Wimal warns of US move to meddle with SL universities


By Shamindra Ferdinando

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, alleged that the US was now making an effort to influence the student community as part of its overall strategy to undermine post-war Sri Lanka.

Minister Weerawansa warned of political instability unless the government took effective measures to counter the US initiative.

Addressing a public meeting at Maharagama last week, Weerawansa said student grievances could be exploited by interested parties to cause chaos.

The Colombo District MP said that India and the West had adopted a two-pronged strategy, with giving political power to those who represented the interests of the now defeated LTTE being the first objective.

"Their second goal is devolution of powers on the basis of 13th Amendment to the Constitution. They are obviously pushing the Rajapaksa administration to go beyond the 13th Amendment," he said.

Although the Opposition was no longer in a position to challenge the government, those wanting to haul Sri Lanka before an international war crimes investigation would exploit the student community, the minister said.

He attacked visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake for meeting a group of University students during his three-day visit here. The one-time JVP firebrand said that there hadn’t been previous meetings between visiting US State Department officials and student leaders during eelam war IV, though visitors met representatives of the Tamil National Alliance and civil society organizations.

An irate Weerawansa said that the student community could be used to cause chaos in Colombo and create a situation that would pave the way for foreign intervention. The MP alleged that some foreign powers seemed to be exploring the possibility of an intervention similar to that of NATO intervention in Libya.

The NFF chief lashed out at the JVP, TNA and other political elements for facilitating the US move. Weerawansa said that the recent lifting of the emergency regulations would strengthen the hands of those disruptive elements. In spite of eradicating the LTTE’s conventional military capability, the country was being targeted by godfathers of terrorism, he said.

The NFF leader said that the government shouldn’t give in to those demanding withdrawal of major bases in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in the wake of lifting of emergency. Had that happened, it would rapidly create the conditions for fresh separatist campaign, which may overwhelm the State, he said.

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