Sri Lanka President’s ally slams Armitage

[TamilNet, Friday, 02 January 2004, 16:25 GMT]
The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the main political ally of President Kumaratunga, slammed US Assistant Secretary of State Mr. Richard Armitage for interfering in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs in a strongly worded statement Friday. The Sinhala nationalist party was reacting to Mr. Armitage’s comment Monday that “the current political impasse in Sri Lanka cannot be allowed to continue”. The JVP said that Mr. Armitage’s statement was made in a threatening manner.

The party, which has been negotiating for many months to forge a political coalition with President Kumaratunga’s People’s Alliance, charged that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party is bringing in foreign third parties to mediate an internal political dispute and thereby trying to intimidate its opponents.

The JVP and an alliance of Sinhala nationalist and extremist groups have been campaigning against Sri Lanka’s peace process, accusing it of being part of an "American imperialist plot to divide the island and destabilize India."

The JVP is Marxist revolutionary organization which tried to capture state power in two botched insurrections in 1971 and 1988-90. In recent years the party has turned stridently Sinhala nationalist, opposing any kind of power sharing with the Tamils.

While incessantly lambasting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party of being a stooge to US interests, it supported President Kumaratunga when she took over the ministries of defense, interior and media last November on the grounds that her move helped negate America’s growing influence in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.

The JVP’s detractors allege that the party is covertly funded by India.

 

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