Police escort TNA MPs after meeting with Mahanayake Thero

[TamilNet, Monday, 11 October 2004, 10:26 GMT]
TNA MPs called on the Mahanayake Thero of the Malwatte Chapter Thibbottuwe Sri Siddharatha Sumangala Thero Monday 9am and drew his attention to the historial failure thus far to find an equitable solution to the Tamil national question, and impressed on him the necessity for an interim administration for the North East, sources said. At the end of the meeting, when the TNA MPs came out, Kandy police had to intervene when opposing buddhist monks and members of extremist Sinhala organizations attacked the TNA MPs, police sources said.

TNA meets Mahanayake Thero of Malwatte Chapter in Kandy

TNA meets Mahanayake Thero of Malwatte Chapter in Kandy
TNA meets Mahanayake Thero of Malwatte Chapter in Kandy
The TNA delegation was also scheduled to call on the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, Venerable Udugama Buddharakitha Thero, but the meeting was cancelled at the last minute, TNA sources said.

Sinhala extremists had carried out a poster campaign in Kandy against the Mahanayake Theros meeting with the "Tigers."

TNA MPs R. Sampanthan, M.K.Sivajilingam, Suresh Premachandran and Sivanathan Kishore, jointly tasked to explain the stance of the Tamils amongst the Sinhala masses, comprised the delegation that met with the Mahanayake Thero of the Malwatte Chapter.

Ven, Punyasara Thero and Rev. Yohan Devananda of the World Solidarity Forum for peace in Sri Lanka have also reportedly participated along with the TNA delegation.

Commenting on the meet, the TNA members told Tamilnet that they explained to the Mahanayake Thero that successive Sri Lanka Governments have failed to solve the National question which had existed even before the emergence of the LTTE.

"The incumbent Governments had paid scant regard to the peaceful sathyagraha campaigns launched by the Tamil leadership. The venerable Mahanayake Thero responded the was aware of this history. Even after the massive destruction caused by the war, many politicians in the South are refusing to accept the seriousness of the situation. Tigers are not demanding a division of the country. They have made it clear that the Tamils wish is to live within a united Sri Lanka with internal self-determination. A federal system is a suitable paradigm to achieve this objective, but extremist elements in the South misinterpret it as the equivalent of a separate and are carrying out a misinformation campaign," the Mahanayake was told, said the TNA delegation.

The MPs further said that the Norwegian facilitation is essential and that if not for their participation this country would have plunged into another war.

"EPDP and similar ex-militant parties are not real political formations. They're paramiltary groups that collaborate with the armed forces. Sri Lanka military intelligence is using these groups to destablize the east," the MPs told the Mahanayake.

The MPs further told the Mahanayake that the Liberation Tigers do not want war and that implementation of Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) proposal is essential for the rehabilitation of the Tamils and reconstruction of the devastated North-East area.

Meanwhile, police provided tight security for the meeting outside the prelate's official residence in Kandy while around 100 Sinhala nationalists carrying placards and shouting slogans against the meeting. "Rata Perata, Koti Karata", the shouted (save the country with Tiger on the shoulder).

TNA meets Mahanayake Thero of Malwatte Chapter in Kandy


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