Opposition slams government over attack

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 July 2001, 22:35 GMT]
Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the Marxist Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) have appealed to President Chandrika Kumaratunge to reconvene the prorogued parliament immediately. Both parties made this appeal in the wake of Liberation Tigers’ dawn attack on Katunayake airbase in the early hours of Tuesday morning. " The government is in breach of its duty to protect Katunayake international airport," said the UNP leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe, addressing a press conference Tuesday evening.

“The LTTE warned the government on July 2nd that air strikes are provocative aggression and calculated escalation and they said that the Sri Lankan government should bear the total responsibility for the adverse consequences that might arise from its mistaken strategy of escalating the condition of war in the Tamil homeland,” he said.

“The government knows this. The LTTE's warning was carried in the Tamil web and it was confirmed today in a statement issued by the Media and Information Minister Mr.Anura Priyadarshana Yapa," Mr. Wickremasinghe said.

The UNP leader further said: "The army in Jaffna is deprived of air support, because a number of fighter planes and helicopters have been destroyed. This can tilt the balance towards LTTE's advantage. All that President Chandrika wanted was to blame others"

Referring the present political crisis, he added, "President Chandrika cannot solve the problems of the country. We, the UNP have no power or intend to prevent the President for going towards her own destruction. However we cannot let the President take this country to its destruction. We have a duty to prevent it and we will do so. At this stage of our national crisis, we demand from the President that the parliament be resummoned immediately."

The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) issued a statement today blaming the government for its failure to protect the country's only international airport and the main airforce base in Colombo. "The President should take the responsibility for the present situation that followed the dawn attack by LTTE. We demand that the suspended parliament be re-summoned immediately" the JVP said in its statement.


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