sitting on Oct.14. If the UNP is absent on that day when the PA has to present its proposal on the unit of devolution as an official document then the SL government will be compelled to submit the document as a majority report of the PSC to Parliament.

The UNP may desist from submitting a dissenting report for it thinks that the PA would use it to bring down the party's standing with the minorities.

The PA government is quite worried about the visit. "The package is nowhere mentioned in the agenda for Ranil's discussions in Delhi" observed a Sinhala political analyst who writes a well informed column under the pen name Raasin on Thurdays in Lankadeepa, the popular Sinhala daily.

The visit is bound to perturb the PA government which was hoping that Delhi would put pressure on the Tamil parties and the UNP to come to a compromise on its devolution package.

The Lankadeepa political analyst quite rightly observes that Ranil has remained aloof from the PA's package politics without antagonizing India by harping on the thirteenth amnedment.

Sri Lanka's opposition is working on the basis that the Indian establishment would favour the preservation of the 13th amendment which was the direct result of the Indo-Lanka Accord said the analyst 'Raasin'.

Other political observers in Colombo pointed out that the visit could be more significant in the light of the fact that Ranil not only harps on the thirteenth amendment but also on the urgent need to begin negotiations on settlement with the Liberation Tigers.

 

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