Divided Sinhala leadership poses danger to peace process- TNA

[TamilNet, Sunday, 23 May 2004, 23:25 GMT]
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Sunday expressed pessimism that it would be difficult to find a lasting political solution to the ethnic conflict through negotiations as the Sinhala political leadership is sharply divided on the question of resuming peace talks on the basis of Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) put forward by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Speeches during Viduthalai release in Trinco
Mr. Sampanthan speaking.
"However, Tamils have taken a united stand and have told the government in power in clear terms that any future peace talks should be based on the ISGA submitted by the LTTE," said Mr.R.Sampanthan, leader of the TNA parliamentary group Sunday evening addressing the public meeting held in Trincomalee Town Hall to introduce the book "Viduthalai" wrote by LTTE theoretician and political strategist Mr.Anton Balasingham.

It would be foolish to think that a final political solution could be found to the Tamil national question without establishing the ISGA in the northeast province. The ISGA will serve as a bridge towards finding a final political resolution to the conflict, Mr.Sampanthan said.
Speeches during Viduthalai release in Trinco
Mr. Elilan speaking.


The major constituent of the UPFA, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and Foreign Minister have been issuing contradictory statements in resuming the peace talks. The government side is not firm in its stand on the ISGA as basis for future talks. The United National party (UNP) also says that it would not support a sham peace process of the UPFA government, said Mr.Sampanthan.

The international community should openly tell the Sri Lankan government that Tamils should be allowed to go their own way if the Sinhala political leadership fails to find a lasting political solution that could meet the legitimate aspirations of Tamils, Mr.Sampanthan reiterated.

"A member of the Sikh community has been made Prime Minister of India with the full blessing of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, daughter in law of late Mrs. Indira Gandhi who was assassinated by a member of her Sikh bodyguards several years ago. This proves that some incidents become history," said Mr.Sampanthan referring to the position of Indian government on Sri Lankan Tamils' issue

Speeches during Viduthalai release in Trinco
Mr. Puthuvai Ratnathurai speaking.


Mr.Sampanthan further said India should understand the position of Tamils. Tamils should not be blamed for not co-operating in finding a political solution to their problems. The Government of Sri Lanka has been dragging its feet since the country gained independence to provide a just and fair political solution that could meet the legitimate aspirations of Tamils. India should know that Tamils are their trusted friends at a time of crisis, he added.

LTTE Arts and Cultural Division head Mr.Puthuvai Ratnathurai said that Tamils should be allowed to enjoy the rights the Sinhalese enjoy. "We do not want any thing more than what Sinhalese people enjoy," he said

Mr.Elilan, LTTE Trincomalee district political head said, "LTTE waged war against Indian troops in northeast when late Indian Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi failed to implement the understanding he reached with our leader over the question of interim administration for the northeast province." He said present Sri Lankan government, which is now prepared to resume peace talks on the basis of ISGA, should not repeat the same mistake made by Rajiv Gandhi on the question of interim administration.

 

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