Amarasinghes newspeak on presidential gobbledegook
The rebuke by JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, of President Kumaratunga in his May Day message smacks of the tactics and wiles of the terror ideologue, Anton Balasingham, who kicks the government where it hurts most while talking and shaking hands with it. Amarasinghes message, one may argue, sounds accommodative and supportive of his partys honeymoon with the PA but he true to form, clobbers the President for not being bold enough to take steps to prevent Eelam from coming into being.
The JVP leader appears to have learnt from other Red Shirts who have been running with the masses and hunting with SLFP-led coalitions. By being critical of the PAs policy on the core issue, which is the basis of the proposed alliance. Amarasinghe apparently keeps an excuse ready at the very outset so that the JVP can walk away at a future date placing the blame squarely on the PA if something goes wrong with the alliance or if the alliance fails to deliver as promised.
Amarasinghe is being, in a way, no different from the President. As she supports the peace process that she is critical of so is he willing to work with the President whose stand on the peace process he criticises.
He asks the President how she could be supportive of the peace process the outcome of which - emergence of a de facto terror state - she is opposed to and wants her to take the first step to put a stop to it. "The President has been consistently opposed to the creation of a separate state, but only in word," Amarasinghe has said adding that if no prompt action is taken by her, "she runs the risk of becoming an executive president who allowed the country to be divided simply by refusing to exercise her powers."
When we asked in these columns on April 25 (De facto terror-state and PAs hypocrisy) what steps the President had taken vis-`E0-vis the de facto separate state that she is talking about, and pointed out that the PAs stand on the peace process was neither clear nor devoid of hypocrisy, we had the top guns of the Presidential Secretariat booming. They faulted in a reply (April 28) not only the contents of our editorial but its tone and tenor as well and even accused us of partiality towards the Prime Minister and animus towards her. We put the matter to rest with our response in another editorial.
The Presidential Secretariat having trained its propaganda cannon on us, it will be interesting to see how those worthies will react to Amarasinghes comments and the tone and the tenor thereof.
Ironically, the JVP leader who slams the President for not taking that bold step the JVP wants her to take, has stopped short of specifying what it is. The JVP being the self appointed saviour of the nation, it is unbecoming of its leader Amarasinghe not to spell out what the JVP expects of the President by way of saving the country before forging an alliance with her party.
Moreover, the JVP must also make its position known on the PAs devolution Package, which it opposed tooth and nail and was instrumental in shooting down in Parliament in 2000. For this purpose, it should be recalled, the JVP even joined forces with its bete noire, the UNP, one of whose parliamentarians burnt a copy of the Package on the floor of the House. Prominent PA leaders including the President herself still cling to this Package as the only way out. And most of them are not averse to federalism, which is, their critics say, what the Package is all about. Thus, there is hardly any difference between the PAs solution and the one that the UNF has agreed in principle. What would Mr. Amarasinghe, who wants to work with the PA, say to this?
The height of JVPs hypocrisy was its policy U-turn on India. During its reign of terror from 1987-89, its anti-Indian campaign became so intense that in trying to get rid of the IPKF in the NE, it resorted to gunning down even petty traders selling Indian goods in the South. Selling the so-called Bombay onions was an offence that was punishable by death at the hands of JVP death dealers. The Indian army was sent back later by President Premadasa and the LTTE moved in to fill the vacuum. Today, the JVP has asked for Indias help to keep the LTTE at bay. In January we carried a picture of the JVP Propaganda Secretary attending a function at the India House. So much for the consistency of JVP policies and its credibility!
This volte face notwithstanding, now that the JVP leader has spoken up on the Workers Day calling upon the President to make so bold as to exercise her executive powers to save the country, he must tell her what exactly she should do and how she should set about it.
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