Monks urge Sinhala unity over Karuna

[TamilNet, Sunday, 27 June 2004, 11:19 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s hardline monks’ party, Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), has called on the Sri Lankan government and opposition to work together in supporting the renegade LTTE commander, Karuna, “in the interests of national security.”

Buddhist monks conference
Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera (Photo: TamilNet Library)
The ultra Sinhala nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has urged the Sri Lankan authorities to provide protection to Karuna since “he was now trying to come to the democratic path,” the Daily Mirror reported Saturday.

“All those who respect the nation, democracy and the [Buddhist] sasanaya should realize that the LTTE is our main enemy,” JHU general Secretary Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera said in a statement.

“Though Karuna caused much harm in the past, he is now willing to lay down arms seeking a democratic rule in the East. We must therefore consider providing security to him in the interest of national security," the statement said.

“We call upon the President, Prime Minister and Opposition leader to put aside petty political differences and work together in the national interest,” he said.

“This is the ideal time for the main parties to unite and defeat … the LTTE threats. " it said.

The monks’ appeal for unity comes in the wake of recrimination between Sri Lanka’s two main political parties amidst revelations by former confidantes of Karuna who implicated the main opposition United National Party (UNP) and the ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in assisting the renegade commander who escaped an LTTE offensive in April which crushed his six-week rebellion.

A UNP politician said he helped Karuna shift to Colombo, but the Sri Lankan army has been protecting Karuna as he waged a murderous campaign against LTTE supporters and cadres in his former stronghold.

The monks are critical of Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s blaming ‘rogue elements’ in the Army and his accusations that the matter was an effort by the UNP to sabotage peace talks with the Tigers.

The Thera said the recent statement made by Mr. Samaraweera that the UNP was behind the recent discovery of explosives in Grandpass was an indication that the government was still unable to identify its real enemies.

"Even the previous government failed to realise the threat posed by the LTTE and thereby needlessly sacrificed the lives of service personnel by disclosing activities of the Army Intelligence Safehouse at Athurugiriya,” he said.


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