Mud, cohabitation and MoU

‘The LTTE must be having a good laugh at the dissension within the Cabinet’, the President is reported to have said (The Island 27/7) referring to the tug of war between the Head of State and some Ministers.

In the TNL Janahanda programme telecast on July 22, refering to Ministers Ravi Karunanayake’s alleged bomb allegation, Minister W. J. M. Lokubandara said that he will never believe that the Head of State would carry bombs. Told by the moderator (Chamuditha) that ‘it is your government that levelled such allegation’, the Minister said that it is not the government’s view.

Samurdhi Minister S. B. Dissanayake, speaking on Rupavahini on July 28 said that the President had abused him and his wife in the Polonnaruwa speech. If we go back a little further to the pre-2001 Dec. election period, people can recollect how the Minister insulted the President in an election rally, telecast on Rupavahini, where he said that, ‘when the new government is formed, the President will be stripped and sent home in her...’. Insulting and abusing each other is nothing but an integral part of our present day political culture.

‘I am obliged to be a lone figure in the Cabinet room among 32 hostile ministers, some of whom are shockingly rude and untruthful’, the President had stated in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister (The Island 30/7). With the government in this woeful shape, no wonder that needs of the masses are relegated to the background, with the cost of living skyrocketing and the LTTE all set to form its own administration in N/E.

July 27, The Island published the UTHR Special Report No.14, where it is stated that, ‘At the time of last December election, the LTTE clearly understood afrom leading members of the UNP, that a new UNP government would give them (the LTTE) control of N/E expeditiously’.

As the government media blitz continues with the savoury news of the ‘Cabinet pickle’, ‘the setting up of an interim administration in N/E, among other issues, had been discussed between the Prime Minister’s special emissary, Minister Milinda Moragoda and LTTE chief negotiator in London’. (The Island 29/7) This proves above UTHR-J report that, ‘UNP had preconceived plans to hand over N-E power to LTTE’, to be correct.

‘The Hindu’ journalist Nirupama Subramanian, in an article titled. ‘Change your Leader’, published in The Island on 26/7 says that, ‘Mr. Prabhakaran’s brand of terror has not just been directed against perceived enemies outside the Tamil community, but also inward, against the very people he claims to lead’. Pointing that there is an extradition order on Prabhakaran, the writer says that, ‘A change of leadership might not only mean that, Indian political interest in Prabhakaran would cease to pose a threat to the peace process, it might also hasten a solution to the conflict’.

A pragmatic approach at solving the conflict was mooted in August 2000 when the draft Constitution was presented in Parliament, after lengthy deliberations with party leaders, clergy, Tamil and Muslim delegates etc. aimed at devolving power in the N/E to people’s representatives. But, having agreed to support the Bill in Parliament, UNP turned table and created havoc, scuttling a historic opportunity. ‘UNP MPs engaged in incessant table thumping, tearing, burning and throwing of order books towards the government benches, hurling unprintable abuse and vile epithets when the President presented the draft Constitution in Parliament, reported the Daily News of 4/8/2000.

Evidently, the ‘understanding’ to hand over the N/E to Tiger terrorists existed even at that time. Hence, UNP’s derailing the process of devolving power to elected representatives, paving the way for the LTTE to come to the centre stage as ‘sole representatives of the Tamil people’.

So-called MOU has made a Frankenstein Monster out of LTTE to devour innocent people in N/E as vividly described in UTHR-J reports. With State patronage to back LTTE manoeuvres, it would be a herculean task to turn the tide to prevent separation of Sri Lanka.

Stanley Weerasinghe