Asking for the moon
The LTTE is now slowly coming out of the mists and making known the outlines of its strategy. Today, we publish a report from the Hindustan Times on what the leader of the political wing of the terrorist group, Tamilchelvam had told a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance. Also, a letter of the organisations spokesman Anton Balasingham to the deputy Norwegian Foreign Minister Vidar Hegelson.
Tamilchelvam had said that the LTTE has rejected the proposals made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe for the replacement of the present Sub Committee on Immediate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Needs of the north and east(SIHRN) by an establishment with wider powers a North East Development Reconstruction Council (DRC). The demands cited by him, if the LTTE is to participate in the proposed Tokyo Conference are: Establishment of an Interim Council for the North and East which would be (a) fully autonomous (b) under complete control of the LTTE and (c) entirely outside constitution of Sri Lanka.
If the LTTE intends to stampede the government of Prime Minister Wickremasinghe into taking extra constitutional measures before June 9 when the conference is scheduled to commence, they are expecting the government to perform an impossible task. Given the slender majority it has in parliament with the executive President Chandrika Kumaratunga expressing extreme dissatisfaction with the Peace Process, any such suicidal move would lead to dissolution of parliament. It would also be tantamount to political hara- kiri by Mr Wickremasinghe.
Anton Balasinghams letter to the Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister is less specific and less demanding. It appears to provide some leeway. But Balasingham does quote Prabakarans discussion with the Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Peterson where the demand has been made for a new innovative structure for the Northeast with adequate legal authority and legal status for implementation of humanitarian and development activities. Balasinghams letter, unlike Tamilchelvam does not specify that the proposed Interim Administration should be completely controlled by the LTTE but says that the Tiger leadership proposes an interim administration structure with greater participation of the LTTE in both decision making and delivery of the tasks of rebuilding the war damaged economy...
There is much ambiguity expressed in the demands made by the LTTE but this is not something new. Such ambiguity has been the hallmark of the statements that have been made by Balasingham and other leaders, particuarly since the Peace Process commenced.
But the overall demand that is being made is clear. The LTTE wants an Interim Administration for themselves to run the north and east.
The tone of Balasinghams letter indicates that the LTTE does not want control by outside bodies of an administration that is to be given the north and east. He notes that Prime Minister Wickremasinghes proposal will be eventually subject to parliament and adds: more importantly the donor community is given the final determination of the establishment of the DRC.
While the LTTE pats itself on it back for its initial sweet reasonableness in accepting Prof. G.L. Peiriss pleas of legal and constitutional constraints involved in the formation of an administrative body outside the parameters of the constitution, they are now turning a blind eye to the fact that these legal and constitutional constraints still exist.
All this indecent hurry it appears to be not so much for getting control of the administration but rather the millions of dollars that they expect to be pledged at the Tokyo conference. The ultimate control of the millions of dollars that may come in, outweighs the risks involved-even in the conference being stalled or even cancelled. That is the only plausible answer to the question of the Tokyo Conference being made held as ransom.
The LTTE correctly points out that Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe openly campaigned at the last election in support of an interim administration with active participation of the LTTE. But they do fail recognise the fact that he could not win an outright majority and therefore has no mandate of the people to go ahead with such an administration. The government is being propped up by some pro LTTE members but it could collapse drastically if those not in support of such an interim administration were asked to decide the issue.
On the other hand, has the LTTE acted in a manner to give strength and confidence to Prime Minister Wickremasinghe to appeal to the Sinhala electorate that such an interim administration should be established because the LTTE can be trusted? The gross violations of the existing laws as well as the Memorandum of Understanding have made not only Sinhalese but even Tamils suffering under the jackboot of Prabakaran shun away from such an Interim Administration.
To ask for an Interim Administration before June 9 is asking for the moon. The foreign nations involved who have been boosting the ego of these terrorists now have a major task to perform for the sake of peace in this land.They have to deflate the ego of the megalomaniac in the Wanni and make him see reason. The United States government and other nations that have taken up the challenge to bring back peace to Lanka have now to perform the tasks expected of them.
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