‘If IA is outside constitution so is MoU’
Most Tamil parties justify LTTE demand

by Franklin R. Satyapalan

Most of the Tamil political parties were of the view that the LTTE’s request for an interim council for the north-east was nothing new and was justified but it only could be solved through direct talks and dialogue.

The Tamil political parties were commenting on LTTE’s rejection of the government’s proposals and the organisation insisting on draft framework for interim administration to resume talks.

TULF General Secretary MP R. Sampanthan was away in India and EPRLF General Secretary Suresh Premachandran, ACTC MP Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam and TULF MP N. Raviraj being in Jaffna were unable to be contacted.

The leader of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), MP and representative of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy said yesterday that it was not too late to restart negotiations with the LTTE.

As the government entered into a ceasefire agreement (MoU) with the LTTE on February 22, 2002 after lengthy discussions and negotiations with the LTTE a final solution to the ethnic question will depend on the negotiations carried out between the government and the sole representative of the Tamil people, the LTTE.

This government during the last parliamentary elections stated in its manifesto and got a mandate to grant an Interim Administration for the LTTE in the north-east.

So what is wrong in the LTTE’s request for such an administrative structure at the time when large amounts of funds are expected to be spent for the rehabilitation, reconstruction, resettlement and development of the northeast?

Now one cannot give an excuse or explanation that such an administration would not come within the constitution. If that is so even the signing of the ceasefire agreement with the LTTE was also outside the constitution.

So if you want to stop the war and bring a permanent solution to the ethnic problem after discussions with the LTTE one will have to come to terms with the LTTE and not with anyone else.

The former government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga made the same mistake of ignoring the LTTE. So attempts at peace failed, so I hope Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would not make the same mistake as it is not too late even now.

The leader of the PLOTE and DPLF MP Dharmalingam Siddharthan said yesterday that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe stated clearly in his election manifesto and got a mandate from the people to grant an interim administration to the LTTE in the north-east.

I believe that the LTTE should also have been patient until the draft of the proposed interim administration was put forward by the government to actually know how it would be structured.

It is too early to reject something on a mere statement by the Prime Minister, still we believe that these problems could be sorted out through dialogue between the government and the LTTE.

As the Prime Minister also has stated that no solution could be found by the exchange of letters and that only through direct talks any problem could be solved.

So we urge both the parties, the government and the LTTE, to get back to direct talks to settle the shortcomings and start the peace negotiations where it was left off last.