Mandate for an Interim Administration?
S. L. Gunasekara
Anton Balasingham together with the lackeys of the LTTE in the TNA and one English Weekly Newspaper have been telling us, ad nauseam, that the Government is duty bound to grant to the LTTE, their demand for a LTTE controlled Interim Administration for the Northern and Eastern Provinces because the setting up of such an Interim Administration was a promise contained in the UNF Manifesto at the last General Election, for the implementation of which they received a mandate from the People.
The writer does not have with him, a copy of that Manifesto and cannot recall seeing in that manifesto any promise to subject the Northern and Eastern Provinces to an Interim Administration controlled by the LTTE. Certainly, the UNF did not seek the votes of the People of the Divisional Secretaries Sectors of Gomarankadawela [99.5% Sinhalese], Kantalai [78.7% Sinhalese], Kinniya [96.1% Moor], Kuchchaveli [66 4% Moor], Morawewa [82.8% Sinhalese], Padavi Sripura [100% Sinhalese], Seruvila [97.2% Sinhalese], Thambalagamuwa [56.8% Moor], Addalechchenai [93.1% Moor], Kathankudy [99.9% Moor], Akkarapattu [96.3% Moor], Ampara [98% Sinhalese], Damana [99.3% Sinhalese], Dehiattakandiya [98.8% Sinhalese], Eragama [89.2% Moor], Kalmunai [61% Moor], Lahugala [91.1% Sinhalese], Maha Oya [99.5% Sinhalese], Ninthavur [94.5% Moor], Padiyathalawa [99.3% Sinhalese], Pottuvil [76.3% Moor], Sainthamaruthu [99.8% Moor], Samanthurai [85.4% Moor] or Uhana [99.8% Sinhalese], by dangling before them, a promise to subject them to a "Politico Administrative set up" in the form of an Interim Administration that was either controlled by the LTTE or in which the LTTE had significant representation!!
It is more than passing strange that neither the LTTE nor any of their lackeys who wax eloquent about a ‘mandate’ that was allegedly received by the UNF to set up, for the Northern and Eastern Provinces, an Interim Administration which was controlled by the LTTE or in which the LTTE had significant representation, has yet quoted the exact words [if any] in the manifesto to which they advert which contained such promise. The manifesto apart, it is pertinent to observe that the then Assistant Leader of the UNP, the late Gamini Athukorale, gave an explicit explanation of what the UNF meant by promising an Interim Administration for the Northern and Eastern Provinces in a letter addressed by him to Tilvin De Silva of the JVP which was published in the Island of 16.11.2001. In that letter, Athukorale said:
"After the Government was handed over to the PA in 1994 we have lost control of both the North and East Provinces (sic). By establishing an administrative body our intention is to get back that control of the two Provinces to the hands of the Government. We hope you won’t object to that. We are going to appoint officers of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service to this administrative body. They will be responsible to the Government of Sri Lanka."
To the best of the writer’s knowledge and recollection, this explanation given by Atukorale was not denied by any authoritative source from the UNF. Accordingly, if at all the UNF did get a mandate to set up an Interim Administration for the Northern and Eastern Provinces, it was not a mandate to set up an Interim Administration in which the LTTE had any representation whatsoever, but a mandate only to set up an Interim Administration comprised of members of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service which is responsible to the Government, to administer the whole of those two Provinces including those parts that are now administered illegally by the LTTE.
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