Letters to the Editor


UNP can win with good strategies
It is the consensus of opinion among educated people that Ranil Wickremesinghe can pull off a victory from the jaws of defeat provided he is guided by some highly intelligent advisors. A candidate must have independent straight-talking advisors who will tell him the hard truths.

The present advisors have failed to assess what can bring Ranil more votes. Unless he, even at this late stage, is able to eat into the sizable Sinhala Buddhist vote, his whole campaign is doomed to fail.

The following strategies should be adopted to capture more votes for Ranil. It must be remembered that since the last election, there are 400,000 more young votes that must be tapped.

During the JVP insurrection of 1987-1988 some of these new voters would have been in their cradles. These young voters do not know what violence the JVP perpetrated in the country.

The following strategies must be adopted even at this late stage:
* Show on TV at least three times a day the atrocities committed by the JVP
* Telecast scenes from cassettes showing murders of innocent Sinhala people during the 87-88 JVP insurrection. The murders of Vijaya Kumaratunga, Prof. Stanley Wijesundara, - Vice Chancellor, Prof Patuwatavitharne of the Moratuwa campus, planters Priya Ratwatte of Kandy and Senaka Gunawardena of Deniyaya, well known radio artiste Premakeerthi de Alwis, Director Radio Ceylon Thevis Guruge, Dr. Mrs. Gladys Jayewardene, Chairman, State Pharma-ceuticals Corporation for importing medicines from India and hundreds of other innocent Sinhalese.

* Stress that the JVP was responsible for bank robberies, house-breaking and thefts amounting to millions of rupees, some of which they are alleged to be spending on the present elections.

* Point out that not a single JVP bigwig has voluntarily joined the army to fight the LTTE. Not a single Tamil Tiger was killed by the JVP, although they are talking big about decimating the LTTE.

* Remind the voters of the JVP killings of policemen, army officers etc. and the threats issued to families of armed forces personnel.

* The curfews the JVP declared to close hospitals as a result of which hundreds of patients died. The closure of govt. offices due to the curfews declared according to their whims and fancies, thus preventing daily wage-earners like labourers, masons, carpenters from eking out an existence.

The JVP has very successfully bluffed the unintelligent voters. Ask yourselves the questions: 'Why is the JVP supporting Mahinda Rajapakse and why is it spending enormous amounts of money on his campaign?' The answer is simple. If Mahinda wins, there will be no general elections, but if Ranil wins, there has to be a general election, which the JVP dreads. If there is a general election the JVP knows that its strength will come down from the present 39 seats to at most eight seats, and the JHU from nine seats to about two seats.
The UNP advisors have not brought out into the open that Ranil Wickremesinghe successfully negotiated a loan of US $ 4.5 billion.

If Ranil is elected he can get this stupendous largesse which will not only bring down the cost of living but give employment to thousands of people.
There will certainly be no international assistance for the JVP-backed government of Mahinda. Was the UPFA govt. able to get this money while the JVP was in the government for more than one year? International donors will not touch the JVP with a barge pole.

It is not late even now to rectify this situation. There are two weeks to turn the voters to back Ranil.

Dr. D.L. Tammita

Death of Ven. Soma Thera: The unanswered questions
After the release of a Presidential Commission report on the death of popular Buddhist monk Ven. Soma Thera in Russia, I am disappointed to note that there are lapses in the investigation.

At least the final facts based on evidence should have been highlighted in the print and electronic media. Going by media reports published after the death of Ven. Soma Thera, he had written a book on 'The Stupas' which had somehow, (without being locally published and released) been accepted by a an orthodox Christian university in St. Petersburg to confer a doctorate on the Thera.
He had been en route to Russia to accept the doctorate when he had suffered a heart attack in Moscow.

Why was the Buddha Sasana Ministry not aware of this? Was money actually sent to Moscow from Sri Lanka for his medical expenses? Can we know as to who are responsible for the Ven. Thera's demise? Why should a Christian university confer a doctorate on stupas?

A Confused Devotee

Devolution should be within unitary state
During the coalition government of 1970, Finance Minister Dr. N.M. Perera made a profound statement in the House of Representatives when he said, “Whatever problems the minorities may have, they must be solved within the framework of a unitary state”.

The UNP MP for Ja-ela Paris Perera not only supported this opinion but even got Dr. N.M. Perera to elaborate on it. Being in the gallery of the House, I remember that statement. Subsequently when the new constitution of Sri Lanka was drawn up, there was unanimous approval for a unitary state.

Dr. N.M. Perera, Dr. Colvin R. de Silva, Sirimavo Bandaranaike and her government as well as the opposition would have taken into consideration all the relevant aspects of taking this decision. Therefore one is compelled to ask why others particularly the LSSP is harping on a federal constitution now though we are not surprised with the views of the present UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Dr. N.M. Perera was a constitutional expert and spoke from the well of the House which was a sacred forum as far as he was concerned. Our leading exponent on constitutional affairs today H.L de Silva, P.C. has consistently supported a unitary structure for the country.

It is always possible to delegate as much power as is feasible to a suitable unit while not tampering with the unitary status of the country and that should be a primary objective in the present context without further prevarication and debate.

Chandra Gunasekera

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