Ranil says Mahinda pushing LTTE towards separate state
UNP leader and presidential candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said the Mahinda Rajapakse-JVP agreement would make the LTTE to move away from its present demand for a federal solution to its original demand for a separate state.

Addressing UNP organisers in Prime Minister Rajapakse’s home base of Hambantota and Tissamaharama – areas where premier’s electoral ally JVP is also equally strong – Mr. Wickremesinghe said that by signing the agreement, Mr. Rajapakse and the JVP were playing into the hands of the LTTE and helping it to revert to its original demand for a separate state.

He noted that Prime Minister Rajapakse, like President Kumaratunga, had backed the ceasefire agreement but presidential candidate Rajapakse was trying to change it. Referring to the P-TOMS agreement, which the Premier in his pledge to the JVP had agreed to revoke, the UNP leader said Mr. Rajapakse after supporting the tsunami aid-sharing deal in parliament was now playing a different tune and taking the country back to war to get the support of the JVP.

He pointed out that if the UNP had wished it could have withheld support to the UPFA government’s peace moves, but the UNP did not want to do that for petty political gains, because the UNP was firmly committed to achieving peace in the country.

He said if he won the election he would take immediate action to bring down the cost of living and help the tsunami-affected people, most of whom were still languishing in tents or transition homes.

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