repairs rift with the JHU
By Harinda Vidanage & Santhush Fernando
The SLFP and the JHU have held talks on ending hostilities
and reaching an understanding between them, SLFP sources said. They
said the discussions held at the Isipathanaramaya in Thimbirigasyaya
with Minister Mangala Samaraweera representing the SLFP and Ven
Athureliye Rathana and Ven Omalpe Sobitha the JHU, were cordial
and the two sides had shown willingness to soften their stances.
sources said the JHU had agreed to extend conditional support to
the government if the UPFA made a statement expressing regret over
past events that had led to hostilities. The JHU leaders also demanded
that the state media stop attacks aimed at tarnishing the JHU image
and accused the JVP of orchestrating such attacks.
sources said Mr. Samaraweera assured the monks that anti-JHU programmes
and reports in the state media would be stopped forthwith and he
would take steps to make peace between the JVP and the JHU. The
Sunday Times learns that UPFA executive committee is to take up
the JHU matter at a meeting tomorrow.
Samaraweera at the cabinet briefing on Thursday made endearing references
to the JHU and the same evening the Buddhist monks also responded
in a similar vein. The JHU has also decided to convert its countrywide
protest march into a vehicle procession with anti-UPFA slogans being
changed into matters related to general topics.
Sunday Times also learns that some UPFA are not happy with the Samaraweera
peace moves because they believe the JHU is using this opportunity
to settle its internal problems. Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thera said
the talks were not official, but admitted they were aimed at starting
discussions on reaching an understanding between them.
sources said the monks had told Mr. Samaraweera that they saw the
JVP as the main obstacle to moves towards reaching any understanding
between the JHU and the SLFP. The JHU sources also said the UPFA
approach could be a ruse to influence the JHU to give up its "Pagamana"
and "Sathyakriya" campaign starting tomorrow.