God 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.

When 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 in Colombo.

How 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.

The 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.

And 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.

When 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.

No 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.

They 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.

Despite 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.

They 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).

The 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 they are.

While 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.

Japanese 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.

No. 8, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2. P.O. Box: 1136, Colombo 2, Sri Lanka.
Tel: 2326247, 2328889, 2433272-3. Fax: 2423922, 2423258
Editor - editor@sundaytimes.wnl.lk
News - stnews@sundaytimes.wnl.lk
Features - features@sundaytimes.wnl.lk
Financial Times- ft@sundaytimes.wnl.lk
Subs Desk - subdesk@sundaytimes.wnl.lk,
Funday Times - funtimes@wijeya.lk

No. 48, Parkway Building, Park Street, Colombo 2, Sri Lanka
Tel: 0115330330, 0115330808, 0115330808. Fax: 2314864
Email: adve@lankabellnet.com


No. 47, W.A.D. Ramanayake Mawatha, Colombo 2, Sri Lanka.
Tel: 2435454, 2448322, 0114714252. Fax: 2459725

Back to Top  Back to Index  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to