Sri Lanka in precarious political uncertainty- Uyangoda

[TamilNet, Saturday, 31 July 2004, 18:44 GMT]
Warning that extended stalemate between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers may be leading Sri Lanka in a slippery slope towards war, Professor Uyangoda, in a political analysis column in Friday's Daily Mirror, says that "without partnership building premised on mutual trust and respect, there is no way for the UPFA [United Peoples Freedom Alliance] and the LTTE to return to the negotiation table in the foreseeable future."

From a mutually understanding partnership between the LTTE and GoSL during the earlier UNP Government, the "relationship is now entering into one of adversarial competition, one side trying to undermine the other for positional advantage," and the parties are pushing for their own separate agendas disregarding the international dimensions, observes Uyangoda.

Uyangoda sees differing strategic approaches being adopted by the two parties towards resuming negotiations.

Noting that the Karuna affair and the reemergence of violence in the East and in Colombo has propelled LTTE's internal problems to center stage of Sri Lanka's politics, Uyangoda claims that LTTE would like an early return to negotiations to reassert its "sole representative" status and to ensure status of parity at negotiations "despite altered strategic equilibrium consequent to Karuna affair."

On the other hand, Uyangoda surmises that the delay by UPFA in resuming negotiations can be explained by UPFA's strategic doctrine which assumes that framework for talks should be based on "asymmetrical negotiations" rejecting the "notion of parity." A second component of the UPFA's doctrine, Uyangoda says, is "that a negotiated settlement is possible only with a weakened LTTE, so that the state will have the veto over the agenda, the process as well as the outcome of negotiations."

Influence of the International community in shaping events in Sri Lanka is waning according to Uyangoda.

"In the LTTE's strategic calculations, the closer involvement of the international community in Sri Lanka's peace process resulted in altering the power equilibrium in favour of the government. Then the LTTE developed a successful strategy to minimize the role of the international actors vis-à-vis their own decision-making process," says Uyangoda.

He adds that, "the UPFA has been ideologically averse to the intimate involvement of the Western powers in Sri Lanka's peace initiatives. Most of the UPFA political thinkers come from the old school of state sovereignty and they view Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict as well as peace efforts as essentially internal processes...Contrary to what the international donors might think, the UPFA ideologues do not seem to be ready to trade off what they see as 'sovereignty' for rapid economic growth."

Uyangoda sees Sri Lanka as entering "an irreversible future" with mistrust and misgiving between the two sides exacerbating every day, and "the best option in this situation is to envision a future with a protracted period of no war, no talks," concludes Uyangoda with uncharacteristic resignation.

Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda is a well regarded political commentator in the Sinhala and English media in Sri Lanka. He was one of the Marxist rebels who led the armed insurrection to capture state power in 1971 and was incarcerated for many years after the rebellion was ruthlessly crushed by Sri Lankan armed forces.

He is a senior academic in the University of Colombo.

 

Latest 15 Reports
27.11.20 16:44   Photo
Occupied Tamil Eelam marks Heroes' Day indoors, SL military detains seminary principal
16.11.20 18:45  
China launches world’s biggest regional trade agreement without Indian participation
31.10.20 10:58  
Tamils risk Kashmir-like status revocation if Gota continues Trinco military cooperation with US
06.10.20 11:40  
Poet Pulamaipithan who championed Tamil Eelam solidarity in Tamil Nadu turns 85
28.09.20 23:19   Photo
Muslims join Tamils opposing Colombo's suppression of Thileepan Remembrance in North
27.09.20 12:05   Photo
Tamils unify to mark Thileepan Remembrance, brave Colombo's suppression of memorialisation
26.09.20 09:10   Photo
Commemorating sacrifices of Tamil struggle is an inalienable right, not a subject for ‘SL permission’
25.09.20 22:08   Photo
South Asia mourns SPB's demise
15.09.20 06:37   Photo
UN Rights Chief joins her predecessors in watering down collective rights of genocide affected people
04.09.20 22:13   Photo
Diaspora youth group re-aligns Tamil narrative on enforced disappearances
03.09.20 15:41   Photo
Jude Lal Fernando’s Sputnik interview exposes unfolding British duplicity on KMS ‘investigations’
02.09.20 22:03   Photo
Gotabaya's ‘Task Force’ monk threatens Tamils to stay away from their paddy fields in Thiriyaay
01.09.20 23:36  
Colombo extends genocidal land grab targeting farmlands of Tamils along NE border: Ravikaran
31.08.20 16:36   Photo
Families of war-disappeared send strong message braving SL restrictions on International Day
08.08.20 01:05   Photo
Sumanthiran alleged of exerting Colombo’s influence to tamper with preferential vote counts
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=12570