save Sri Lanka
The US Ambassador has written a letter to the JVP leadership and
released copies to the press suggesting that the influential ruling
coalition partner should mind its language when it comes to slamming
Norway for its role in the peace process.
the JVP came into office for the first time in its long march last
April, it told the Americans not to bother to invite them for their
functions, nor to include it in their mailing list. Like in many
other matters, the Marxists have learnt to be flexible, and eventually,
earlier this month, their leadership met with the US Ambassador
prudent the US envoy's critique of JVP conduct was, at a time when
the JVP was showing flexibility - or elasticity as the case may
be - is a moot point. It would seem that the short-term imperatives
of backing Norway had greater weightage than the long-term gains
in placating the local Marxists. The JVP has hit back saying that
"some countries" are trying to bribe the nation into submission.
fact that the JVP -- and the new entrants to the local political
arena, the Buddhist monks of the JHU -- whipped up patriotism, nationalism
and religious frenzy surely cannot be faulted by the US Ambassador
given the fact that his own President did the same style campaign
for re-election in his country.
both, the JVP and the JHU attracted a huge chunk of the popular
vote in the 'southern' parts of this country for this very reason;
that the people whom they represent believe that they are the parties
that will protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of this
country for all time. Ambassadors may come, and go, but they, and
their flock must remain. They don't believe in the liberalism of
some sections that back the two mainstream parties. They represent
the mass of simple, ordinary folk - they represent the majority
- very much like those good white Christians who voted for the re-election
of President George W. Bush. What is sauce for the US goose, must
surely be sauce for the Sri Lankan gander.
the JHU ran away with some of the votes the JVP was hoping to bag,
the Marxists went all out for the monks betraying in the process,
that they were more interested in the vote-bank than the issues
themselves. This still does not erase the fact that the two parties,
on virtually the same campaign theme, received together 50 seats
in Parliament, a little less than one-fourth of the representation
in the entire Parliament of Sri Lanka.
doubt the co-chairs of the peace process and the US Ambassador have
been selective in targeting the JVP alone. This is clearly for the
reason that they feel it is the JVP that is in government, and it
is the JVP which is restraining the government from engaging the
LTTE on their terms - i.e. that negotiations commence on the ISGA
proposals of the LTTE.
feel they need to pressurise the JVP to break their resolve, and
to let go of their hold on President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who
it now transpires, has once again sent secret signals through its
Peace Secretariat to the LTTE.
its support in recent years for the Sri Lankan government, the US
must appreciate the fact that the JVP and the JHU, at least in this
issue, are only voicing the sentiments of their supporters. They
are the representatives of a fair section of the people. Nobody
is actually holding a gun on them to say what they are saying. They
are not calling for the invasion of Norway, and to capture their
King and put him on trial before a special 'kangaroo' tribunal.
are only voicing the concerns of the people they represent. They
are only urging Norway to play an impartial role. More and more
evidence of Norway's support for the rebels is transpiring now (Please
see page 3).
two main political parties in this country have already, quietly
slipped the word 'Federalism' into the lexicon of devolution without
any by-your-leave from the ordinary people whose leaders they say
there is a log-jam to the peace process, and there is an obvious
need to surmount the odds, it is politically incorrect for the co-chairs
of the peace process to flaunt US $ 4.5 billion and say "here
come and get it", and expect the country to dance to its tune.
envoy Yashushi Akashi learnt that the LTTE did not buy that line
themselves. The reason being, that over the decades, these billions
have not filtered to the ordinary people, and this mess of pottage
mean nothing really to the ordinary folk of the north or south.
On the other hand, had the co-chairs invested some of these funds
into the country, including the war-ravaged north and east, and
put their money where their mouth is, the people of the north and
east would have accrued some tangible benefits, and acted as a red-rag
to the war-mongering LTTE leadership, whose clearly unreasonable
demand of ISGA, and nothing but ISGA, seems to have escaped the
co-chairs' wrath for the log-jam. In this Christmas season, all
we can pray for is 'God save Sri Lanka.