Open and secret pacts


Open Pacts and secret Pacts are not new to Sri Lanka politics, especially during elections.

As I remember, there was a claim of a secret pact between Dudley Senanayake of UNP and S.J.V Chelvanayakam of Federal party (Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi or ITAK) in 1965, prior to the general election.

Dudley, whose government lasted only three months after winning the general election in March 1960 due to insufficient majority in Parliament, managed to get the support of all the breakaway groups of the S.W.R.D Bandaranaike 's government formed in 1956 when forming his government in 1965. Philip Gunawardena's MEP and K.M.P Rajaratne's Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) were among the breakaway groups, who joined Dudley in 1965.

K. M. P. Rajaratne, who staged a 'Upawasaya' (fast) on the old Parliament steps in protest against the delay on the part of the SWRD's government to present the Sinhala Only act, was considered as an ultra-nationalist element at that time.

After winning the election, while claiming that he was forming a national government, Dudley gave one cabinet ministerial position to M. Tiruchelvam of the Federal party and brought regulations framed under the Tamil language (special provisions) Act as a priority. On January 8, 1965 the regime allowed police to shoot the protesters who marched against the regulations and Ven Dambarawe Rathnasara Thero was killed as a result of the shooting.

It was also claimed that UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe had entered into a secret pact or understanding with the murderous LTTE prior to the election in 2002. Having come to power as the non-executive PM, Wickremesinghe went into fulfil his secret pledge by signing the so-called one-sided ceasefire with the terrorist outfit.

The UNP leader strengthened the hands of the terrorists by raiding a military intelligence safe house at Athurugiriya and thereby creating conditions for them to destroy the army long range operations, demarcating so-called LTTE controlled areas, allowing the cunning Norwegians to provide the high-tech communication equipment to the LTTE and virtually providing every facility to please the terrorist outfit during his short tenure of office.

According to media reports, former UNP General Secretary and Health Minister Tissa Attanayake has stated that the UNP leader and opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena have, in an undisclosed Pact signed on Nov. 1, 2014, among other things, agreed to implement the following much to the detriment of the country's national security.

(a) Reducing the number of troops stationed in the North by 50 percent and dismantle all the High Security Zones and return the lands to their owners

(b) Agreeing to reduce the number of army personnel located in the Northern Province by 50 per cent had been signed to please the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

(c) Probing alleged war crimes and to implement all recommendations given by United Nation Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

(d) Removing all High Security Zones in the Northern Province and return of lands to their owners

(e) Devolving power in excess of what has been prescribed by the 13th Amendment to the constitution

(f) Cutting down on defence budget by 40 percent and the allocation of funds so saved for the development of the Northern and Eastern Provinces,

Although both Ranil and Srisena have claimed that their signatures have been forged, they have not denied the contents of the ‘secret pact’.

It is also interesting to note that the items like country's national security and its unitary status are not appearing either in the opposition candidate’s election manifesto or in any of the open pacts, known to the public.

By looking at the political history behind personalities operating behind Sirisena, like Chandrika, Ranil, Mangala, Rajitha, Mano Ganesan, Wickramabahu and all those who are joining their campaign including the latest, Rauff Hakeem and the TNA leaders who are expected to declare their support for Sirisena shortly, there is certainly some kind of understanding among them whether there are secret pacts or not.

The JHU joining hands with the above elements to form a so-called national government, as they dream , is something similar to what K.M.P. Rajaratne's JVP did to form a similar form of National government led by UNP which included S.J.V. Chelvanayakam's ITAK in 1965. The fate of JHU will not be different to that of Rajaratne's JVP.

S. Akurugoda

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